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Defending Class 6A champs Lions start summer workouts

Published: Jun. 19, 2020 at 7:03 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - This week, the Leon High School volleyball team returned to the courts.

The defending class 6A state champions are ready to defend their crown, even if the start of summer workouts were pushed back because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Like all Florida schools returning to sports, the feel is a little different.

“It’s very good,” junior right side Cailin Demps said. “You get to see all your teammates. A fresh start. It’s obviously different because coronavirus messed up a lot, but it’s good to get back in the gym.”

The players social distanced while working on their individual skills on the court, in the weight room and on the track.

“You can plan, plan, plan,” head coach Angie Strickland said, “But once the kids get in here it’s a little bit tougher to manage just because this is not normal.”

But, Coach Strickland says the team is behind eight-ball right now.

“Probably the ball control and then the team chemistry,” Strickland said. “Normal interaction isn’t occurring, so that’s going to take some time with just building chemistry with new kids, new players, new roles going into a new year.”

Last year, the Lions lost five seniors and only have two this year. However, Strickland says the expectations have not changed.

“I work way too hard to lower our expectations,” Strickland said. “Why are we here? We’re here to win it all. If we’re going to be here, we’re going to do it right.”

For juniors, Demps, she knows the champs have a target on their backs, but thinks the added attention will help the Lions raise their game.

“All the teams in town already know that we won State,” Demps said. “We have to keep that same level throughout the rest of the season and that competitiveness.”

Leon is looking to go back-to-back for the first time in school history.

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