In fall of 2016, buzz started through the halls, in the classrooms, and on the court at Delmarva Christian High School (DCHS) about a boys’ volleyball team. DCHS Athletic Director and girls’ volleyball coach Jim Berger had a difficult decision on his hands: Begin a new sports program at DCHS, or let the idea fall to the wayside.
“When the subject was brought to my attention, I was a bit wary, but there was a large group of boys interested in starting a team,” said Berger. “I had 20 students come to the interest meeting, none of which were seniors.”
After the first meeting was held, Berger made a few phone calls, researched club boys’ volleyball teams and prayed on it. Soon after, he realized what was in store for the 2017 spring sports season: a Delmarva Christian boys’ volleyball team.
“I put some thought into the decision to take on another sports program at DCHS. Adding boys’ volleyball differentiates us from the rest,” mentioned Berger. “There are 10 high school teams in northern Delaware; it’s only a matter of time before the sport makes its way to southern Delaware, so I wanted to be ahead of the curve.”
The team comprising four freshmen, two sophomores and five juniors wouldn’t only be Delmarva Christian’s first boys’ volleyball team but also the first in southern Delaware.
“Being able to be the first team at DCHS and in southern Delaware is exciting,” added DCHS freshman Seth Stevens. “I want to set a good example for others coming behind me, and I am honored to be one of the 11 to do that.”
After 24 years of coaching volleyball, 12 of those being at DCHS, this is Berger’s first DCHS boys’ team. Four days a week, they meet in the gymnasium, where he has been drilling them on ball control, passing, serving and setting, as well as the ins and outs of the game.
“Since it’s our first season, we’re coming in with no bad habits and learning with a fresh start from the ground up,” said DCHS junior Parker Giltner. “For this season, I just want to represent the school and God in a good manner, and meet the expectations others have for us.”
Though they haven’t been playing long, Berge said all 11 young men work hard in practice to pick up the new material given to them.
“Luckily, a lot of us play together on other sports teams, so we already have chemistry,” explained Stevens.
Eager to get out on the court, DCHS boys’ volleyball will start the season the second week of April at home against Salesianum School and play through May. Their 2017 spring schedule consists of two home games and five away games, which include a tri-meet and four-team round-robin tournament.
“We will learn the game, have fun and be competitive this season. If we do that, the wins will come,” said Berger.