Volleyball program to start for 5th and 6th grade girls in Valley Falls
Story and photo by Clarke Davis
The Junior Dragons is not just for boys anymore. Volleyball will now join the fall lineup of activities for fifth- and sixth-graders.
“I have a daughter who wanted to play football and her dad told her no,” said Casandra Branstetter. “That’s when I knew we had to do something.”
Branstetter said her daughter didn’t want to play football that bad, she just wanted something to do. She went to work notifying the Junior Dragon officials and the YMCA League in Topeka and then called Miki Tyler to be the head coach.
Tyler is a Valley Falls High School graduate who loved volleyball and played for the Dragons. She lost out her senior year because of injuries sustained in a car accident.
She believes it will be fun to coach the girls in this age group and help them prepare for their junior high years.
“We just want them to learn teamwork and the fundamentals,” she said.
Branstetter has four children, a boy and a girl in this age group and two more just starting school. Tyler’s sons are only 15 months and three months.
The girls’ volleyball teams will come under the Junior Dragons umbrella established last year by Andy Dinger and Chance Gier for the boys’ football team. Girls volleyball doesn’t require quite as much equipment, but there will be fundraisers to offset some of the costs.
Branstetter said the organization wants to provide pads, a shirt, and pay half the league fees or about $35. The girls will have to pay the rest of the league fee and provide their shoes.
The girls will sell some baked goods and help with the Junior Dragons barbecue buffet in July to raise money.
Practice will begin in August. The league schedule is about five weeks long ending with a tournament.
They expect the program will serve 10 to 12 girls. Signup dates are May 18 and 21 at the Kendall State Bank’s community room.
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