Volleyball at South El Monte is Born

Volleyball at South El Monte is Born

Andrew Medina, Sports Editor

For the first time in school history, South El Monte High School will officially have a boys volleyball team. There has always been interest in a boys volleyball team but the plan never fully went through. Mrs. Ayala, the athletic director stated, “As a school we have always wanted to start a boys volleyball team since our first Rally Ruff game about 11 years ago. There has always been a strong interest by our boys. However, in league there weren’t enough schools interested until recently.” The first ever boys volleyball head coach is going to be Mr.Lopez, who is also a math teacher here at South El Monte High School. 

Head coach Mario Lopez says he took on the role of head coach because he loves to instruct and mentor students, but also loves the sport of volleyball. Although he has never competitively played or coached volleyball, he knows all the rules and has the competitive coaching style it takes to lead a team thanks to his past as an assistant coach for the Varsity baseball team at South El Monte. He states, “I have never played or coached volleyball competitively. I was an assistant varsity baseball coach for 2 years here at this school from 2018-2019, leading the team to a CIF appearance in 2018.  As the boys’ volleyball head coach I plan to incorporate the same competitiveness and leadership I had in the past.” Having a head coach that is committed and eager to win is the best case scenario that South El Monte’s new boys volleyball team could have asked for.

Many students such as Freshman Matthew Medina believe that starting a boys volleyball team was a great idea. Matthew states, “Starting the boys volleyball team is a great idea, because not only does it help provide fun exercise, but it also gives them something to do which keeps them off the street where they could be doing bad things.” He believes that although some boys may be ashamed at first to sign up because it’s a “girls sport” that in the end people will realize how fun and intense volleyball truly is. Matthew thinks that volleyball is extremely fun and that boys shouldn’t be scared to sign up because of how fun it is and how good of a workout you get from it. He states, “Volleyball is not only fun to play, but it is also a great workout because you’re constantly moving around. If I wasn’t in baseball, I would definitely play. 

Although the team hasn’t been together very long, they have been putting in good hours of work and getting ready for when they play their first game. Coach Lopez stated, “So far, we have only been practicing for three weeks.  Even though we have been practicing for a small amount of time, we have been very productive.  Our main focus right now is getting physically conditioned; however, the team has been able to work on various volleyball skills such as passing, setting, serving, and in-play communication.  My team has been improving in every aspect since day 1.” The team should be ready to go by the time their first game rolls around!