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Sports

Green boys volleyball team growing in first season

4/25/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

GREEN — This year marks the first-ever season for Green High School boys volleyball, and head coach Marisa Tharp said the team is strong in young, talented players.

“Watching these boys develop new skills in a sport that they have never formally played before is what I personally find excitement in,” she stated. “Seeing them improve every game and every practice is so rewarding to me. I was blessed with exceptional all-around athletes who can adapt so easily to every situation. I feel that I was given an incredibly talented team.”

Tharp said the team features a strong senior class — especially for a program in its first year. The seniors on this year’s varsity team (with comments on each player by Tharp) are:

  • Kevin Bayonnet: “Kevin is mainly our right front hitter. He is a skilled athlete in all areas of the game. He is tall, very versatile, has a great attitude and is focused.”
  • Dan Fanelly: “Another skilled athlete, Dan is our middle hitter, but he plays all the way around the court. He is very versatile and a determined leader.”
  • Nate Musselman: “Nate starts as mainly our setter. He is a quick learner, has a positive attitude and is very coachable.”
  • Curtiss Tharp (team captain and Marisa’s younger brother): “Curtiss is mainly our outside hitter and setter. He is a very versatile athlete who wants to learn more. He is a great team player and leader.”

The coach said all four seniors start for the team and are versatile in terms of the positions they can play.

In addition, Tharp called this year’s crop of juniors “very promising.” She said the juniors include: middle hitter Carson Corle (“great attitude … very coachable, respectful”); right front Nick Reale (“positive and energetic attitude”); outside hitter Dan Pollock (“exceptional attitude and a desire to learn”); and middle back/libero Eduardo Garcia (“determined”).

A potential standout among the underclassmen, Tharp said, is freshman Curtis Corle.

“He sets for us, but is not limited to setting,” she stated. “Another very versatile player, Curtis holds his own with the team. He is incredibly respectful and a great team player.”

As a 2011 Green High School graduate, Tharp said she brings a unique perspective to the team as a coach.

“Currently, being only 20 years old, I went to school with the majority of the varsity, and some junior varsity, players. Although there is a very small age gap, I feel that they respect me. This is a fantastic and talented group of boys,” she said. “I coached freshman girls volleyball this past season, and that was my first coaching experience and I found that I loved it.”

According to Tharp, the boys volleyball program has received invaluable support from Bruce Johnson, Green’s first-year athletic director.

“He has been so incredibly supportive and determined,” she said. “I also wanted to add something very important about my father, Brian Tharp. He is a teacher at Green High School and has been the faculty adviser for the boys volleyball program. That means he has done all of the scheduling, worked with the athletic director for practice time for the gym and has went to every coach’s meeting with me. He has had much experience with the responsibilities of being a head coach because he recently quit the position of head coach for Green’s softball program after over 30 years and is now in his second year as the head coach for boys golf. So much of this credit goes to him in terms of making the boys volleyball program happen, and I want to sincerely thank him.”

And although she doesn’t have an assistant coach this year, Tharp said Katrina Honkala, a teacher at Green High School and head of the school’s drama department, has been assisting with the development of the team’s players.

“She has coached boy’s volleyball before,” Tharp noted. “She is co-coaching with me for practices, as well as balancing play production, family and her career.”

Tharp said she is excited to help the Green boys volleyball program continue to grow.

“I hope that boys volleyball will continue to gain interest in the next coming years, because throughout my high school experience, boys have always been enthusiastic about volleyball and have always wanted to formally play on a team,” she stated. “So I hope that future boys hoping to come out for the program will realize how amazing this opportunity actually is.”

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