|Scorpions focus on putting past behind them|
|Written by Brian Bergner Jr.|
|Tuesday, 30 August 2011 00:00|
Coming off its best season in school history, the Scorpions volleyball team is ready for the 2011 season to begin.
Sedona Red Rock High School Head Coach John Parks believes it’s time to look to the future rather than dwell on the past. Parks tried his best to avoid the old one-game-at-a-time cliche, but it was too tempting.
“Last year was last year,” Parks said after practice Wednesday, Aug. 24. “This year’s schedule has some tough teams on it and we shouldn’t focus on our record last year, we should only focus on our next game.”
In 2010, the Scorpions won 30 games while only losing four, a school record, but it was all for nothing as they were bounced in the first round of the 3A conference state tournament by Snowflake High School, 3-2.
Snowflake went on to play Monument Valley High School in the state semifinals, and lost 3-1. Monument Valley eventually won its third straight 3A title.
The returning Scorpions watched Rachel Cook, Sarah Schlener and Chelsea Strong, three of the team’s best players, graduate in May, which may make it awfully tough on Sedona this season.
Sedona has plenty of talent left over, however, as the Scorpion volleyball program usually tends to reload, not rebuild.
Top returners for the Scorpions include three-year varsity letter winner Katie Furlong and seniors Eilis Brackin and Arianna Thode.
Junior Sierra Hatler-Stefick returns as well, along with junior Brenna Barker. Barker is coming off major knee surgery, which she had in April. She is expected to be back to full strength sometime in September.
Furlong said she’s ready to take on the volleyball world this fall.
“We need to be confident on the court. Our goals are to have less unforced errors this season, and we want to go undefeated in regular season play,” Furlong said.
Furlong added she’s looking forward to playing Flagstaff High School at home, recognizing the Eagles are one of the top volleyball programs in the state of Arizona. The Eagles come to Sedona on Tuesday, Oct. 4.
As for the top newcomers, Sedona had plenty to choose from during the first three weeks of practice with more than 40 girls coming out for tryouts.
Juniors Tiana Hatler-Stefick, Holly Drotzman, Sierra Winters, Cassie Sanchez and Meredith Woodford made the team along with sophomore Morgan Hawes and freshman McKenna Woodford.
The 2011 season will look a little different on the schedule due to the Arizona Interscholastic Association realigning schools to accomodate budget cuts. Teams will play other schools based on geographic location, instead of comparable enrollment figures as done in the past.
Individual sports felt the change first in 2010-2011, and team sports, like volleyball, begin the change this school year.
The old 3A West region and 3A conference no longer exist for Sedona, which now has a spot in Division IV [Section I].
Sedona is scheduled to host Parker High School in a scrimmage match Saturday, Aug. 27, but the real fun begins Tuesday, Aug. 30, when Sedona travels to Coconino High School to open the 2011 season.
The first home match for the Scorpions is set for Wednesday, Aug. 31, when Sedona welcomes Bradshaw Mountain High School at 6 p.m.