By Darren Lum
Looking on to the volleyball court as balls pass over and in front the Red Hawks junior volleyball coach Brett Caputo said his team is young but ready and keen to learn and to improve.
In Caputo’s second year leading the squad of juniors he is excited for the team’s future.
“It’s going to be a fun year. The goal here is to peak in February which means we slowly develop throughout the year and try to put it together. So my philosophy is we teach the basics and hopefully by the end of the season we’re at the point that we’re competitive” he said.
In February the Kawartha qualifiers and the championship are being held.
He wants his team to use upcoming exhibition tournaments to hone its skills and work on execution.
This coming Tuesday Dec. 8 the Hawks will host the Junior West Mixer round robin tournament and aim to execute focusing on the fundamentals of volleyball rather than serving for points. It’ll be the team’s first opportunity to showcase its skills to a partisan crowd.
The young team has worked on the basics such as footwork passing and spiking including systems.
His goal is for his team to be “developing something new every practice. That’s sort of our goal” he said.
With eight juniors that have moved up to the senior team he said this team is basically starting with an entire new roster. There are 12 Grade 9s and three Grade 10s. Caputo characterizes this team as rebuilding but doesn’t perceive this as a negative. The team boasts a collection of athletic players including figure skaters dancers and horseback riders.
Although the varied interests of his players has created a few scheduling conflicts the team has made accommodations and players have taken the responsibility to have planned practice absences.
The team’s dedication has been strong though with just a few players missing at each practice.
To make up for the team’s inexperience he has held five days a week practices up to this point in the school year.
The team is being assisted by Sharon Dibblee and Dan Gimon.
This trio has allowed the team to run more advanced drills as they can be broken up into separate groups.
Part of the effort for this team is long term as they can transition their play towards the senior ranks with as little trouble as possible.
“We’re trying to bring it to the next level” he said.
Caputo has most of all loved the attitude of his young players.
“They seem keen. They work hard. We have late and early practice. Attendance has been pretty good” he said.