Coaches association would like to see beach volleyball as varsity sport

Could beach volleyball become a viable sport in Louisiana?

The Louisiana Volleyball Coaches Association said it thinks it can be and coaches from the New Orleans area proposed offering a club season in the spring of 2014 during the volleyball business meeting that was part of the Louisiana High School Coaches Association’s Coaches Clinic that began Tuesday at the Crowne Plaza.

Sacred Heart coach Mike Barnes helped spearhead the discussion and plans for a club season that would start in March and conclude with a midweek championship set for May 6-7. Barnes told coaches at the meeting that 196 schools currently play volleyball each fall and that 80 schools would have to commit to beach volleyball in order for the Louisiana High School Athletic Association to consider making it a pilot program, a key step toward making it a varsity sport.

Powerlifting recently completed a two-year pilot program and became a varsity sport for the first time in 2012-13.

The format for a beach volleyball contest would be similar to tennis doubles with three sets of two-play teams competing.

Barnes noted that a team could feature as few as two players and that contests/tournaments could be played on weekends to avoid conflicts with other spring sports.

The group was told that Arizona is currently the only state that lists beach volleyball as a varsity sport.

Whitman, Enkey honored

Louisiana College Athletic Director Tim Whitman and Bossier City’s Linda Enkey received the LHSCA’s Distinguished Service awards, helping highlight the LHSCA’s general business meeting Tuesday.

Whitman, the former Pineville softball coach, brought the LHSCA’s All-Star softball games to the Louisiana College campus in Pineville and was honored for his work with the annual event.

Enkey, a retired Bossier educator, was honored for her volunteer work at a wide range of LHSCA functions.

Dykes elected

Donaldsonville’s Jay Dykes was elected as the second vice president for the LHSCA during the business meeting.

Redemptorist’s Terence Williams takes over the LHSCA President for 2013-14. Franklinton’s Shane Smith is the first vice president.

25-year honorees

Ten current or former coaches were honored for 25 or more years of service.

Each recipient received a plaque during the business meeting.

The group included Northside’s Cordell Bailey, Carencro’s Chris Bellard, Terrebonne’s Joe Clement, Delcambre’s Darcy Delcambre, Castor’s Beverly Ham, Grace King’s Bobby Ledoux, Alexandria’s Morgan Ernie Lott, Barbe-St. Louis Catholic’s Ted Nixon, Opelousas’ Barbara West and St. Amant’s Celeste Small.