Ponies, Lady ‘Stangs camp with new varsity coach


New and returning volleyball players at Madisonville CISD geared up for the upcoming season and met the Lady Mustangs’ new varsity coach.

The Madisonville Volleyball Camp for grades 7-12 took place at MCISD’s main gym July 26-27. Attendance at the camp was voluntary for athletes aspiring to be part of next year’s junior high or high school volleyball teams.

Leading the camp was James Barker. Although not part of Madisonville’s staff, Barker has coached at various schools throughout Texas and has reportedly had great success. He helped to form the first men’s club volleyball team at Tarleton State University.

Also helping to form the Tarleton State team was Robert Blakley, who was named Madisonville High School’s new head volleyball coach this past summer. He’s been a friend and teammate of Barker for 17 years.

“I think the camp was a huge success and will help jump start every athlete who attended,” Blakley said. “We had 23 girls show up for the camp.”

Blakley, who replaces two-year Madisonville coach Dana Perkins at the helm of Lady Mustang volleyball, was hired by MCISD around the end of the spring semester and moved to town in June. Last week’s camp was Blakley’s best opportunity so far to see what the district’s athletes are like.

“Coach Barker and myself being alike helped set the tone on what the girls can expect from my own coaching philosophies and strategy,” said Blakley. “It looks like we have a lot of work to do in order to become one of the elite teams, but I have no doubt we will accomplish far more than is expected, and I never set my goals low.”

More information and words from Blakley will be in The Meteor later this month.