Cedric Brim didn’t get a good look at his volleyball team until its season opener.
It’s a new sport at Shannon, as it is at 10 other area high schools. The Lady Raiders opened their inaugural season on Tuesday, losing to Saltillo – also a first-year program – in three sets (10-25, 10-25, 20-25).
Brim, who also coaches boys basketball, said it’s been a challenge getting all his players to preseason practices due to slow-pitch softball and other activities.
“But I’m pleased with the effort. I think we’ll get better as we play some more matches,” Brim said.
Shannon’s players have a lot to work on, from serving to communication. They could also use a shot of confidence.
They gained some as Tuesday’s match wore on. The Lady Raiders fell behind 8-0 in the first set before finally getting a point, and they were more competitive the rest of the way.
“The main thing is getting out here and hustling, not being scared of the ball, trying to go after it,” Brim said. “You’re looking for aggressiveness.”
Everyone got some playing time, as Brim is searching for the most effective lineup.
“That’s going to take some matches to find that out.”
Another start-up program in Lee County is Mooreville, which is spending its first month of the season on the road.
The Lady Troopers’ court isn’t set up for volleyball just yet, and their first home match won’t be until Sept. 12.
Coach Shelby Jackson isn’t worried about that right now. She’s just concerned with getting better.
“Our motto right now is to learn and grow as a team,” Jackson said. “Of course we want to win ballgames, but our first and foremost thing is to learn each other, learn the game, and be successful in that before getting upset about wins and losses.”
However, Mooreville did pick up its first win during Saturday’s Saltillo Classic, defeating East Union. Jackson said the match showed her what the team needs to work on.
“Getting the ball over the net with the serve is first and foremost the most important thing for us right now,” Jackson said. “We got our first win, so that was pretty big for our program to get that out of the way.”
Two area schools are Clarion-Ledger 2018-19 All-Sports Award winners.
Pontotoc took the honor in Class 4A despite not winning a state championship in any sport.
Tupelo Christian Prep won the 1A award for the fourth-straight year. The Eagles earned state titles in cross country, track and field, and girls tennis.