Although Club Rim, Payson’s first team to participate statewide on the club volleyball scene, has folded, Payson High School head coach Arnold Stonebrink is offering an alternative for girls hoping to continue to compete once the prep season has ended.
Stonebrink says he decided months ago to resurrect the Go-Girl volleyball program that was originally begun two years ago by Show Low coach Rene Rogers.
“It was created for those girls in the area who don’t play regular club volleyball due to financial concerns or the long trips to the Valley for tournaments,” Stonebrink said. “They (Rogers) invited us and I coached the middle school girls.”
At the time, Stonebrink’s daughter, Kelsee, was a middle school student allowing him the opportunity to coach her.
“The (Go-Girl) tournaments were held in Show Low once a month for four months,” the coach said. “The competition was very good and featured teams from Show Low, Blue Ridge, Snowflake, Round Valley, St. Johns, Mogollon and Payson.
“It was very beneficial as a club program.”
But last year, Payson bid adieu to Go-Girl and joined Trevor and Shelli Creighton’s Club Payson program.
This year, however, the winds of change howled again after Club Rim fell by the wayside and Stonebrink opted to restart Go-Girl.
To participate, players pay only a $10 per tournament fee, which, Stonebrink says, “Saves a lot of money for those who can’t afford regular club ball.”
The coach contends Go-Girl is, “Going well, we have a good amount of girls and will play four tournaments this season.”
The Lady Horn coach, however, is most elated that, “Of all the underclassmen in last fall’s programs, freshmen, sophomores and juniors, only three girls are not playing for either Club Payson or Go-Girl.”