With no feeder programs in the middle schools and no youth leagues, it was always hard for the Lady Billies, Lady Cats and Lady Tigers to compete on a regional and state level with communities such as Wayne, for example, that have had volleyball in the schools for 20 years.
This will no longer be the case.
This fall, Logan Middle School, Chapmanville Middle School and Man Middle School will all be fielding teams.
And no longer will high school coaches Alice Hensley, Angie Willis and Orlando Washington have to teach incoming freshmen girls the game from scratch.
Coach Hensley, Logan’s second-year mentor, said it will help all three of the county’s programs.
“We’re glad that Logan Middle School is going to have a team,” Hensley said. “In fact, all three schools, including Chapmanville Middle and Man Middle, will have teams. That’s going to help all of us.”
In the meantime, Logan will look to improve on last year’s 10-12 record.
The Class AAA Lady Cats have a blend of experienced upperclassmen and incoming freshmen this fall.
“We’ve been doing real good,” said Hensley, a Man High School graduate. “We’re looking pretty good. We’ve got five seniors, two juniors, six sophomores and seven freshmen. We’ve got a bunch of kids with 20 on the team. We’ve got a lot of young players and that’s good because it will help us build the program.”
Logan only lost two seniors from last year’s team.
Back are seniors Lara Sedlock, Emily Allred, Katie Chryssofos and Kaitlin Setser. Kacie Harrison, another 12th-grader, is out for the volleyball team for the first time, Coach Hensley said.
The Lady Cats’ two juniors are Ronnie Beth Vance and Jane Bragg.
The sophomores are Lauren Chambers, Sam Curry, Katelyn Grimmett, Hannah Kolovich, Haley Meade and Kristi Dalton.
Rounding out the roster are freshmen Lauren Ellis, Tiffany Jude, Aarron Ward, Kealeigh Morgan, Hannah Hunter, Haley Weaver and Rachael Fortune.
Logan is set to open the season on Wednesday night at home with the Logan County Tri-match against rivals Man and Chapmanville. The first serve is set for 6 p.m.
The Lady Cats then play at the Buffalo Tri-match against the Lady Bison and Greenbrier East on Sept. 3 before hosting Tug Valley on Sept. 7. Logan then hosts new school Mingo Central and Wyoming East on Sept. 8 before hosting Buffalo on Sept. 13.
Logan plays at Chapmanville twice more, on Oct. 8 and Oct. 12, and goes to Man on Oct. 26 late in the season.
The Lady Cats are in the same Class AAA sectional with George Washington, St. Albans, South Charleston and Capital.
“Our goal is to win 80 percent of our games,” Coach Hensley said.