The high school volleyballs season begins today across Alabama.
Jackson County teams will wait until next week to start their seasons, which will see them competing in new areas.
Three of the teams have new head coaches. Desiree Clark, who was Scottsboro’s head coach during the 2014 season, is now coaching North Jackson. Jonathan Parsons is Woodville’s new head coach and Samantha Alsobrook is NSM’s new head coach.
Here are team previews for each of the teams from Jackson County:
› Head coach: Patrick Kritner (second season)
› Area: Class 5A Area 15
› Area opponents: Arab, Brewer, Guntersville
› Roster: Seniors Shirley Dubose, Abby Jones, Nhi Le, Anna Lusk, Dalia Nolasco, Keara Sexton and Caitlin Terrell; juniors Madison Cole, Daylee Dudley, Marissa Hymer, Blakely Treece and Megan Vosen; sophomores AnnaLynn Buckner and Kami Willis.
› Quoting coach: “We had a very productive offseason with a lot of girls making huge strides in their volleyball games. We tried to work on improving our fundamentals and building a good culture for the program going forward. Year 2 is a lot different. Last season at this time, I barely knew what a libero was, now I have a much better understanding of the game and its intricacies and I feel like I am much more of an asset to the players now. Last year I was trying to stay afloat, this year we are trying to right the ship.”
› Area outlook: “I think we have improved tremendously since the beginning of the season last year, but we play in an extremely tough area against three great teams. We are improved and hopefully will continue, but we have a tough season ahead of us. You have to be disciplined while not losing your aggressiveness if you want to put yourself in a position to succeed in our area this season.”
› Season opener: Aug. 30 at North Jackson, 5 p.m.
NORTH JACKSON CHIEFS
› Head coach: Desiree Clark (first season)
› Area: Class 4A Area 14
› Area opponents: DAR, Randolph
› Roster: Seniors Ariel Clements, Karson Crabtree, Leslie Grider and Shelby Smart; juniors Kaisia Price and Aspen Smith; sophomores Alexis Moore, Ashlyn Foster, Cheyenne Harvey, Chloe Chisenall, Makayla Nance and Summer Varnum; freshmen Adyson Smith, Kelsey Cagle and Sheridan Baker; eighth-grader Emmah Myers; seventh-grader Lane Guinn.
› Quoting coach: “The team has been working hard and I hope to see their hard work pay off this season. As long as we continue to improve, we will be successful in attaining our team goal this season.”
› Area outlook: “The teams in our area have been established for quite some time. They will be tough but we plan to come prepared. The girls will need to stay focused and not let the talk around us affect their ability to play the game.”
› Season opener: Monday at Pisgah, 5 p.m.
› Head coach: Carey Ellison (second season)
› Area: Class 3A Area 15
› Area opponents: Geraldine, Plainview, Sylvania
› Roster: Seniors Emily Denham, Abigail Goolesby, Annie Hughes, Christia Izell, Delaney McLaughlin and Kaci McLaughlin; juniors Shalyn Smith and Chloe Womack; sophomores Bella Bobo and Hannah Duncan; freshmen Molly Heard and Karlee Holcomb.
› Quoting coach: “We’re athletic and most [players] have played two, three or four years. The experience should help. The self-proclaimed weakness is sometimes I’m no help to them because I’m still learning the game. But they’re a good group of athletes that will compete.”
› Area outlook: “The area is pretty well loaded. You’ve got the No. 3 and No. 4 teams in the state in Geraldine and Plainview and Sylvania is always good too. It’s always a challenge when you play those teams.”
› Season opener: Monday vs. North Jackson, 5 p.m.
› Head coach: Samantha Alsobrook (first season)
› Area: Class 2A Area 15
› Area opponents: Fyffe and Ider
› Roster: Seniors Ariana Christopher, Willow Hale, Alexis Leake and Annabelle Westmoreland; juniors Emily Barnes, Triston Barrett and Jasmine Higdon; sophomores Briley Bynum, Candice Rimas and Macy Smith.
› Quoting coach: “The girls here not only have talent but they have heart. It is an inner desire and drive they have to make the volleyball program at North Sand Mountain unforgettable. I could not ask for a better group of girls to work with on my first year at NSM.”
› Area outlook: “It’s going to take a lot of hard work for the girls to achieve this dream [of making the regionals], but they have an eagerness to learn and become better ball players.”
› Season opener: Monday at Dade County (Ga.), 4 p.m.
› Head coach: Jonathan Parsons (first season)
› Area: Class 1A Area 15
› Area opponents: Lindsay Lane Christian,
Oakwood Christian, Whitesburg Christian
› Roster: Senior Breanna Lipscomb; juniors Jordyn Cosby, Anna Crowe and Tia Edwards; sophomores Breezy Baker, Laci Downey, Alena Miller and Trinity Thomas; freshmen Abigail Bloodworth and Kylee Hastings; eighth-graders Karlee Hutchens and Jessica Sirten; seventh-graders Michaela Jones, Anna Robertson and Morgan Thompson.
› Quoting coach: “It’s going to sound cliché, but improvement. The girls have had a new coach every year. While the basics of volleyball stay the same, every coach brings a different style to the court, [and] this season will be no different. We are working hard in the gym making strides to become better competitors in the game of volleyball. I have inherited a good group of young women who are working hard to become more competitive. We look forward to having a fun season.”
› Area outlook: “Lindsay Lane opened the season ranked in the top 10 in the state so they seem to be the front-runner for the area. I do believe we have what it takes to be competitive in the area and possibly surprise a few teams along the way. I do not believe a playoff berth is completely out of reach. We will continue to work hard and try to make our first playoff appearance.”
› Season opener: Sept. 4 at Whitesburg Christian, 4:30 p.m.
› Oct. 22: Class 2A, 3A, 5A 6A Area Tournaments
› Oct. 23: Class 1A, 4A, 7A Area Tournaments
› Oct. 25-27: Class 1A-7A North Super Regional at the Von Braun Center, Huntsville
› Oct. 31-Nov. 1: Class 1A-7A AHSAA State Tournament at Birmingham Crossplex