Double dip

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

Shanetta Craig is pulling double duty these days.

The former Selma High volleyball player is part of the upstart program at Wallace-Selma, and she’s helping her former team get up to speed for the coming season.

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The first scholarship player to come from the Saints’ volleyball program, Craig knows how important it is to give back to younger players.

“If they can handle me, they can handle anybody,” Craig said of Selma’s players. “I like to come back. I miss high school a lot. I like to come back and help them.”

Craig will also be a major help to coach April Harper, who is taking a young but somewhat experienced team into the season.

Harper hopes the individual and team work her players did over the summer will pay off this fall.

“I had two seniors to begin with last year,” Harper said. “These girls have been playing together since the eighth grade, and now some of them are 10th graders. (They did) a lot of summer camps. We’re going to stay positive when the season comes.”

Harper said she’s pleased with what her players have done so far in practice, but not satisfied.

“Ready or not, that first game is Aug. 23,” she said. “We’re going to show up and give 110 percent of what we have. Volleyball doesn’t change very much other than what plays you want to run. I’m going to try to put the best people in position. I don’t care if they’re eighth, ninth or 12th graders.

“If they’re the best people, they’re going to play.”

The best-case scenario is that two of those standout players will be veterans.

And if some young players step up and contribute, the Saints will that much better.

“Two seniors I’m looking to do big things are Gabrielle Goudy and Andreka Trone,” Harper said. “Tiffany Lister has been a nice surprise. She went to summer camp, and her passing is a whole lot better.”

Craig, meanwhile, is looking forward to helping the players at her alma mater.

She also echoed Harper’s sentiments about the game.

“Everywhere you go, it’s the same sport,” Craig said. “There’s nothing new, really. I just have to put my grades first because I’m in college now, but it’s mostly the same. I enjoy competing at a higher level.”