The Red Hawks junior volleyball coach Brett Caputo left watches as one of players learns how to spike during practice last week at the Haliburton Highlands Secondary School. Caputo is emphasizing fundamentals and welcomes the public to see the progress of his team at the home tournament the Junior West Mixer on Dec. 8./DARREN LUM Staff

It’s all about the process for junior Hawks

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.