Starting a high school athletic program from scratch is never an easy task. For one to be immediately successful, it takes a lot of good fortune. Fortunately for Phil Campbell High School, the Bobcats have some things working in their favor as they set out to start a girls volleyball program this fall.
“We have a lot of very dedicated girls at Phil Campbell who have experienced success in other sports,” said Amy Moss, the program’s head coach. “They are excited, and they have been working very hard. They have seen all the other schools in the county start volleyball programs, and they have been waiting for this moment for a long time.”
Moss said the fledgling team has been having voluntary workouts every Tuesday and Thursday night in June.
“We have averaged over 30 girls participating in these workouts just to get stronger, learn the game and develop basic volleyball skills,” she said. “Many of these girls play basketball, and they will come straight from basketball playdate games to volleyball workouts. That tells you a lot about their character and their work ethic.”
Moss, who has been at PCHS for 16 years, has experience coaching girls to success and coaching highly–skilled volleyball players. She led the Phil Campbell girls basketball team to the Northwest Regional basketball tournament in 2006. She was also an assistant coach at perennial volleyball power Haleyville High School from 1998 to 2005 and was the junior varsity coach at Wilson High School in 1997.
“I have been privileged to coach some great athletes over the years,” Moss said. “At Haleyville, I was fortunate to coach some very good volleyball players at the junior varsity and junior high level. At Phil Campbell, I had the same thing – just a great group of girls who wanted to win and would work their tails off to do so.”
Moss said she knows it will be tough getting started but the Bobcats won’t back down from anyone.
“We are going to take baby steps and celebrate every success,” she said. “I want the girls to have fun and learn the game, but along the way I want them to have a sense of urgency in learning and go into every match expecting to win.”
Since Phil Campbell is starting volleyball in the middle of a reclassification cycle, the AHSAA had to place the team in an already existing area. The Bobcats will compete in Class 3A Area 16 with Lauderdale County, Clements and Elkmont.
“That area is about as tough as it gets,” said Moss.