Paris School District Maintenance Supervisor Kevin Conkin has labeled it Eagles Beach and says the district now owns “beach front property.”
He’s talking about the three regulation size beach sand volleyball pits under construction south of Eagles Stadium on the Paris High School campus.
The idea for building them came from volleyball coach Wes Davis, who said the pits will give volleyball teams additional practice space that will also help players get into better shape.
When Davis approached Conkin about building the pits, Conkin told Davis if he could get the funding and the approval of Superintendent Wayne Fawcett, his maintenance crew would build them.
Davis got the funding when Dr. Jason Rickey agreed to pay for the sand and equipment required. Work on the pits started last week and should be finished in about two weeks, Conkin said.
Davis said having the sand pits helps his program in various ways.
“This is something I’ve been wanting since I got here six years ago,” Davis said.
“With the number of players we have in the program, getting players enough time on volleyball courts can be a problem,” Davis said. The volleyball teams have three gyms where they can practice. “This will give them a place to play when the gyms aren’t open.
“It will also give us good cross training,” he said. “Playing in sand will help develop quickness and jumping ability. In the gym, it’s all about speed and power. On sand, it’s more finesse. With sand, girls can start playing at a younger age.
“When we go out to practice, everybody will be able to play,” Davis said. “This does for my program what an indoor practice facility does for a football program.”
Davis said he knows of one other high school in the state with a sand volleyball pit — Shiloh Christian Academy.
Also, having three pits will allow the Paris School District to host beach volleyball tournaments. And Davis is already working on that.
“I hope to have the first tournament this summer,” he said. “I’m also thinking about having an open tournament for the public.