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Exhibition could become annual event

If not for the relaxed demeanors on the court, Monday’s volleyball action at Jemison would have looked an awful lot like a county tournament.

Chilton County, Jemison and Thorsby, along with West Blocton, all participated in exhibition matches at Alton Cobb Gymnasium, but the intense focus usually associated with local volleyball rivalries was replaced by players smiling and coaches patiently stepping onto the court in the middle of matches to offer instructions.

“This is good for us,” Jemison coach Leighsa Robinson said. “We decided it would be good for the county, and we want to make it an annual event.

“Hopefully, we can get six or eight teams in here next year.”

The state high school athletic association allows teams in each sport a certain number of days each summer for exhibition competitions, and the three county schools are using Monday and Tuesday for two of those days.

Also participating Tuesday will be Maplesville, who in the fall will field a team for the first time.

Matches will be played constantly from 6-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Coaches view the exhibitions as extra practice before the official practice period begins.

Thorsby coach Ginger Williams has to replace several seniors from last year’s team.

“The summer has gone really well,” Williams said. “They’ve worked hard.”

CCHS coach Misty Jones finds herself in the opposite situation: No senior was lost to graduation from last year’s team.

“We’re looking a lot better than last year,” Jones said. “They’re learning how to work together.”