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Bay volleyball team happy to be together, ready for whatever comes next

Published: Aug. 10, 2020 at 6:30 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) -The Bay volleyball squad is among the teams in all fall sports across the state wondering about its future, yet still working through the summer to be prepared for whatever form this season takes.

Will the season begin in September, or will it be pushed back to December for a compressed 6 week season?

That is likely to be decided Friday at the FHSAA Board meeting in Gainesville. Meanwhile the team is working, and its head coach Sierra Burris tells us it is very happy just be back together after suffering through the long lock-down in the spring and early summer.

“It’s been refreshing, it’s been really nice,” Burris told us. “Luckily we were not in the middle of season when school was disbanded. But having the girls come back together, restore some normalcy, even if we were doing things a little bit differently, they were just so happy to be touching a volleyball, or just working out in the same room as each other.

“Even if they are 6 feet apart. It just made them excited for the upcoming school year. No matter what changes were coming they knew that we were there for each other,” she added.

Senior-to-be Kylie Smith echoes the coach’s sentiment.

“I am so excited, I know we all are too,” Smith said.

“Sports is such a big part of our lives and it’s just really good to be back where we feel safe and happy. It’s definitely been different than what were used to but we all know that it needs to be done and we know that everyone else is doing it,” she added, referring to safety protocols.

Consider these Tornadoes among those willing to forge ahead and accept the risks of doing so.

Burris says they are expecting to deal with the unexpected.

“It’s been crazy. Our key word of the 2020 season is ‘flexibility.’ At every turn we are making a plan A, coming up with a plan B, a plan C, a plan D, and then still having to create a plan E when we get new information,” she said.

Smith is determined to adapt and overcome this season.

“I feel like now we are really prepared to handle schedule changes and practice changes and definitely the new guidelines and stuff. I feel like we’re just a very resilient group of people, and I feel like we’ll be able to get through it.”

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