Lady Dawgs start two-a-days
By SEAN HANEY
This week not only began volleyball tryouts for all our new and returning Lady Dawgs, but it also started the intense two-a-day practices. The first practice is bright and early in the morning and the second practice is later in the day.
Monday began for the Lady Dawgs at 8:30 a.m. with their first two-a-day practice/tryout. For the second practice it varied by grade, the upper classmen meaning sophomores, juniors, and seniors came back at 2 p.m. and lasted till 4 p.m. For the freshmen, their second practice was from 4-6 p.m.
Two-a-day practices aren’t anything new to the Lady Dawgs.
Coach Christy Thompson has been a volleyball coach for 21 years, with 10 of those years in Copperas Cove. This will be her 1st year as head coach.
“What I like to see on day one is getting our skills better, like we are today. If we improved like we did today from the beginning of the day to the end of the day every day that we’re here, then our potential is unlimited,” Thompson said. “we play and practice twice a day. This morning, we had everybody here and then when we came back this afternoon, we split them in the two groups. We had all of our upperclassmen come back from 2 to 4, so we can really focus on them and look at who will make JV and varsity. Right now, we have a freshman in here so we can get more eyes on all these athletes to make sure that we get them on the appropriate team.”
Senior and three-time returning setter Jakhi Smith said, “It’s difficult at times doing two-a-days because keeping up the same energy and momentum from the first practice to the second one can sometimes be tiring, but I do it for the love I have for this sport.” When asked about what it would mean for her to make the team again, Smith said, “Making the team means everything to me because seeing all the players who have come before me and watching them leave their mark on the court and keeping up the tradition of being a Lady Dawg by showing everybody what we can do on the court”.
Leila Cooks, who is also a senior, has been playing for two years and plays middle back.
“Coming back to do two-a-days and keeping up the energy and stamina was the hardest part about the tryouts, but in the end it’ll all be worth it,” Cooks said. “This team means everything to me. The girls on this team are another family to me outside my actual family. I love everybody on the team, they are always making my day.”
Most coaches are also teachers at the high school so Coach Thompson weighed in about how being a teacher and a coach affects the selection choice of players for the volleyball teams.
“We’re already back as teachers, so we have a shorter amount of time to look at these girls. What we’re looking at is, we had an hour every day during the summer of skills with them so we’re looking at what they did over the summer in comparison to what they’re doing right now in selecting the teams.”
The Lady Dawgs have their first two scrimmages today and tomorrow, August 5 and 6, both at 9 a.m. August 5 will be versus Cedar Ridge in Cedar Ridge. August 6 will be here in Copperas Cove. Their first game will be Tuesday, August 9 versus Thorndale/Brentwood in Thorndale at 11 a.m.