by: Jack Church
Men’s volleyball is finally at Batavia High School, but is it here to stay?
The addition of a men’s volleyball team at Batavia High School has been a multi-year process for Head Coach Kirk Tanka. The team and their Coach have attempted to get their feet set in the opening month, but problems with locking in court time have sadly caused them to stumble out of the gate. Batavia Administrator David Andrews is in charge of assigning courts and fields to sports and clubs. Unfortunately, after multiple attempts to contact Mr. Andrews, I did not hear back from him regarding the team or the court time.
Players, like seniors Sam Heffter and Micah-Jamal Clements, have been trying to add depth to their shallow roster by going around recruiting younger players to help support the team in the future. They are doing a great thing for the volleyball program because it will not only help make the team better, but develop players for a stronger future program. The younger players will see the initiative by the seniors and want to emulate their dedication.
I was able to talk to Heffter about his experience with the team so far and he said, “I love it. It’s a fun place where I can play (volleyball) with my friends and become a better player for the summer.”
In regards to the court time issue Heffter said, “It’s a shame that we can’t get time secured. We want to be able to get out and practice so we can finally compete against other schools but as of right now it’s a waiting game. We just need to be patient and let Mr. Andrews sort out the details of us practicing in the field house.”
The field house is open with track and field moving into the outdoor part of their season, so I hope the team will be allowed to practice soon as the end of school is approaching quickly for the senior-heavy roster. It would allow the team some time to develop their skills and build some team chemistry. Personally, I don’t see the problem with the team practicing in an empty field house, so I am boggled as to why the their court time hasn’t been approved. If the school doesn’t allow for the team to play, the program will most likely not survive. Coach Tanka started the process three years ago but the school administration wanted Coach Lori Trippi-Payne to lead the boys. She respectfully declined because she didn’t think she could fulfill her role as a coach both to the girls and boys.