The City and Borough of Juneau Parks and Recreation Department is rolling out a new spring sport.
A youth volleyball league with four divisions (elementary school, middle school, high school boys, high school girls) will run from April to June, according to a press release.
“It’s been brewing in the back of my head for the last couple of years,” said Amanda Lovejoy, the city’s recreation coordinator. “I just felt like it was nice to have another option for kids.”
Lovejoy, who oversees the youth soccer and basketball leagues, said she heard from boys who were frustrated over the absence of volleyball programs once they left middle school. Dzantik’i Heeni and Floyd Dryden middle schools each field boys teams that play over the course of a two-month season during spring semester.
“I spoke to high school boys, and that was one of the things that they missed,” Lovejoy said.
One such high schooler was Garrett Kline, a freshman at Thunder Mountain High School. Kline started playing volleyball when he was in seventh grade at DHMS, and wasn’t ready to give it up when he entered high school. He instantly started to spread the word about the new league once it became official. He said he hopes more and more boys come out for volleyball, and wants to see it become an official high school sport.
“It is disappointing to hear that there is no teams for guys,” Kline said. “So I started talking to Amanda Lovejoy about why there isn’t, and how we can make it happen. It’s all a big process, but then she made this (league) happen. I’m super appreciative of that.”
Lovejoy said the league is shooting for four teams or 32 players per division. Each team will receive one practice and one game each week of the season.
The program is searching for referees and volunteer coaches. If interested, call 586-0426.
To sign up go to juneau.org/parkrec/youth/youthsports.php.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.