Lewiston and Edward Little high schools are bringing girls volleyball to Twin Cities gyms this fall.

Lewiston will be offering a varsity program, while Edward Little will have a junior varsity team for two years before jumping to the varsity level.

Blue Devils athletic director Jason Fuller and Red Eddies AD Todd Sampson said those programs are an exciting opportunity for athletes interested in the sport. Both schools are seeking girls volleyball coaches to run those programs.

“(In) two weeks, we are going to have tryouts like all the other fall teams and get rolling,” Fuller said. “We are going to hire a coach in the next couple of days and go from there.”

“We are a JV team looking for a coach,” Sampson said. “I am a huge proponent of educational-based athletics. I preach all the time that some of my most valuable lessons in life I learned through athletics. I think if we can offer opportunities for kids, we are going to do that and we are excited about it.”

The MPA lists 44 schools playing volleyball this fall across three classifications. In Class A, the sport has mostly been played in the southern part of the state. Lewiston, one of the state’s largest schools, is the first Androscoggin County team to add girls volleyball at the varsity level. Gray-New Gloucester, which competes in Class B, played its first varsity matches earlier this year.

Bringing the volleyball teams to fruition was a lengthy, meticulous route for Edward Little and Lewiston.

“So this has been an on-going process over the last couple of years,” Fuller said. “We had a group of girls approach us a couple of years ago about doing it, and we did an interest survey the year after.

“It was just building up support and showing the school committee that there is enough interest in a sport like this, and we looked at it and went from there. It was a slow process, but I am super excited to get it up and running. I just jumped right in. I said, ‘… Let’s go. We’ll play varsity and see where it takes us and go from there.’

“I think this is a great opportunity for our community. I am super excited that we have another opportunity for all the young ladies in the building to compete athletically.”

Sampson said Edward Little follows strict guidelines before a new sport enters the varsity level.

“We basically do a club. We call it a club sport for two years,” Sampson explained. “Gage the interest and make sure of the impact on other sports that are in that season, within that gender, are not going to be affected.

“It also gives those kiddos a start to develop those fundamental skills to compete. The next phase, which would have been officially last fall, would be to go onto JV for two years. The timeline is going to be perfect for us.

“We are going to go JV this year and next with our girls program. Once again, build up that fundamental skill base, and when we enter the new Taj Mahal of Edward Little High School in the new building … that would be the time we would look to go varsity in our new facility — and we will be able to host matches and bring that on as an official varsity sport. That is our plan right now. So, basically, it is usually a five-year process to go from club to varsity.”

Fuller added that (high school volleyball) is a positive trend across Maine and the rest of the nation.

“If you look at it, it has grown nationwide,” Fuller said. “It is a fun sport and I think it is something everybody can get behind and support. I really think there is a strong interest here (from students). I think our numbers are going to be fairly significant — and it is my job to do it the right way.”


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