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Up North: Boys Prep Volleyball Serving Up New Competition in the Northland

Created: April 23, 2019 05:26 PM

For the first time this spring six boys prep volleyball teams are battling it out in the Northern Minnesota Conference.

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"It's amazing. Some of them hadn't touched the ball, some of them had some experience, but still volleyball is a sport with all kinds of skills," said Proctor/Hermantown Coach Larry Modean about the expansion of boys volleyball at the high school level.

Setting up the conference are teams from Grand Rapids, Floodwood, Hibbing/Chisholm, Cloquet, and two teams from Proctor/Hermantown.

"The programs are pretty much pretty new here, first years," explained Proctor/Hermantown senior setter Avery Himes. "Previously, we had a club team we've played on, me and Grant, so we're pretty well known with each other in the volleyball community."

It's taken over a year to organize a prep league in Northern Minnesota. However, with the addition of the Northern Conference, there now a total of 94 teams playing in the state this year.

"It's kind of fun to play against other teams and schools. Then, we get a variety of different skill levels," added Proctor/Hermantown senior middle hitter Grant Arntson.

Boys volleyball isn't considered a certified Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) athletic program just yet, but it is the end goal for the student athletes and coaches currently participating.

"I expect it to grow. It's the most team sport in the world," said Modean. "It's a lifetime sport."

With interest in bringing boys volleyball to about 12 other Northland schools, they hope the sport continues to spike in it's growth around the state.

"Everyone is finally getting into volleyball. Everyone continues talking about when they're going to get a men's league for high school. I think eventually next year it's not just going to be club, it's going to be an actual school sponsored event," said Himes.

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