County volleyball worth watching

Published 9:47 pm Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It’s far from the most recognized high school sport, but, if you’re not already paying attention to volleyball in Chilton County, it’s time to start.

Football is all that is on most fans’ mind this time of the year, and, even as far as girls sports go, softball is more popular. But county teams, taken as a whole, may enjoy more success in volleyball than any other sport.

Consider what three of those teams have done this season.

Jemison won its area tournament for the eighth consecutive season and for the 23rd time in 27 tries since 1982.

The Panthers hosted a sub-state playoff round match for the first time in coach Leighsa Robinson’s four-year tenure, won the county tournament championship for the sixth time in eight tries and compiled a 13-match winning streak at one point of the season that was broken by another local team: Thorsby.

Thorsby’s win over Jemison—and over Chilton County High—was the first time the Rebels had beaten those county teams in coach Ginger Williams’ three seasons.

There were plenty of other firsts for the Rebels, such as making the sub-state round of the playoffs and finishing the season with a .500 or better record.

What coach Ginger Williams did with a group of girls that couldn’t win a match just a couple of years ago is truly amazing. In fact, it is probably the single most impressive coaching job I’ve seen in my three years at The Clanton Advertiser.

As if that weren’t enough, then there is the only team still playing: Isabella. The Mustangs on Wednesday will compete in the Elite Eight state tournament in Pelham. If IHS can win twice, the team will return Thursday for the championship match.

This trip marks the seventh time coach Glen Graham has led a team to the Elite Eight.

Think about it: When is the last team another local sports program made it to a state championship level, much less made a habit out of it?

If you need to get back with me, I understand.