With the NCHSAA-imposed “dead period” last week finally passed, local high school sports teams resumed their preparations for the start of the fall sport season next month.
The volleyball teams from Mount Airy and Surry Central were in action Tuesday night at the Howard Finch Gym, where the Lady Bears’ conference rivals from Bishop McGuinness and 4A power Davie County were also guests of Mount Airy. And they ended up with one unwitting gate crasher, as a miscommunication led to North Stokes also coming to town for what had been planned as a four-team scrimmage.
Lady Bear head coach Chuck Morris, who was running the scrimmage with help from his assistant coaches and former Mount Airy volleyball standout Sarah Lankford, reworked the schedule to accommodate five teams rather than four, and the show went on. Four of the five teams were scrimmaging at any one time, with the fifth team on break. The event began with Central playing Bishop on one side of the court and the Lady Bears taking on Davie at the other end.
Each session last 45 minutes, with the varsity players for each team playing each other for 25 minutes, and then the JV teams taking the floor for the final 20. The schedule allowed for each team to have a 45-minute break, and for Davie, which was the farthest from home, to leave early while the other four teams played the final round of scrimmages.
Tuesday night’s opening scrimmage with Davie was a rematch from a July 12 scrimmage, where Central and West Forsyth had also been present. When Mount Airy faced the War Eagles then, it was a decidedly one-sided affair. Last year, Davie went 23-5, with four losses at the hands of conference rival Reagan. The War Eagles lost standout outside hitter Tyra Galloway, but still return four starters, including senior setter Lauren Grooms, who recently committed to Coker College. They got the better of the Lady Bears in the rematch, but Mount Airy was more competitive this time around.
The Lady Bears faced Bishop next, and then had a break before playing North Stokes and finishing up with Central. Central, after opening with the Villains, played North Stokes and then Davie, then were off for a turn before ending against the Lady Bears.
It was the first of three consecutive days of scrimmaging for Morris’ team, which traveled to Alleghany on Wednesday night and will be back in action at home tonight, with Wilkes Central, North Stokes and West Stokes as their guests.
Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.