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Akimoto to coach Douglas High School volleyball

Chuck Smock, Record-Courier sports editor

Scott Akimoto will have barely six weeks to get ready for his first season as the Douglas High varsity volleyball coach.

And he’s not wasting any time getting started on his goal of becoming the third coach to guide the Tigers to the state tournament in the last three years.

Akimoto has scheduled a meeting for prospective players for Monday at 7 p.m. at Douglas High.

The team’s first conditioning workout is set for Tuesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m., also at DHS.

Open-gym practices will start Wednesday at Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School.

Akimoto, a veteran coach and former college and pro beach volleyball player, already is familiar with several players in the DHS program, however.

As the head coach of the Silver State Juniors Volleyball Club team, Akimoto worked with several Douglas High players this summer, including returning varsity players Jamie McCreary and Andrea Honer, and Emily Haas and Tess Sheridan, who helped the Douglas junior varsity post a 17-1 league record last season.

“Always, our goal will be making it to the state tournament and winning a state championship, but, hopefully these kids are going to have as much fun as possible,” Akimoto said. “We’re not going to put too much pressure on the kids to win. I think the winning will come when they start learning the technique and getting better as a group.”

Akimoto has been hired to replace David Myers, who resigned after one season as the Tigers coach to spend more time with his family.

Kira Laden, a counselor at Douglas High who also has coached with the Silver State club, will be the new junior varsity coach this fall.

And Akimoto said he is pursuing two former Division I players to fill the vacant head coaching position with the DHS freshman team.

“I feel really good about the program,” Akimoto said. “Our first objective will be to get them in shape and to get a lot of ball-touches. We’re going to do a lot of running and weight lifting.

“For the older players, we want to show them how a Division I (college) program is run. We’ll talk about what they (Division I players) eat and don’t eat. We want to get them on the right track to get them to the next level – playing college volleyball.”

Akimoto played volleyball for one year at Long Beach State and for three years at the University of Hawaii. He played professionally in Europe as well as for the AVP pro beach tour and the Bud Lite Pro Beach four-man tour.

He was the head coach at Harbor High School in Santa Cruz, Calif., and was an assistant coach at Cabrillo Junior College in Aptos, Calif.