Boys Volleyball Catching On 5/7/13

Rockford, Illinois-Girls volleyball has been around for decades in local high schools. It's been wildly popular. Can the same happen for the boys?

We recently saw Rockford history. The first boys volleyball matches were played when Jefferson took on Guilford. There were coaches, fans, and IHSA officials. But this wasn't an official IHSA match. For now boys volleyball here is simply a club sport.

"Most are the guys are new to this sport," says Jefferson freshman Nick Nelson. "I've played it a couple years, but most of these guys just started a couple months ago."

Tina Sundstedt is coaching Guilford. She has been coaching the Guilford girls for over a decade. She says the guys have a lot to learn about the basics of the sport, but they're getting there.

"Yes, we've got a lot of teaching to do," says Sundstedt. "I tell them to youtube it. Go to ISC (Indoor Sports Center), go to Fusion and watch volleyball as much as they can."

Sundstedt says there is a lot of interest in boys volleyball at Guilford.

"I had 38 try out."

There's similar interest at Jefferson.

"We had 30 to 40 guys show up at tryouts the first day," says Nelson. "I'm like, 'really there are this many guys interested?"

Guilford, Jefferson and Lutheran are the only Rockford schools that have club teams this year. Boylan and Hononegah are among the other schools in the area that are exploring adding teams in the future. The big question is will more schools join in so that the sport can take off?

Watch tomorrow when we'll look at some of the obstacles that need to be overcome for boys volleyball to take off. And is the absence of boys volleyball in high schools preventing some local kids from getting college scholarships?

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