The community of Plevna showed its support for bringing girls volleyball back, according to the school superintendent.
A proposal for re-establishing a Cougars girls volleyball program was made by about a half-dozen students during the December meeting of the school board, according to Nick Schumacher, the Plevna superintendent.
“The public was overwhelmingly in favor of creating a Plevna Cougar volleyball program. There was a good discussion of the pitfalls and issues that may arise, but overwhelmingly the public was in support,” the superintendent said. The biggest community input came in the first of two public meets, he said. The first meeting had the largest attendance, with more than 25 to 30 people in the audience, while a second meeting, held Monday evening, drew a handful.
“I think everybody that wanted to say something, said it at the first meeting,” the superintendent said.
“There are many important obstacles that we need to be pro-active about addressing, should the board decide that we want to pursue this further - all the way from logistical issues, to equipment, coaches. “There are many things to consider, there are lots of moving parts on this one,” he added.
If the board approves adding the sport, then the next step would be to dissolve co-operative agreement the school has with Baker. “The Plevna Board of Trustees and the Baker Board of Trustees would then need independently agree to dissolve the co-operative and then the MHSA would need to approve that,” he said.
Two years ago, Plevna had no students playing volleyball in the Baker program, he added.
In the fall of 2019, that number changed. “This year, we had two high school girls that played with the Baker volleyball co-operative,” Schumacher said.
The next MHSA executive board meeting will be in April and the program would need to be approved there before it can really get started, he said. “They do have some very strict timelines on things (at MHSA). Whatever our boards decide in March, those decisions would be presented to the MHS in April.”
If the state approves restarting the volleyball program, then Plevna would be on a tight timetable to be ready for volleyball season to start in the fall, the superintendent said.
“That leaves us with three months to procure all the equipment and get the program up and running before the start of the season in mid-August.
“We do have some of the old equipment, but we would be looking at purchasing new equipment for a new program,” Schumacher explained. In addition, the program would also need coaches, he said.
“We’ll need to make sure we have everything ready to go. Should we decide to move forward, failure would not be an option with the logistics and planning.”
According to superintendent, there could be as many as two dozen girls interested in the sport in Plevna. “We are looking at anywhere between nine and 12 to 13 students at each level (high school and middle school).”
In addition, there was some community interest in trying to have a sport clinic during the summer to focus on the skills and techniques needed to play volleyball, the superintendent added.
“We will definitely need to start coaching the fundamentals,” he added.