Trojans looking for confidence

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, September 12, 2017

First-year head coach Sonny Kirkpatrick and the Charles Henderson Lady Trojans have struggled to pick up a win in the early going of the volleyball season, but Kirkpatrick is pleased with what he has seen out of his team.

So far the schedule hasn’t been easy for the Trojans. In the season’s first couple of weeks, Charles Henderson has already taken on number seven Ariton and has also visited 7A power Enterprise. Even without a win under their belt, the Lady Trojans are learning.

“I keep forgetting how little volleyball knowledge we have even though we have kids that have a lot of years,” Kirkpatrick said. “We don’t necessarily have a lot of kids that have volleyball I.Q.’s just because of the level of play they played at in the past. Even though I think we are a lot better than we were, we are still in a learning pattern.”

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When Kirkpatrick took over, he had to reteach the basics such as rotations and where to line up during serves. Even though the players have bought in, it has been trial by fire against some tough competition.

“The kids have totally bought in,” Kirkpatrick said. “Ariton is ranked seventh in the state. We competed OK and we played Enterprise who has a lot of kids that have played club volleyball. So they have a lot more experience when it comes to tight points and matches.”

The Trojans are not only looking for their first match win, they are also looking to take their first set. Once they get their first win, Sonny believes his team could use that motivation towards future success.

“We just need a little confidence,” Kirkpatrick said. “It would benefit us a lot once the girls get rewarded for all their hard work. They believe the system, they just don’t necessarily trust the system right now because they haven’t been in it long enough. Once we can break through and they can say all the stuff we have been doing works, thaen I think we will take off and start competing and learning.”

The Trojans spent all summer working and learning under their new head coach. Once the regular season rolled around, it was a different type of experience.

“After a while, you start learning what your teammates are going to do in 6-6 situations,” Kirkpatrick said. “Now we are in an atmosphere where the girls on the other side of the net are not going to do what their teammates have been doing. The adjustment is trying to figure out that they are paying attention to their responsibilities.”

The junior varsity Trojans under new head coach Lana Johnson has shown some early success this season and Kirkpatrick has been pleased with what he has seen.

“Our JV is doing really well,” Kirkpatrick said. “They have won some matches. (Johnson) has done a great job with them. I think they appreciate her hard work and how much she cares for them.”

The varsity Trojans will be back in action on Thursday when they host Eufaula for their home opener.