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Volley Hounds pleased with offseason enthusiasm

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    New JCHS head volleyball coach Lonnie Wheeler speaks to his players during a recent practice. BRAD HARRISON/Staff
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    The Volley Hounds have had roughly 20 players taking part in their summer workouts. BRAD HARRISON/Staff
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    JCHS continues through a summer that has also included being part of Mercer’s two-day camp and a one-day skills camp. BRAD HARRISON/Staff

It’s year two for volleyball at Jones County High School, but year one for new head coach Lonnie Wheeler. In some respects, it feels like year one as a whole as the team’s roster gets used to not only its new coach but also the tenets of volleyball that are also be focused on this summer.

On average, the Lady Greyhounds have about 20 players taking part in those workouts each day. That includes open gym time at the JCHS gymnasium with two courts set up, allowing for the players to be split up in two separate groups and maximize time.

“It’s almost like year one, again, because a lot of the concepts that we are teaching them are new to them,” Wheeler said. “It’s a lot like year one, in a way.”

Last weekend, roughly 15 Volley Hounds took part in Mercer’s two-day camp. That, according to Wheeler, is critical for his team in being able to help their growth as players.

“Just seeing teams, their rotation and positions, I wouldn’t say that it’s an eye-opener, but they see that they have more to learn,” Wheeler said.

And the vision for the program’s path forward goes beyond summer skill development, as there are plans to have a ninth-grade team in place this fall.

“You look around Georgia, places like Henry County have middle school fall. At places like Locust Grove, they have teams in seventh grade, eighth grade, ninth grade, JV and varsity,” Wheeler said. “Until middle school ball comes to this area, you have to pull up as many of those young girls as possible.”