Local student to be member of Junior Olympic Team
Nick Johnston, Hartselle Enquirer
A local student will be able to show off her talents to the world next month.
Hensley Collins, an 11-year old Barkley Bridge Elementary School student, will be a member of the 12-and-under volleyball team.
Collins, who will play for the Rocket City Volleyball Club out of Huntsville, will play in at least seven games against more than 50 teams.
"It's exciting," Collins said. "We'll get to play teams from places like Japan and other countries all over the world."
Collins said she is also excited about seeing the Women's World Volleyball Team, who will participate in an exhibition."
Collins never had played volleyball before getting involved in a league in Decatur. That league fizzled out, but a league in Huntsville came calling for her.
The Rocket City Volleyball Club (RCVC), coached by a former Olympian and several high school and junior high coaches, is a Junior Olympic program for girls ages 10-18. But with not enough girls in her age group, Collins was forced to play with 13-year olds.
"I was a little intimidated," she said. "I didn't know anything at first, but now I understand it."
Not only does she understand it, but she's pretty good, too. By season's end, Collins was starting ahead of 13-year olds.
In fact, she was so good, it caught the attention of Rose Magers-Powell. Powell is the director and coach of the RCVC. She has a long list of credentials, including being a member of the silver medal winning 1984 Olympic Team.
Powell invited Collins to a tryout for the NJO team, and was most impressed with her at the serve-receive position.
Powell is not an easy coach to impress, according to Collins' mother, Molly.
"She was very hard, at first," Molly said. "She's a tough trainer, but she's so good. She has taught Hensley so much."
Powell's instruction on the 13-year old team has helped Hensley land on the Junior Olympic Team.
A Golf Tournament in Huntsville is scheduled to help pay for the trip. Three teams will take the trip and cost approximately $10,000.
The tourney, held at Sunset Landing Golf Course, is a four-man scramble format at a cost of $240 per team. The fee includes the round of golf, a cart, lunch, along with longest drive, closest to the pin and several door prizes. There also will be first, second and third place team awards.
There also are corporate sponsorships available at $2,500. This includes a banner at the tournament and an entry for four into the tournament. A hole sponsorship, costing $100, includes a sign at a tee-box, while a cart sponsorship is $50.
Contact Molly Collins at 758-5944 for more information. Entry deadline is May 29.