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PCHS volleyball brings in new leadership

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    The Lady War Eagle varsity volleyball team works on setting under watchful eye of new head coach Francisco Aguirre.ARELLA CASH/Staff
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    Kady Batchelor and Shamaya Jones watch Kyreah Martin’s pass. ARELLA CASH/Staff
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    At the net is Putnam County’s Shamaya Jones. Alexia Hartry waits her turn in back. ARELLA CASH/Staff

The new leader of girls volleyball at Putnam County High School brings important knowledge of the game to a program still in the growing stages.

Francisco Aguirre, a native of Nicaragua, grew up playing volleyball. He arrived in the United States six years ago and will be a Spanish teacher at the high school.

Aguirre first became involved in volleyball at the age of 12.

“A long time ago,” he said, a veiled reference to his age, which he did not specify. “My mom had a restaurant and a supermarket, and the supermarket had a team. Every weekend they had volleyball games. Sometimes when they had practice, I practiced with them.”

In those practices, Aguirre learned everything about volleyball from steps to serving. He played in high school and in college. He attended college and earned his degree in Costa Rica. When he wasn’t playing anymore, Aguirre worked closely with the assistant college coach to learn more about being an instructor.

Aguirre’s first stop in the U.S. was in the south Georgia town of Tifton, where he worked with the girls volleyball program at Tift County High and at the middle school level.

Surprisingly enough, Aguirre’s college degree was in performing arts.

“Nothing like volleyball,” he said.

“I like volleyball. I have a lot of knowledge about volleyball. That’s the reason the athletic director gave me the opportunity to lead the volleyball team here.

“I know it needs a lot of work in the foundation. For me, it’s more (about) competition, not like a club and they come just to be friendly or enjoy the time. It’s a competition. That’s my goal for this team, that they can play very well and have competition with the other team. It’s not just, ‘Oh, the ball is coming. I got it.’ No, you need to be working hard. I know that they’ve played well, but they need more work in volleyball.” Aguirre’s first summer

Aguirre’s first summer workout with the War Eagles was on July 26, and seven participated. They set up the net in the high school gym, but they didn’t start out with the volleyballs in hand. Aguirre put them through agility drills to move in the different directions a volleyball may approach you, and then say, ‘Got it.’ There was also jumping at the net from one post to the other. The coach gave them tennis balls to throw using the hitting motion. Some throws went straight down, others were lobbed up high.

Then they each took a real volleyball to practice serving, for nothing can lead to a point more than getting that ball over the net in play to the other team.

“My idea is that foundation,” said Aguirre about his plans for player development at Putnam County. “For example, how to receive the ball. How to hit the ball. How to serve the ball. All of this is foundation. If they have that information, they understand how to do that, they can play. In volleyball, you have to move everywhere. Where the ball goes, you need to move.”

The first official practice was Aug. 2, and the season opening game for 2021 is slated for Aug. 12 at Bethlehem Christian.

PCHS volleyball 2021

Aug. 12 at Bethlehem Christian...........................4:30 p.m.

Aug. 17 at Jones County...............................................5 p.m.

Aug. 19 at Baldwin..........................................................5 p.m.

Aug. 24 at Barrow Arts & Science..........................5-7 p.m.

Aug. 26 at Walnut Grove..............................................6 p.m.

vs. Collins Hill (at WG)....................................7 p.m.

Sept. 2 at Cedar Shoals................................................5 p.m.

vs. Athens Christian (at CS)..........................6 p.m.

Sept. 9 Oglethorpe.......................................................5 p.m.

Lake Oconee Academy................................7 p.m.

Sept. 14 at Rockdale County........................................5 p.m.

Sept. 16 Elbert County...................................................5 p.m.

Washington-Wilkes........................................7 p.m.

Sept. 23 at Commerce....................................................5 p.m.

vs. Rabun County............................................6 p.m.

Sept. 28 at Union County..............................................5 p.m.

vs. Banks County.............................................6 p.m.