The James Nash volleyball kids battling to be QLD's best
VOLLEYBALL: Teamwork could make the dream work for three James Nash State High School volleyball teams at this weekend's 2019 Senior Schools Cup on the Gold Coast.
Squads from the Year 11 boys, Year 11 girls and Year 12 girls will battle against up to 2000 other students from schools all over the state in facilities at Runaway Bay, Coomera and Carrara, the latter two of which hosted events in last year's Commonwealth Games.
The three squads, featuring a mix of seasoned players and new faces, have trained in after-school hours for the past three months under the watchful eye of head coach Dave Arthur for the high-level competition.
Experienced trio Lahni Edwards (Year 12 girls), Denim Osrecki (Year 11 boys) and Shaylee Dennis (Year 11 girls) said they were looking forward to seeing the extensive training sessions translate to positive results on the court.
"We're in there to give it a red-hot shot and see how we go, because the teams have been created this year and there are different levels of skills,” Edwards said.
"Shaylee and I both play women's volleyball on Tuesday nights, the three of us play Thursday night volleyball which is a mixed competition, and then we train after school.
"We'll just go in there and work together, see how we go and have fun.
"We started about three years ago when we had a small squad, last year it grew bigger and then this year it's a lot bigger,” Dennis added.
Osrecki said the team-first mentality had been a priority.
"Throughout the training we just focused on one main thing at a time,” he said.
"Each player has their own role within the team, like cogs in the machine. The setters are the generals and decide which attacking sides we want to hit through.
"The team's only as strong as the weakest player so we try and work with everyone to get their skill levels to the ability of others so we can work as a team,” Edwards said.
Team manager Suzie Arthur said she was proud to see the evolution of the volleyball program at James Nash since "two very tenacious students” planted the seed.
"It's really student driven ... from the start it's just grown. I used to have six or eight kids at training sessions and now at lunchtimes we can have up to 80,” Arthur said.