By Beth Cox
The JCHS volleyball team traveled to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Friday for a weekend volleyball camp. The girls were able to work with UTC head coach Travis Filar as well as other volleyball coaches along with the UTC volleyball players.
Filar has led the UTC volleyball team to back-to-back conference finals and in 2015 won the Southern Conference Championship.
The JCHS volleyball team was instructed in-service drills, positional training, and transitioning. Members of the team also received training on how to control the ball, as well as other offensive and defensive skills while received group and individual instructional time throughout the course of the weekend.
The girls also got to compete with other teams that attended the UTC camp. On Sunday, the JV and Varsity squads competed in a pool play in the morning session.
The JCHS varsity team had two wins and one loss, which qualified the girls to play in the gold bracket Sunday afternoon.
The freshmen qualified for the silver bracket but played with both varsity and JV throughout the tournament.
Coach Cooke felt the UTC camp was the best fit for the Lady Longhorns and thought Coach Filar could provide some important drills and instructional time that would benefit the squad.
Pleased with the progress she saw in her team throughout the weekend.
“The camp provided our team with an awesome opportunity for growth and development as individuals and as a team,” Cooke said. “It has been good for team chemistry.” She added, “They have worked well together and worked super hard and will reap the rewards in the upcoming season. I am very grateful to the parents, players, and community for the support that helped fund this tremendous experience.”
Under Cooke’s leadership, the volleyball team has a chance to go far this year. The JCHS volleyball team lost three seniors last year, but the veteran coach was hit with a double whammy when two pivotal players, Natalie Winters and Taylor Parsons decided not to return to volleyball. Cooke will have to make some adjustments for the absence of Winters and Parsons, but she still has some returning players that have what it takes to help fill those essential volleyball spots. This year’s seniors
have plenty of talent and experience. They can also
provide strong leadership for the team. Cooke also has some strong players coming up from JV who will contribute to the team’s success as well.