CCCC renewing volleyball program
In one afternoon, with nine signatures within just a few minutes, Central Carolina Community College's volleyball program was renewed with a brand-new, all-freshman roster on Tuesday.
After having a volleyball program from 1993-2011, a rule change within the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), which allowed only full-time students to play varsity athletics, left CCCC without enough Lady Cougars players and without a team last fall.
CCCC head coach Bill Carter welcomed nine new letter of intent signees inside the college's Student Center Tuesday. There have already been some workouts but there will be lots to do to form into a new team in time for the start of the season Aug. 27 at Davidson County Community College.
"We have nine players now who are all experienced players, all are talented, so I think we stand a chance to do well and be competitive in the conference," said Carter, entering his fifth season as the Lady Cougar head coach.
Lee County's Anna Swindell, Southern Lee's Alisha Adkins, Lee Christian's Makaila Gillum and Erica Davidson, Grace Christian's Haley Bryant, Harnett Central's Keshonta Williams and Taylor O'Quinn, Fayetteville Christian's Rachel Shrader and Starr's Mill's (Ga.) Caitlin Wallen signed their letters, officially becoming Lady Cougars.
Even without a squad for a year, Carter's well ahead of pace in putting a team together compared to past summers.
"What excites me the most is this event here tonight," he said. "We've never had this many student-athletes signed or committed with us at this point before a season."
Carter gives much of the credit to another new addition to the CCCC program, assistant coach Jeff Dobert.
Dobert has collegiate coaching experience as an assistant at Peace University and Brevard College, along with club coaching in the Raleigh area.
Dobert's experience is already helping generate interest. Having an assistant will help recruiting during the season as well, Carter said, if for no other reason but logistics if one coach can hit the road some nights during the high school season.
"Recruiting during a season is something we've never done before," Carter said.
Carter believes his freshman roster will be competitive right away and he's setting higher goals in the fairly near future.
"It's our mission, in two or three years, to qualify for nationals," said Carter. That goal requires winning the Tarheel Conference and winning at least one district tournament match.
For the next few weeks though, taking a group of talented players and making a team out of them is a big enough task for the Lady Cougars.