Wednesday, 22 May 2024

Making History: The Creation of Morehouse Volleyball

Collin Concepcion’s journey to collegiate volleyball was unexpectedly reignited when he enrolled at Morehouse College, a men’s Historically Black College/University (HBCU) in Atlanta. Despite thinking his volleyball career was over, he found himself joining the Morehouse College volleyball team after a two-year effort to build the program. In partnership with First Point Volleyball Foundation and USA Volleyball, Morehouse and five other HBCUs received a grant to form a collegiate men’s volleyball team. After a year’s delay due to the pandemic, Concepcion and the team are finally taking the court.

A Team Built on Talent and Passion

While Concepcion and Head Coach Emory Lightfoot recognized that volleyball may not be widely known in the Black community, the Morehouse campus proved to be a surprise hub of volleyball talent. Lightfoot had two players who signed specifically for the team, while the rest, including Concepcion, joined as walk-ons after an open tryout. The pool of talent exceeded Lightfoot’s expectations, with a staggering 52 players showing up for the tryout. Many of them already had experience playing high school volleyball.

Overcoming Challenges

Building the volleyball program at Morehouse was not without its challenges. Lightfoot, having joined the staff in 2020 during the pandemic, faced the difficulty of recruiting athletes solely through digital means. He found it challenging to build a rapport with potential signees without face-to-face interactions. The team also faced numerous setbacks, including three shutdowns and travel restrictions, making the journey to establishing the program a true test of faith.

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Spreading the Word and Making History

The creation of Morehouse volleyball goes beyond finding talented players. Lightfoot has taken on the responsibility of preparing the court, organizing the schedule, and marketing the team on and off campus. He encourages the players to promote themselves and the team through social media, urging them to create their own energy and spark. Concepcion, as co-captain and setter, embraces his role as a leader on and off the court, ensuring the school and the team are engaged and advocating for themselves. This inaugural team represents a historical moment for Morehouse, and they are ready to make their mark.

FAQs

Q: How did Morehouse College form its volleyball team?
A: Morehouse College, in collaboration with First Point Volleyball Foundation and USA Volleyball, received a grant to establish a collegiate men’s volleyball team. This program was part of an effort to promote volleyball in historically black colleges and universities.

Q: How did the players join the Morehouse volleyball team?
A: While some players signed specifically for the team, the majority joined as walk-ons after an open tryout. Morehouse College had an astounding turnout, with 52 players showing up for the tryout, many of whom already had experience playing high school volleyball.

Summary

The creation of the Morehouse College volleyball team marks a significant moment in both the school’s history and the world of collegiate volleyball. Collin Concepcion’s unexpected journey back to the sport and the efforts of Head Coach Emory Lightfoot have led to the establishment of a talented and passionate team. Despite facing challenges, such as recruiting during the pandemic, the team is now ready to make their mark on the court. Morehouse volleyball represents a historic moment for the college and the broader volleyball community, and they are excited to showcase their skills and passion for the game.

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Follow Morehouse Volleyball on Instagram for the latest updates and to be a part of history.