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Fall practices get going
by Aaron Retherford
Aug 17, 2009 | 510 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/John Byrne - Sparks senior Abey Quintino and his teammates opened official practice Monday night.
Tribune/John Byrne - Sparks senior Abey Quintino and his teammates opened official practice Monday night.
While football teams around the state were putting on pads for the first time this year after a required three-day acclimation period, soccer, girls golf, volleyball, tennis and cross country squads officially opened practices Monday.

Every team is in a unique situation entering the season with anything ranging from reigning state champions trying to repeat to teams that didn't win a game last year.

Obviously excitement would be at a high level on the pitch at Reed High with the Raiders winning the last three Northern state girls soccer championships. But that's not the only reason the coaching staff is looking forward to this season.

Interest in the program is at an all-time high under coach Jason Saville.

"It was great. We had the most for non-mandatories and we had the most come try out. We had 50 girls try out today, so that was exciting," Saville said. "The girls worked really hard and I think a lot of them had a good showing."

Teams must have 10 days of practice before they can start playing games, but that's not a lot of time to prepare for competition so some teams will practice a couple times a day or have longer practices early on.

The Reed girls soccer team will practice twice a day for two hours at a time initially, while Spanish Springs volleyball coach Frank Sandomenico has his Cougars volleyball program going from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with an hour break. The longer practices allow him to evaluate talent in order to decide who will make each team.

Tryouts tend to range from a day to a few days. For the Cougars volleyball team, the post-tryout practices will be used to get timing down and allow as many touches for the players as possible.

The Spanish Springs volleyball team will attend the Lowry tournament and is scheduled for four matches on Aug. 28, which is the first day teams can play in games.

Veteran coaches love the first day of practice, but for first-timers it can be a challenge.

Last year was difficult for Sandomenico, who had never coached volleyball before. But with a year of coaching under his belt and some recreational playing of his own this summer, this year's first practice was easier even though the players haven't had much gym time recently.

"We were a little rusty because our gym has been closed the last few weeks to redo the floor. We started out a little slow but we started picking up toward the end of practice," he said. "We did a lot of work over the summer, and today was a lot easier than last year. It was a little overwhelming last year."
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Fall practices get going by Aaron Retherford

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