SYA Volleyball completed its 17th year this past June. In those 17 years it has provided volleyball in the spring (March-June) to boys and girls in the 4th-12th grades in the western part of Fairfax County (Centreville, Clifton and Chantilly areas). Over those years it has continued to provide its House League play in the spring and has expanded that play to include a higher level travel league drawing teams from throughout Northern Virginia. About 10 years ago it added a club program for the highest skill level players. The club teams participate from late November to early June.
In its years of providing volleyball it has seen numerous SYA players go on to play for their high schools and colleges. However, the focus of the program will always be to introduce children to the sport and try and make it one that they will enjoy for their whole life. We rely a great deal on high school age coaches coaching younger players/teams during our spring league. This gives them a chance to teach others a sport they truly love and at the same time the younger players relate better to someone close to their age. Over the years numerous former players, who have gone on to college and come back to the area, are now volunteering to coach a team or a clinic that we offer. It truly shows that the program is achieving its goal of providing a sport that the player will enjoy and hopefully give back to others.
The program provides an annual scholarship in memory of Courtney Richard. She was a former student and volleyball player who attended Chantilly High School and regretfully passed away in her Junior Year. She played for SYA Volleyball for several years. The scholarship has been given to a graduating high school senior who has demonstrated a love of the sport, school service and community service. This year’s recipient is Meghan Pollard of Centreville High School.
Over the 17 years of its existence the program has not only provided a spring league, but clinics/camps throughout the rest of the year. These clinics/camps have been well attended since they have been designed to do two things. One is to introduce those children who have never played the sport the opportunity to learn enough skills to see if they would enjoy playing the sport in the spring season, as well as, enhancing the skill of those players who want to make their high school and club teams when they have their tryouts. Over the years we have had hundreds of players attend these clinics/camps to learn the sport and go on to play for their high school and club teams.
Over the years, players and parents have asked SYA Volleyball; why don’t you have a fall league? It took us 17 years, but we finally did hear you and this fall (September-November) we are offering a fall league level. The fall league is planned to be on the same format as the spring league. No weekend play and one practice night and one game night during the week. You can find more information about the fall league at syasports.org and click on volleyball.
SYA Volleyball has made numerous changes to its program over the years and will continue to do so to make it better for both the players and parents. Its hope is that the fall league will be just another change that continues to meet what the players and parents are asking it to do.
David Lacey is the SYA Volleyball Commissioner.