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K2ruth

Knoxville Preseason

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An exciting season of Knoxville volleyball is getting ready to heat up the fall. Here are my preseason thoughts to kick off the season!

 

The greater Knoxville area has 5 teams that should have strong seasons. In no particular order:

 

Webb, great hitting and defense with the top coach in Knoxville has the Spartans ready to have a break out year and show that they are ready to take a spot as on of the premier east Tenn programs.

 

CAK. Their window has almost closed. The last three seasons has the Warriors thinking about what might have been. They had the most talent in AA each of the past two seasons and underperformed. This is there last shot with the state's tallest player, and hopefully they are hungry enough to get it done.

 

Catholic. Better coaching has the Irish poised to dethrone a more talented CAK team in what will be the closest District and Regional race in town. If CAK had the heart and soul of Catholic they would hold a trophy case full of hardware. This season will show who wants it worst.

 

Anderson County has long been the gold standard of Knoxville area volleyball. In recent years teams have caught up because of their lack of club players. Last season was a rare sour note for the Mavs. However, don't get in a corral with an angry bull! Several of their young players committed to a season of club, and they are loaded with young talent. They are loud and fearless.

 

Farragut is ready. Great talent committed to club, solid coaching, and second only to Anderson County in tradition, this will be a big year for the Lady Admirals. No Knoxville public school comes close. As Bearden players execute a mass exodus expect the Farragut and Webb to welcome some new shipmates aboard!

 

Biggest question will be the new Karns coach, whether Oak Ridge can FINALLY field a competitive team and whether Beardens off season drama with a coach focused more on building a club than a high school program will affect their play!

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Nice rundown! Farragut is the team I usually root for and three of the other teams are within a quarter mile of my house -- looking forward to getting to see a lot of good volleyball this season!

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James, you will have a great year! I don't see anybody beating Farragut in District, I doubt they even drop a set, and I believe they will handle both Anderson County and Oak Ridge in the other district, so expect a trip to the state!

 

Chill, I don't know the answer to that. Probably a question for Bratman or an AC fan. Last year they were ok, but they lost 5 or 6 seniors that had played several years. When they had the two big middles the year before they were the best team in Knoxville and got upset in the Regional.

 

I think AC is as strong as they ever have been, it's just Knoxville now has a strong club in K2 and a couple of recreational clubs to provide more playing opportunities for the Knoxville girls. AC never had many girls play club but their coaching is so strong that they just dominated everybody in the area. Now schools like Bearden, Farragut, CAK and Catholic are reaping the benefit of K2 and the two smaller clubs. Also, Webb I believe has superior coaching. So the other teams are catching or have caught up. Which makes it exciting. Don't get caught up in AAA or AA. Catholic and CAK are as strong as any AAA team and Sullivan South is better than most.

 

If you are trying to "poke" AC please don't. It's best to let sleeping bulls lie!

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Simple question, no "poking". Brat and Hopi know me well and know I wouldn't poke fun. Wasn't sure if AC had made the State since they went to AAA. AA in volleyball is a much different animal than AAA.

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No problem! When I moved to East Tenn in the late 90's Anderson County and Sullivan South ruled east TN. Year in and year out they were the standard. 15 years later they are still the program by which the Knoxville schools are measured.

 

I don't think it is a AAA or AA think. Last year CAK, South and Sullivan East were better than any of the AAA teams, so was Webb a private. Last year AC was down, but they had come off a two year run with those two big middles where they beat everybody. They stumbled in the Region and got upset but we are a tourney sport.

 

The difference is because of the growth of K2 as a top tier club, the other schools are getting better. I feel that Webb has the "best" coach, but that AC has the "best" staff and program.

 

Chill, how does AC afford 4 coaches any one of whom could be a top level high school coach? Randi is a powerful coach and Cantrell is as intense as any coach I've seen. Coach Smith was good at OR and is good now, but how do they all stay at AC? They also seem pretty tight given that there has to be as much as 25-30 year age difference. Do you pay that good?

 

I know they rub some people the wrong way but I respect anyone that can stay at the top year in and year out. How do they look this year? I know they had alot of young girls in club. Who is looking strong?

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AC pays 3 coaches and pays them well. AC is a volleyball school. Dail Cantrell is a volunteer coach and a school board member. He's an institution in Tn volleyball. Their staff makes the same as football team which is rare. They deserve it though. The staff stays because they all played volleyball at AC for Cantrell and Harshbarger. Lot of loyalty...

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State???  AC hasn't even made it to substate aka sectionals since moving to AAA 6 years ago.

 

Farragut is the measuring stick for AAA volleyball in Knoxville.  Half a coach and year-round/club players will beat 3 coaches and part-time/non-club players any day.

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why was there off season drama with Bearden? Two years ago their setter was All State. She is still there. I know they lost a great libero from graduation and 2 other players due to not trying out, but their team should be solid. Their OH is back along with their MB. They shouldn't have any problems with teams in this area except for farragut. I'm guessing they only have one senior this year since that's the only one mentioned in the preseason write up. They are a young team!!!

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I know not having the big girl probably hurts. Not sure why she did not try out. I heard they lost to CAK last night. This is just like pre season football though. Probably a fluke who knows. They should get better as the season wears on. They are pretty solid.

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Catholic beat Bearden on Monday night 25-16, 21-25, 15-25, 25-14 and 15-9.  

 

Hardangle   Were you there? Give us your thoughts on both teams. Did Bearden losing some players from last year hurt them?

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