When your program is named Fast Fours, you don’t slow down much.
After a short break, Hurst L.D. Bell volleyball players are back in action with their Fast Fours summer program. They took a two-week break while the gym floors were being refinished, followed by the July 4 holiday, but now they are back and rejuvenated, said head coach Jinni Walker.
Fast Fours, in its various forms, allows participants to play on the same team of four for a determined amount of time and/or points. Teams keep track of their cumulative points throughout the evening. Teams can move up or down a court based on their number of points.
“It’s a fun environment because we are listening to music and everyone is competing against the other teams,” Walker said.
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“Fast Fours is going well,” she said. “I’m grateful to parents and student-athletes for getting the word out.”
I don’t think I realized how cool it would be to see sixth-graders getting to play against and interact with high school players.
L.D. Bell volleyball coach Jinni Walker
The age levels vary from sixth-graders to former varsity players who are now Bell alumnae.
Walker recalled a recent gathering prior to the break. Past, present and future all came together.
“We had two groups of sixth-graders, a group of eighth-graders (with a sixth grader joining them), and then our girls joined in as doubles teams in order to add variety and a varied level of competition,” she said. “We also had a couple of alumnae participate as well.
“It is really fun seeing the different generations of Bell volleyball come together.”
The idea behind Fast Fours is to advance the sport of volleyball at Bell, along with raising funding for the program. Cost is $5 per player and all proceeds go directly to the volleyball program.
The program has two more nights in the summer session, July 19 and 26. It runs from 6-8 p.m. at the Bell gym.
“I’m very grateful to our athletic director and administrators for making that possible,” Walker said. “Our current players have been awesome volunteers by helping with setup and take down, welcoming kiddos, and filling in where needed.
“Girls either come as an already set group of four, or we pair them up with others that don’t quite have a full team.”
Walker said the idea for Fast Fours came from a parent, Sarah Keith, at a booster club meeting. With the help of other parents sharing the word on social media and among the junior highs and elementary schools, attendance has been strong, she said.
“To be honest, I wasn’t at all sure if we would have girls attend. There is so much going on this summer,” Walker said. “Don’t get me wrong, I would love to host a larger group. But each of the nights we’ve hosted to date have been a success. I see nothing but smiles.
“I don’t think I realized how cool it would be to see sixth-graders getting to play against and interact with high school players. Obviously, girls at a certain level might have to adjust their play, but one of the best ways to improve is to play people better than you.
“All of these girls are having a wonderful time, getting to know each other a little bit better, and really adding to our culture. We want girls that are excited to play for and represent L. D. Bell.”