Robert Winterhalter is in his second year as the Lodi High athletic director.
Last spring, Winterhalter saw a new sport arrive on the campus. In the spring of 2020, another one will be added to the long list of spring sports offered at Lodi High.
On Tuesday, Winterhalter confirmed that there are plans to field a first-ever Lodi High varsity boys volleyball team. The Flames would be one of five Tri-City Athletic League schools that are fielding teams; Lincoln, Tracy, St. Mary’s and West are the others. Last spring, Lincoln, along with Tracy, St. Mary’s and West, fielded their first-ever boys volleyball teams.
“I expect to only offer varsity this first year since we only have a single stipend available,” Winterhalter said.
Lodi would become the second area high school that fields a boys volleyball team. Lodi Academy High boys’ squad, which Athletic Director Kory Gabrys coaches, has had one for the last three seasons, and off and on throughout this decade. Lodi Academy is a member of the Mountain Valley League.
Winterhalter has started the process to hire the school’s first-ever boys volleyball head coach.
“Once we hire a coach, we will hold a meeting to gauge students interest and go from there,” Winterhalter said.
After the head coach is hired, Winterhalter said he and the new coach would start making the pre-season matches. League play would start afterwards. Most likely, the Flames’ non-league schedule will consist of playing against other schools in the San Joaquin Athletic Association, which is all Stockton high schools.
“I haven’t made contact with any schools yet,” Winterhalter said. “I’m sure there are also tournaments but haven’t looked into those yet either.”
Lodi will be the second high school among the four in Lodi Unified School District that fields a boys volleyball team; Bear Creek High is the other. Bear Creek and McNair are members of the SJAA. McNair is also part of the LUSD.
In February, Tokay High Athletic Director Michael Holst had put the word out on campus about starting a boys volleyball team for last spring. But there was “not enough interest.”
On Wednesday, Holst said another attempt will be made for the 2020 season.
Competitive cheerleading was the first new sport that Lodi High fielded last spring.
“Two new CIF sports in two years,” said Winterhalter of the California Interscholastic Federation adopting competitive cheer. “That’s pretty good growth.”
Liberty Ranch High also fielded a competitive cheerleading squad last spring.
Along with boys volleyball and competitive cheerleading, Lodi High has spring sports teams in badminton, baseball, boys golf, softball, swimming/diving and track and field.
Contact Mike Bush at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter: @MBushLodiSports.