November 4, 2010 8:10:00 AM
Tina Seals hopes she can pick up where she left off and continue her work to help volleyball grow in the state of Mississippi.
After two years away from the sport, Seals, the former women''s volleyball coach at Mississippi State, is bringing back the Mississippi Juniors volleyball club.
The club is designed to help develop the skills of volleyball players in the area. It will do that through training and playing in tournaments throughout the region.
"We''re going to work really hard with the older kids to improve their skills," said Seals, who retired from coaching after the 2008 season. "Our utlimate goal is to carry a team to the national tournament and to win a national chamipionship."
Seals, who is a full-time math instructor at East Mississippi Community College, will hold a mandatory parent orientation meeting/player evaluation at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Stark Gymnasium on the campus of the Mississippi University for Women in downtown Columbus.
Seals is confident there is a strong pool of players in the area that can help the sport grow in the state. She said there are plenty of scholarship opportunities for players at all levels of college, but that it is key for volleyball players to start early because the sport has so many finer points and tecnhiques that take time to master.
"It is very important if these girls want to be recruited to play on these club teams," Seals said. "Unless they can grab a rim or something they probably will be overlooked if they don''t play club. It is very important that they have that opportunity in Mississippi."
Seals said there are three to five volleyball clubs in the state, including one in the Tupelo area and one in Jackson.
A standout volleyball player at MSU, Seals started the club in 2005 while she was still the coach at MSU. Prior to coaching in Starkville, Seals coached volleyball for 12 years at Northwest-Shoals C.C. in Alabama.
The club will hold a camp/tryout dates Nov. 9, 13, 16, and 20 in two groups in two, two-hour intervals. The camp/tryout fee is $100. All skill levels are welcome. Boys 12 years old and under and girls in grades 5-12 are eligible.
All participants will receive a Mississippi Juniors camp T-shirt and training from former college coaches and players.
For more information, call Seals at 256-483-9320, e-mail her at email@example.com, or go to www.msjuniors.com. You also can call assistant club director Elizabeth Salstrand at 662-251-3435, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.