Shown here are the members of the McMinn West volleyball team, which is comprised of Rogers Creek, Niota, E.K. Baker, Riceville and Calhoun schools.

Volleyball is one of the newest sports to be added to the middle school roster this year.

Ms. Amy Wood decided to create a volleyball team for McMinn County Middle School grades six-eight. The idea surfaced when she felt that a feeder program would be a positive addition to the many other athletic programs offered by McMinn County Schools.

Ms. Wood played volleyball in high school, and she wanted to give female athletes the chance to play a sport other than basketball, soccer, softball and cheer.

Because of the size of McMinn County and because its middle grades are spread across eight elementary schools, there will be two teams, McMinn West and McMinn East. McMinn West will be comprised of Rogers Creek, Niota, E.K. Baker, Riceville and Calhoun. McMinn East will be comprised of Englewood, Etowah City and Mountain View. Ms. Wood will be the head coach of McMinn West, with Sara Puckett as the assistant, while Jenna Adams will be the head coach of McMinn East, with Amanda Knight as the assistant.

Many who have not played a sport before, even those who have not played a new sport, are often afraid to try. We all have our comfort zones.

According to Ms. Wood, “If you want to do it, go for it and just try.”

With any new concept, people are often too timid to reach out for fear of failure. Volleyball is a sport for which many have a hidden talent. The only true requirements are to be “positive and coachable,” and those requirements apply to any sport. She believes with the addition of volleyball that we can add to the talent already existing within McMinn County.

McMinn West has a few fundraisers in the works. They are trying to raise money for new equipment such as a netting system and volleyballs.

On Dec. 13 from 6-8 p.m. and Dec. 14 from 1-3 p.m., the team will have its first fundraiser, “Cookies with Santa,” in the E.K. Baker cafeteria. The cost is $5 per child or $10 for families.

For more information, please watch the school system’s Facebook page. In January, they plan on doing a candle and popcorn fundraiser. If you would like to make a donation to the program, please contact Ms. Wood at awood@mcminnschools.com.

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