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Aug 3, 1998

Volleyball team heads to Venezuela games

Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is another serving of Sports Monday.

As the Belizean contingent to the eighteenth Central American and Caribbean Games continues its final preparations to Wednesday’s departure we peeked in on the training session of the National Male Volleyball Team yesterday. We step into the City Centre this quiet Sunday evening to find an eight-man unit working on its offensive firepower. Oscar Arnold is the setter as the hammer comes crashing down. There are no opponents today which makes it even more important that the smash is effectively executed. It’s a half an hour drill.

Coach Allan Sharpe then switches getting the team’s offense going, trying to co-ordinate every move they’ll take to Venezuela, demonstrating one of the set pieces. The session intensifies when with the use of a folding chair for defensive purposes, which forces the smashes to read just their shots by increasing the degree of difficulty. It’s a long and repetitive sequence but these players are preparing to play everyday for some ten days and there’s really nobody to compete against at this level in town right now.

Q: “What do you think our chances are of pulling off something at these games?”

Joseph Enriquez, Spiker

“Well that’s kinda hard to tell because yes, the teams are bigger and more experienced but you never know, maybe you run into a streak of luck and things work your way. I hope that we’re good enough to compete that’s why we’re there.”

Oscar Arnold, Setter

“This time it’s a very big tournament. We’ll meet powerhouses like Cuba, Mexico, some teams like Puerto Rico. Some of those guys have players who are playing professionally but we need to batch our calibre. There’s going to be Guatemala and Honduras as well as the Dominican Republic and we feel that we can play with those guys.

Honduras is right now ranked number one in Central America so definitely beating them we will be consistently at the level that we want to be in Central America.”

Q: “Looking at the workout you are one of the taller personnel on this unit. Going out there certainly the level of competition even in terms of height will be much increased. What’s your feeling on that? I think our team is a little bit small.”

Derek Morgan, Spiker

“Well you can look at it that way but skillwise you have to make up for size, skillwise. On the international scene there are many teams with hitters like my size. For example Cuba that’s ranked number three or two in the world, two or three of their main hitters are six four and smaller. So when you look at size you gotta look at jumping ability too. Because a guy might be six seven but he can’t jump but I am six two and I can play bigger than him because I jump higher.”

Allan Sharpe, Head Coach

“Well I must say that because we have been through the qualifiers and we have been practicing quite frequently for the past year or so that the guys are basically peaking at this time. I think they will go out and do a good showing for our country.”

Q: “I was speaking to some of your players and they seem to think that they can overcome this height disadvantage that they obviously display going into Venezuela?”

Allan Sharpe

“Yes, luckily for our country we have guys that can really jump. They can jump high so I think although some of the other teams are taller we can jump and we’re normally faster. We are also going into a very hot city. We understand that the temperature is well over a hundred degrees every single day. Countries like Honduras and Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Cuba – all these countries will have great difficulty with that temperature and we won’t.”

We can only say that we were impressed with the focus of the male volleyball team. They are clearly organized and they’re going to the Venezuela games with the right attitude. I’m a Belizean and I know you are too and we certainly wish our team success.

In other volleyball news Continental Flyers roared pass Belize Bank 21-15, 21-14 while Central Bank defaulted to S.Q. Dragon on Saturday’s ticket in firm division play.

In closing folks we want to remind you that the Belize Football League opens its annual season this Sunday August ninth. Nine of the ten teams are returning for sure. The future of San Pedro is still a bit up in the air. As soon as we get something new on that we will pass it on.

That’s it; I’m James Adderley. Jah over all.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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