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PREP VOLLEYBALL: Lady Rams seek to develop ‘family’ mindset
NHS Vball
The Lady Rams have been hard at work this summer in preparation for the 2022 fall season, as seen here during a practice this week. - photo by Phillip B. Hubbard

COVINGTON, Ga. — The Newton High School girls volleyball team is gearing up for a fresh season to commence shortly. Third-year head coach, Daniel Caraway has stressed one thing all summer long: Developing a family mindset. 

Caraway said that he’s always been a huge proponent of instilling this in any team he coaches. 

“We’re going to focus on the team and getting the girls to work together and be a family,” Caraway said. 

“I promote the family mentality where sisters can have arguments but, at the end of the day, we need to put it aside and love each other and work toward a common goal.” 

Last season, the Lady Rams finished the season 0-11, but they did have a few players make the All-Region team for their individual performances. Makenzie Joseph received Second Team All-Region honors while Adrianna Lewis, Jewel Harper and Sanaya March received honorable mention for Region 4-AAAAAAA in 2021. 

Nevertheless, Caraway highlighted how the team’s cohesiveness and competitive spirit will go a long way in producing better results on the volleyball court in 2022. 

“The girls are going to have to want it,” Caraway said. 

“At the beginning of the year, I tell them, ‘The results we want happen at the end of the season when we play our region matches and the region tournament. 

“That’s the results we want. Everything else up until then is practice.

“What matters first is that the girls are having fun and that they’re learning and growing. Then second, what happens in the region.”

However,  history has already been made for the volleyball program even before the first serve has been made. 

In his three years at Newton, Caraway has taken notice of a steady increase in volleyball interest for the Lady Rams. 

For instance, last year, 32 students tried out for the team while this year, over 60 students came out for the tryouts. 

The increase in participants will allow for a ninth grade team to take the court for the first time in Newton High School volleyball history. 

The Lady Rams’ 2022 campaign will begin at Eastside when they face the Lady Eagles and Rockdale County on Aug. 11.