Boys Volleyball Part 2 5/8/13

Boys Volleyball Part 2 5/8/13

Scott Leber looks at the obstacles boys volleyball in the Stateline must overcome.
Rockford, Illinois-Can boys volleyball one day become what girls volleyball is in Stateline schools?

Jefferson, Guilford and Lutheran have started up boys club volleyball teams this spring. The long-term goal is for the NIC-10 to sanction the sport. That way those teams will be eligible for IHSA postseason tournaments.

"We as a NIC-10 Conference have looked at this over the years and one of the detriments has been the amount of travel that a team would have to do during the course of a season," said Hononegah athetic director Jay Lauscher.

At the moment you'll only find boys volleyball teams in large urban areas such as Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Louis. So unless there's an explosion of Stateline teams soon the teams that exist have to travel at least an hour one-way for matches.

"That's hard to deal with on a school night," says Lauscher.

Lauscher says there is interest in boys volleyball at Hononegah. Boylan also is exploring the possibility of boys volleyball.

Another obstacle facing boys volleyball is expenses. Athletic Departments and schools are already on tight budgets, and boys volleyball isn't a sport that most likely won't generate much revenue.

And there is another obstacle. "I think A.D.s and other people are a little worried it's going to take from another sport, but I think there's enough interest it's not going to hurt any sports," says Guilford volleyball coach Tina Sundstedt. "I do have track and tennis guys, and we just work around their schedule."

Up to this point boys who have been serious about volleyball have honed their skills playing AAU ball. Matt DePauw did that. He recently got a scholarship to Clarke University in Dubuque. AAU events is where Clarke Coach Kris Dorn and other college coaches seek out recruits.

"It is certainly more ground work (recruiting) the AAU or club style because the availability isn't there," says Dorn.

Where boys volleyball in the Stateline goes from here is anyone's guess. But if enough people push for it the sport could mushroom into something big some day.

"I think at some point we will have volleyball in this area. I just can't predict when," says Lauscher.
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