High School Boys Volleyball one vote shy from sanctioning

KBJR 6 News at 10pm
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 4:47 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (KBJR) - Earlier Tuesday afternoon, a 48-member representative assembly from the Minnesota State High School League held a vote to determine if boys high volleyball would become a sanctioned sport. However, the vote fell short yet again, 31-17; just one yes vote away from passing.

This is not the only time that boys volleyball has been voted on with the hopes of becoming a sanctioned sport, or in other words, moving from a club sport to an official school sport.

There are three boys volleyball club programs across the Northland and this afternoon we spoke with Proctor/Hermantown’s assistant coach, Larry Modean.

“The people have struggled every year to get this through and I think it’s a real shame. We’re gonna have to fight for it and I don’t know how many people, have been doing this, how much energy they have left because it’s been a struggle. Coaches are worried about losing athletes to the other sports and I don’t think they want any more competition. This is one you go to college and if you don’t play on a college team you play on a team sport because there’s college volleyball for club teams all over the country,” said Modean.

Later Tuesday afternoon, Proctor/Hermantown Norsemen released a statement saying, “We are all saddened by the no vote to advance High School Boys Volleyball to the next step of being sanctioned into the Minnesota High School League. Proctor/Hermantown Norsemen is one of 54 MN teams totaling about 1,400 boys in the state. In talking with one of our athletic directors before the vote, we know it was a tough and conflicting decision. Even though Proctor/Hermantown has a solid club program, our AD’s also have to abide by their region’s wants and needs. We are told Section 7 had some uncertainties on when the season would be held, transportation costs, and travel when not knowing how a 17-game schedule would look with regards to who would be our opponents when most of the teams are from the metro area. There is also the concern for shortages with bus drives, facility availability with spring or fall schedules game costs, game workers, and title 9 concerns. These are all concerns for our section that we need to work on and try to remedy before next season’s vote. Norsemen Volleyball is very lucky to have the support of our community education departments, sponsors, and parents. We want to thank Krista Fleming and Jenny Kilkelly for giving us the opportunity to play our athletes in a high school format and putting on an amazing state tournament the last few years. The MN Boys HS Association is all volunteer-based and they are managing to make a state program on top of their personal careers, coaching, and home lives. We will continue to support Krista and Jenny as well as advocate for the sanctioning of HS Boys Volleyball in the years to come. Norsemen Volleyball will try to continue to provide Boys Volleyball as a club sport to give boys in our area the opportunity to play even if the format next year is unknown. We will also provide support to any local high schools who want to build a boys volleyball program for their own schools. Today was a tough day, but our athletes will be back at practice tomorrow and carry on with their passion to succeed at the sport.”

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