For the most part, Arnold Stonebrink loves his job as the head coach of the Lady Longhorn volleyball program.
But there is one duty he does not relish — making roster cuts.
At the onset of the season, after putting team candidates through rigorous workouts, he had to cut 10 girls from the program.
“It’s always difficult to do because you’re having to let go people who really want to play and benefit from volleyball,” he said. “That’s the most kids we’ve ever had to cut — we had a good turnout.”
He lopped the rosters after evaluating the players over the summer and in six hours of preseason tryouts.
Rendering the decision even tougher is the type of the players he had to release.
“The quality of players cut was the highest ever for us,” Stonebrink said. “A number of them in past years would have made the team.”
He attributes the talent of the teenagers to the local off-season program that drew about 90 pre-high school athletes.
“That shows how much having Club Rim has developed the young girls,” Stonebrink said. “The freshman class is probably the deepest freshman talent-wise that we’ve ever seen.”
With the rosters now set, coaches are preparing the athletes for the upcoming season, which tips off on all three levels, freshmen, junior varsity and varsity, on Aug. 25 in Holbrook.
However, the varsity roster is not set in stone stone.
“There is the possibility of bringing up jayvee players to varsity, Michelle Daniels did it last year,” Stonebrink said. “I can’t say, however, there is anyone right now I anticipate bringing up, although you never know.
“We will also bring up players to be designated servers on varsity if they are good enough.”
The coach predicts a few underclassmen might have the talent to serve at the upper level.
“There are a couple of terrific servers who made their mark in the summer,” Stonebrink said. “If they continue to light up the other team in their upcoming matches, we will let them serve at the top dogs on varsity.
“But, they would still practice and play mainly with the jayvee and freshmen,” he said.