Club volleyball offers chance to play at new levels

| March 27, 2013

COSHOCTON – Club volleyball at Kids America lets athletes take their game to a whole new level.

The teams are part of the Ohio Valley Region and see competition from other states. The players also have a better chance of being watched by college coaches and possibly earning a scholarship.

“You can have a hundred teams at a tournament and you are going to see the cream of the crop,” said Trista Claxon, who coaches the 16 and under regional team at Kids America. “The players are all very good and the competition pushes them to become better.”

According to Claxon, when Kids America started club volleyball three years ago it only had one under 14 team. It now has two under 12, one under 14, one under 15, one under 16, and one under 17 team. 

“The program has expanded widely under the leadership of Issac Bush, our director,” Claxon said.

The season starts with tryouts and then runs from December to May and Bush said Kids America hosts tournaments between the months of February and April.

“We’ve had teams here from Pittsburgh, Pa., Charleston, W.Va. and Cleveland,” he said. “Our program is valuable to the kids and the community. Teams that come from a couple of hours away will stay the night in our hotels, go out to eat and even shop somewhere local.”

Claxon practices with her girls twice a week and said they play in close to one tournament a week.

 “A tournament typically starts at 8 a.m. and will last until 6 or 7 at night,” she said. “Usually a team must win six matches to end in first place.”

Athletes on the club teams also learn to play with other people and the importance of jelling as a team.

Claxon’s team includes Amanda Lowery and Allie Dobson from Ridgewood High School, Madeline Hire, Lauren Hire and Katie Tupper from Coshocton High School, Kayla Metz and Taylor Ireland from River View High School and Rowan Rine from East Knox High School. Claxon also is assisted by Robin Hire.

“All students are under the age of 16,” she said. “We have three that are 16 and three that are 14. Most have varsity experience at their high school, and all have a desire to play volleyball at a very competitive level.”

Even though the girls have played off and on together for three years, they still had to learn each other’s strengths and abilities.

 “They learn to compensate and cover for each other,” Claxon said. “They also become friends and truly care about each other.”

The girls also have to learn to officiate and keep score.

“I think this helps them have a better understanding of the game,” Claxon said.

The athletes also are very respectful of each other and their opponents.

“The biggest compliment I’ve gotten wasn’t just about my team being good, it was that I had such nice respectful kids,” Claxon said.

She also is very happy that Kids America is giving area athletes the opportunity to play club volleyball and hosting the many tournaments that it does.

“A lot of people don’t realize what a wonderful facility we have right here in Coshocton,” Claxon said. “Kids America also keeps it cost effective so the kids can play. There also are scholarships available if someone needs one.”

To learn more about club volleyball, visit Kids America’s website at or, which is the Ohio Valley Region Volleyball site.

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Category: High School

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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