While some boys' volleyball teams struggle to fill out a roster, ’s first squad already has its set.
“It’s because of the boys [the team] got started,” coach Linda Willits said outside of the gym at the newly-built Fred Korematsu Campus.
“They got in the [athletic director’s] ears, they were adamant" about starting a team, she said.
The junior varsity and varsity squads are made up of a total of 14 student-athletes, with a fairly even distribution of classes from freshman to senior. Coach Willits says she’s impressed so far with the talent throughout her teams’ ranks.
“It’s a deep bunch,” said Willits.
The only other schools in the Hayward Area Athletic League with boys' teams are Moreau Catholic High and Tennyson High. Because of the low number of teams in the league, the Pirates compete against many non-league opponents.
Many of the teams the Pirates face are composed of players who have participated in youth volleyball and who also play in non-scholastic leagues. Because of their relative inexperience, the Pirates have struggled a bit in their first season.
The boys have yet to win a game, but Coach Willits is looking further down the line. She is very optimistic about the potential of her team.
“I had high expectations coming in, and they completely surpassed them,” she said.
For now, Willits’s goal for the Pirates is simply to “get better with each game, and give 150 percent. If they perform and do what they need to do, the wins will come.”
The team has a few more games in the regular season. The boys will not be competing in the post-season due to the team’s current "club" status. The Pirates are looking forward to becoming an official team next season.
Coach Willits says she is proud of her first-year squad and is looking forward to establishing a tradition at San Leandro High.
“[The boys are] amazing athletes and amazing people. We get along well. It’s a family,” Willits said.
Catch the team’s final match at home against Kennedy High School on Friday, April 29, at 5 p.m.