Ready for the spotlight

Patty Hansen addresses the media Wednesday morning during the inaugural Talladega County Volleyball Media Day.

LINCOLN -- Lincoln High School hosted the inaugural Talladega County Volleyball Media Day on Wednesday in the school’s library.

Nine teams participated. Talladega County Central was the only school in the county to not have representatives available to the media.

“The primary goal was to make sure our girls in volleyball are getting recognized and they know we care about them in every aspect that they’re doing,” Lincoln head coach Patty Hansen said. “We want to do things for them just like we’ve done for other athletes. 

“We’re excited to get to do it and we just hope to promote them and get them out there to be seen. We’re just trying to make the sport of volleyball be bigger and grow in Talladega County.”

Hansen said media day was part of a series of events in a three-day stretch where representatives from UAB conducted a volleyball camp and teams in attendance competed in exhibition matches during the afternoon after media day had concluded.

Aside from promoting the sport, Hansen said media day yields other tangible benefits for the athletes involved.

“It prepares them for interviews with other people, and there’s some real life skills they can gain from this,” she said. “I just think it’s something in all our Talladega County schools, and I’m sure in the other schools, they are really pushing to have those kids ready to go into an interview and be able to sit in front of someone who they have no idea who it is and be able to answer questions and to communicate well with them.”

She added the coaches and players seemed well-prepared for their moment in the spotlight.

“For the most part, I think everyone was ready for it and was excited that we’re doing it,” Hansen said. “I think all the coaches have talked to me about the camp because we had the three-day camp and they’re all down there playing right now, so I kind of tied it into that and invited all the schools in the county to be at the camp -- and many of them did (attend).”

Hansen said she ensures every county volleyball coach receives notice in November about when the camp will be held the following summer.

“I hope they attend because it helps us all, and we can support one another,” she said. “Yes, we’re opponents on that court, but I think in the grand scheme of things, eventually these kids may have to work together whenever they go into their careers and jobs or whatever it may be. 

“I just think we still need to have camaraderie, respect and sportsmanship and make sure we’re doing good things for our kids.”

Moving forward, Hansen said she would like to see more media outlets in attendance for the event. She added she would work harder to grow the event, draw more media to future events and bring more recognition for the teams and the girls who put in the work towards their respective seasons.