Robert Blakley’s longtime idea became a reality on Aug. 12.
The Madisonville volleyball coach hosted the school’s first annual alumni match that night at Madisonville High School. Approximately 25 former Madisonville players participated in the match, representing graduating classes ranging from 1990 to 2014.
“I’ve always had the idea of an alumni match,” Blakley said. “I want to bring back and make it an annual thing.”
Blakley’s original plan was to have the alumni team face his varsity team. But when he saw the number of alumni show up, he was able to split the alumni into two separate teams.
Luckily for Blakley and his current Madisonville team, he was able to find it an opponent — Shepherd. The Lady Mustangs defeated the Lady Pirates, 3-0, prior to the start of the alumni match.
Before the alumni match started, Blakley split the group into two teams. Kaley Morgan and Trease Tyler — both members of Madisonville’s Class of 2012 — served as captains for their respective teams.
Morgan’s team came out the victory in the match, which was a best-of-three contest. The scores were 25-23, 16-25, 25-24.
“I hope it grows and expands each year,” Blakley said. “I thought it went well and everyone had fun. Volleyball is a sport that you can play for the rest of your life.”
Other alumni who participated in the match were current Madisonville volleyball assistant and head cross country coach Jo Dorman, Laney Smith, Lara Patterson, Johnnie Merchant, Kassidy Childers, Sarah Bankhead, Josefine Henderson, Tory Josey, Melvina McCoy, Jasmine Shaffer, Lexi Standley, Hannah Shirley, Kacey Creel, Kayla Cooper, Nefeteria Davis, Chasity Young and Hope Cooper. Blakley tentatively plans to have next year’s alumni match on Aug. 11, 2015.