Softball and volleyball season officially started Tuesday with the first practices. Most of the girls faced tryouts with only a week to make the team.
"One girl said she'd play wherever I needed her," first-year Lakeside High School volleyball coach Keri Smith said. "That's good to hear because she might be a weak side hitter, but if we need her at middle hitter then we can do that. That's a good attitude to have."
Smith, who will welcome seven returning seniors to the squad, will have only a limited number of available spots on the varsity roster. At Greenbrier High School, volleyball coach Debbie Born faced the same problem. Tryouts for the Lady Wolfpack varsity and junior varsity volleyball teams drew a record number of girls to the gym Tuesday.
"We have 40 girls out here. We may have to make two cuts," Born said.
The large numbers weren't a total shock to the Greenbrier coaching staff. Registration for Greenbrier's middle school volleyball camp in June was cut off early after 45 girls signed up.
Born said a solution to keeping more girls in the program would include adding a freshman team. For the near future, however, that's not possible.
"We could do it but we'd need another coach, we don't have any funding for it, and there's no one we could play," Born said.
More tryouts took place at Evans High School on Tuesday when volleyball coach C.C. Armstrong and softball coach Colette Cassedy evaluated this year's talent.
The Lady Knights softball team will return only three starters, making the tryout process a key element to establishing a new team.
"All the girls are in the same boat. They've all got to try out regardless of what they did last year," Cassedy said. "I hate to have to make a cut but the numbers are too many."
Numbers were down at Lakeside, where softball coach Jay Matthews will welcome back most of last year's team. The Lady Panthers lost only two seniors and will have two four-year starters on this season's squad.
"We're in a situation where we're returning some girls with experience," Matthews said. "Our numbers are down but with what we have coming back competitively, we're going to be OK."
Aug. 14 is the first date that Georgia high school volleyball and softball teams can begin regular season play.
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