Boys volleyball added for spring sports

SJAA hopes to encourage more Southeast Asian players

Adan Banks, Guest Writer

This spring season, Bear Creek is fielding its first ever men’s volleyball team, a move that some are hoping will result in more Southeast Asian student participants.
The Athletics Directors of the San Joaquin Athletics Association (SJAA) have agreed to implementing men’s volleyball into the selection of sports available to Bear Creek students. The primary reason for this introduction of a new sport was to appeal to the Southeast Asians in the league. The Southeast Asian population at Bear Creek accounts for 31 percent of the student body according to data provided to the government. (stat of southeast asians in football, basketball, baseball)
“We’re looking to cast a wide net for all boys… but [men’s volleyball] does seem to be particularly popular in the Southeast Asian community,” Athletic Director Jason Johnson said. “We serve a great number of Southeast Asian students and I would like to see increased numbers in their participation in sports.”
Bear Creek’s student body has already expressed interest in this sport, and many students are excited to try out this spring season. While Bear Creek has not applied for a junior varsity or freshman program for men’s volleyball, it may be necessary for such an anticipated sport.
“I’m looking forward to playing men’s volleyball, and it seems a lot more exciting than sports like swimming that I usually do in the spring season,” junior Brandon Mak said. “Ever since P.E. class started offering it in middle school I’ve been excited to play again.”
Some factors, however, must be accounted for prior to the implementation of this sport. Other sports, such as badminton and tennis, that appeal mainly to the Asian population are also spring sports and will experience more competition when men’s volleyball is introduced.
“I played tennis last year, but now that I know men’s volleyball is going to be offered, I think I might try out for that,” sophomore Bobby Nguyen said. “I don’t know if I’ll like it more than tennis, but it seems really fun.”
Not only does men’s volleyball appeal to the same group of students as other sports offered at Bear Creek, it also conflicts with the schedule of one in particular. Jimmy Nguyen, chemistry teacher and the women’s badminton head coach at our school, is concerned about the scheduling conflicts that may be facilitated by the introduction of men’s volleyball.
“When men’s volleyball is offered here as a sport, incoming Southeastern Asian freshmen might join it instead of badminton,” Nguyen said. “Both badminton and volleyball use the same facilities and adding another sport into the time frame would just create more conflict with scheduling.”
These problems will need to be solved with the introduction of men’s volleyball for it to be a sport that thrives in not just attracting the Southeast Asian community to try out a sport, but a sport that gives all students an opportunity to participate in a sport.