Recent history says optimism for David City volleyball should be tempered. The last winning season was in 2015. Before that, 2008.
But a wait and see approach is not what new head coach Tali Reeves and the Scouts are taking into 2019.
"It’s exciting," said junior Lauren Vandenberg. "It’s great to get back into the swing of things and see all these new girls coming out. It’s really fun building new relationships."
David City started practice on Aug. 12 and played in jamboree games on Tuesday. The first game of the regular season is against St. Paul on Aug. 29 at David City.
With the quick turnaround it's been hard work to get ready for the season.
"The girls come ready to work," Reeves said. "Practices are intense. I think the girls are ready. They have a lot to work on still, but with our jamboree coming on Tuesday, it’s kind of quick. We’re ready to play."
Junior Payton Andel is also upbeat about the upcoming season.
"(Being back) feels great," she said. "I love volleyball. I love this team. It’s great to be out here playing the sport I love with the girls I love. It’s really fun. We have very good chemistry.
"We mesh really well together. We always lift each other up. We never have any negative attitudes or anything. It’s always positive. We’ve always gotten along well with each other. All summer, we’ve been working together and pushing each other. We’ve just kind of become family."
Despite not having a winning season in a few years, Reeves feels there are many positives, including team size
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"We have a couple girls that can really put the ball away," she said. "That’s one of our strengths. Defensively we’re getting there, serve receive we’re getting there, I think we’ll get there in a couple more practices."
For Reeves, the biggest hurdle so far is discussing and practicing everything she wants to before competition begins.
"Making sure you cover everything that you need before our first match," she said. "It’s only been six practices before we play. Trying to fit in all the different aspects of what we need to cover, that’s probably been my biggest challenge."
Despite suffering through losing seasons every year of their careers, none of the players who offered their thoughts were anything but positive about 2019.
"I feel like we can definitely have a winning season and I hoping that since we haven’t in the last two years that we can win a game in districts this year, make it farther than we have before, Andel said. "This team is definitely capable of doing that."
Part of this new-found confidence comes from a change in attitude since Reeves took over.
"It’s something new," Vandenberg said. "The work ethic and determination is a whole step higher. It’s more energetic. I think our goal for the season is just to come together and build a stronger relationship throughout and have more team chemistry. Hopefully that will lead to a winning season this year.
"We all just have to work together, push each other, constantly encourage each other and can’t let anyone get down because it just brings everyone else down. You just have to keep everyone up."
Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at DVDsport@lee.net