By Patrick Helmick
When people think of fall sports, usually the first sport that is thought of on the boy’s side is football and field hockey on the girl’s side. Even though both of these teams will have successful years at Milford this year, there is a sport this fall that will endure high intensity games and one that encompasses passionate athletes that should also be on your radar this year. That sport is Milford Volleyball.
Milford Volleyball is a newer program at the high school. They have only been a team for four seasons previous to this year. Even though this is a young program, every year the Milford Volleyball team has shown huge improvements. From an unfortunate losing season five years ago, the Milford Volleyball team worked their way up to a (5-9) season standing last year.
Throughout the last four years, the team has been coached by Pat Darlin. After Pat Darlin stepped down, Gary Wissler came up to serve. Coach Wissler currently has his eye on having a very competitive season this year and on the Milford girls working hard in every game. Coach Wissler’s goals are, “To continue to improve the skills of each player over the course of the season. We have high expectations for our athletes.”
The athletes will show improvement throughout the season because Coach Wissler’s training is focused on building a solid foundation. “I am committed to teaching the proper techniques and concentrate on the basics of the game,” said Wissler. Fortunately for the Milford Lady Bucs, Coach Wissler is not new to volleyball by any means. He played for base teams and base leagues during his tenure in the United States Air Force. Coach Wissler has a strong background in coaching as well. He has coached adult volleyball leagues and travel volleyball for U16 and U17 teams. He certainly has what it takes to take this team to the top.
Coach Wissler says he has a very strong team and that a core group of juniors will shape his varsity line up this season, but he has his eye on one player to help carry his team and that buccaneer is Madison Rogers. “Madison is a junior who can play numerous positions for our team. She has that All-Conference talent.”
Madison Rogers has a lot of experience under her belt. “I have been playing volleyball for six years. All summer I have been playing for a travel team and working out at open gyms and at home. I also recently played in a tournament in Florida,” Madison said. When asked about her expectations for this season, Madison said, “I hope to be successful. I hope to be as good as last year even though we are in a rebuilding year.”
Even with the rebuilding year at hand, Madison knows she will still have fun as she said, “I like volleyball because of how competitive it is and how much fun everyone has as well as all of the support you get.” Even as a junior, Madison is already looking toward the future. She wants to attend a smaller college, either Division II or Division III, to further her education.
The Lady Bucs have a very exciting and competitive season approaching. They have eight home games this season. The first game will be against Sussex Tech on September 15 and the first home game will be on Thursday, September 17 at 5:00pm in the Milford Central Academy gymnasium against Seaford.