BASCOM - Some former Hopewell-Loudon volleyball players got an opportunity to relive some of their playing days Saturday. The school hosted its first alumni volleyball game, and 11 former players participated.
Krissy Lotycz, who coaches Hopewell-Loudon's varsity volleyball team, said she hopes to make it an annual event and make it bigger and better every year.
She said the former players still have their passion and fire to play.
PHOTO BY JILL GOSCHE
Former Hopewell-Loudon volleyball players greet each other at the net following their matches at the school Saturday afternoon.
"They haven't really lost their touch," she said.
The alumni played against the current varsity team, and then the alumni played against each other. Lotycz said she thought at first, her players were a little intimidated.
"I think overall, they picked up the intensity," she said.
As a 12-year-old, Lotycz played club volleyball with some Hopewell-Loudon players who would go on to win a state title.
"We all went out to nationals. My dad had coached us," she said.
Lotycz played volleyball at Gibsonburg High School, and her team was knocked out of the tournament in the regional semi-final at Elida by the Chieftains in 2001. Hopewell-Loudon went on to win its fifth-straight state title.
The Gibsonburg softball team won state titles in 2001 and 2002.
Lotycz said she wants to create a positive experience for her volleyball players. There is a lot of talent with which to work, but players are just inexperienced, she said.
"We're starting to do a fifth- and sixth-grade fall league," she said.
Several state champions were on the court for Saturday's alumni game. Didi Steckel won three state championships, including two on the volleyball court and one on the basketball court, when she played as Didi Reynolds.
She now lives in Dublin, Ohio, and her husband, David, plays hockey for the Anaheim Ducks.
"I stay (home) with the kids," she said.
Her parents, her husband, their daughter, 3-year-old Harper, and their twin infant sons, Tyson and Colton, watched her play in Saturday's alumni game.
Steckel, who played basketball at Ohio State, said she and her husband play in a summer volleyball league, but Saturday's alumni game was the first time she had played indoor volleyball since high school.
"It was so much fun. (It was) just fun to get back together with everybody to play," she said.
Steckel said it was nice to see Hopewell-Loudon's new school. She and her teammates played their high school games in the former building's large gym. The freestanding gym is the only piece of the former school building that remains across CR 7.