Volleyball Head Coach Tanya Porter has begun the two-week process of building this year’s version of the Lady Tigers and in only her fourth year she has begun to see the fruits of her efforts to expand the program into both the school and the community.
Looking to build on the success of last season’s sweet sixteen appearance in the GHSA state tournament, coach Porter, with the assistance of rising seniors Chloe Bennett, Harmony Evans and Marlie Townley, along with Assistant Coach Kristi Kreegan hosted a volleyball-skills mini-camp on April 23 in the gym of Dawson County High School.
Open to rising sixth through twelfth graders, over 50 girls attended the camp that featured an emphasis on basic fundamentals. They were broken down into smaller, age-based groups to focus on separate skills such as proper hitting and serving techniques.
“We really like doing it that way because it gives them a chance to work on skills without the pressure of "trying out,” Coach Porter said.
Try-outs took place the following week, May 6-10, as 44 girls from 8-12 grades took part in four days of tests designed to whittle the larger group down into the three teams that make up the Lady Tigers program, the varsity, junior varsity and C team.
A tentative roster was posted May 10 notifying 28 young ladies that they had made it through the toughest round, but with one last try-out date on the calendar, June 3, there are still difficult decisions to make before an official team roster exists.
“I will be having a tryout for transfer students in June. I am expecting about 4-5 girls on June 3rd that I may be adding to the roster,” Coach Porter said. “So, I will wait until after that date to put out a completed roster.”
As it stands, Coach Porter felt the roster reflected a big increase in the level of skill and interest in Dawson County volleyball since the beginning of the program. An improvement she credited to several causes.
We are very excited about this team that we have selected. The comment I made to my assistant coaches following tryouts was for the first time since we started the program, I feel like we have selected 28 volleyball players who are also great athletes vs. selecting athletes that we hope to develop into volleyball players,” Coach Porter said. “I attribute that to the addition of park and rec programs and middle school feeder teams as well as to the excitement that our high school team has generated in the community through its success in the last couple of seasons.