Kicking off with first practice

Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Karissa Sperduto
Elizabeth Hale

BERRYVILLE -- It seems that the curse of the small school strikes small rural schools more often than small schools near urban centers -- bedroom communities that are rural in name only.

That curse goes like this: a small school, such as Berryville, for example, will happen to have a few years when their basketball, football, golf program -- take your pick -- can't be beat. There's strength at every position, and it's an enjoyable season for players, coaches and parents alike.

But the curse is that usually there's a weakness as one or more positions are limited in size or strength because of the smaller numbers of players available. And that's how it is with Berryville's senior high volleyball team this year. "My senior high team [this year] is small," said volleyball coach Kristin Whetham. "But blocking concerns me," she says about the lack of height on her squad. "We're just going to have to find a way to work around it."

Hannah Noble

Yesterday was the initial day of official practice so it was the first time she got a good look at her squad's assets and numbers. "For junior high we had 19, with about 6 missing," she said. "The senior high had 15 present with only 3 missing."

"I don't want to jinx it, but I think we have a good chance [in the conference] this season," Whetham said.

Besides Berryville the conference includes Gravette, Pea Ridge, Lincoln, Gentry, Prairie Grove and Farmington.

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