John O’Dell was “extremely surprised, but overjoyed” to hear the volleyball season would be postponed until March 1.
The Fairport boys volleyball coach was vocally in support of a delay, which he discussed with Red Raiders athletic director Fritz Killian.
“I felt like moving to the spring was our best chance at a real season,” said O’Dell. “I was hoping the AD would advocate for me and I was advocating for my kids and we were hoping to put a voice out there that would represent the voice of the students.”
His players, including senior Mason Yusko, was equally as excited to learn the news.
“I was super excited, jumping up and down,” said Yusko. “I couldn’t believe it.”
Yusko heard the announcement at his club volleyball team’s practice. Many of his teammates also played club through the summer, which he feels will be helpful in the spring.
“When the season does come, we’re not starting off not having touched a volleyball,” said Mason.
The team can begin offseason conditioning workouts, per the Department of Health guidelines, on September 21. Even though the Red Raiders won’t be preparing for a state tournament, both Yusko and O’Dell feel the competition is enough within Section V.
“Even though we’re not going to be able to go to states or anywhere else, I think we have one of the stronger sections,” said Yusko. “It’s going to be really competitive with McQuaid, Penfield, and Victor.”
“Rochester volleyball is so strong, we rarely look beyond Section V,” said O’Dell. “We’re fighting for that sectional championship and we have athletes who are lucky enough to do that every year. To cancel the state tournaments and focus on local competition in Section V is smart, and from a competitive standpoint doesn’t affect us at all.”