‘Spike’-ing interest

Boys volleyball team has large increase in number of players

Since being named an emerging sport in May 2022, the SHS boys volleyball team has grown greatly. The amount of boys has almost doubled since last year. There are also now three teams, one varsity and two junior varsity. 

“I would say that us having more players, it shows that the sport is more valuable now,” junior volleyball player Bei Hro Hnei said. “They find it a lot more fun and they want to play.”

At the over 10 open gyms before tryout, there were roughly 60 students participating at each one. The sheer number of boys at the gyms often restricted how many reps each player could get in. Junior Keishawn Nash felt that was one problem that comes with such a big program. 

“We’re all just waiting to get a turn in,” Nash said. “If you mess up, then that’s on you and you gotta go back to the end of the line.”

However, with the few setbacks that can come with a large group, the benefits can’t be discounted. At SHS, one common belief surrounding the team is their sense of community and culture. Both Nash, Hro Hnei and head coach Ethan Hoffman described the appeal of the team being accredited to their comradery. 

“All these guys just go and they play it all the time … ,” Hoffman said. “They just love getting outside, playing and they’re almost like brothers out there”

Nash previously played for Ben Davis, where he was forced to be on the junior varsity team  since they were combined with Avon. Because Avon was the hosting school, only their students were allowed to be on varsity. After moving to SHS, he has been excited for the season to come.

“The Southport team is way more organized, they have a way better environment,” Nash said. “The boys all have good hype.”

Similar to Nash, the rest of the team is anticipating the coming season. This past weekend, they competed in a tournament and won three games, falling to Carmel. They are also ranked 15th in Indiana, according to MaxPreps. Some key matches this season include Perry and the Tri-Match, which includes SHS, Perry and Roncalli. Beyond games, Coffman also is looking forward to growing his team mentally, while also hoping to win. 

“The mentor person in me is just making these guys really good, turning these young men into good men,” Coffman said. “Teaching them what it’s like to take on responsibility and own that responsibility, how to give back, how to be kind and also how to be confident.” 

While the increase in boys may come as a shock to some, Coffman is not surprised at the growth. The participation in boys volleyball has

grown over the past years at a steady rate.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time, and it’s grown and it’s never let up,” Coffman said. “Perry Meridian has a ton as well, like we love volleyball around here. It’s going to be a volleyball school, so people should kinda look out. We’re ready to win, ready to be great people and the program is growing.”