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Tri-State senior volleyball standouts get showcase

December 01, 2006|by DAN KAUFFMAN

After witnessing the excitement generated by high school all-star events such as the Washington County High Rock Roundball Classic for basketball seniors in March and the Mid-Maryland All-Star Baseball Classic in May, Tri-State Fellowship of Christian Athletes Volleyball Club chairman Chip Zimmer went about creating a similar event for Tri-State high school volleyball.

"That definitely gave us motivation," said Zimmer. "I talked to (North Hagerstown assistant coach) Dave Foltz and got his advice and suggestions. He was a big help. I feel like volleyball is the most popular girls sport in this region, and we felt we should have an All-Star event too, so we made it work."

Senior standouts from Washington County, Southcentral Pennsylvania and West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle will participate in Saturday evening's Atlantic Security High School All-Star Spikefest at Grace Academy.

The evening will start with the Washington County Eighth Grade All-Stars game at 6 p.m., followed by the high school contest at 8. Admission will be $5 for adults and $4 for students, with proceeds benefiting the Tri-State FCA Volleyball Club, which oversees travel volleyball teams at several age groups.

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"(Grace Academy's gym) holds 450 and we're hoping to sell it out," Zimmer said. "That would be a wonderful problem, to have to close the doors. I hope the fire marshal doesn't show up."

Both the North and South teams held their one and only practice Wednesday in preparation for Saturday's match. North Hagerstown coach Megan Crawford and Cumberland Valley Christian coach Emilee Hussack will coach the North squad; South Hagerstown coach Chuck Weaver and Jefferson coach Shan Sell will call the shots for the South.

"It should be an exciting game," Crawford said. "We have Hedgesville, Musselman and all those schools coming in. I have all the Pennsylvania teams with me. ... I've never done anything like this, it's new for me, but the girls seem to be excited. They at least get another chance to play another game if they're not going to college."

"We're looking forward to working with such a talented group," Weaver said. "It's a great chance for these girls to meet players from other states, and win or lose, I hope they have a great time and have fun. ... Each coach was asked to nominate seniors from their team, and I know all the county coaches nominated several seniors. I had two young ladies nominated, and it's an honor just to be nominated for this."

One of the interesting subplots to Saturday's games are the opportunities for players from rival high schools to get to experience playing on the same side. Greencastle's Amanda Ritchey could find herself setting James Buchanan's Amy Heisey for the North team. The South side is loaded with players from Musselman and Hedgesville, fierce rivals in the Panhandle and the top two teams all season in The Herald-Mail Super 7 poll.

"That's going to be fun to watch," Zimmer said. "It's going to be a nice showcase for these kids. There's 10 or 12 college coaches coming."

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