Seabreeze's Class 5A-District 4 is reclassified with new opponents.
The Seabreeze Sandcrabs headed back to the courts this month to kick off the 2021 volleyball season. Head coach Sara Swayze and assistant coach Erika Binford will be leading the girls in a newly reclassified district, which changes every two years. Class 5A District 4, including Mainland, Matanzas, and Menendez.
The new district will allow the Sandcrabs, who won 5 and lost 11 games last season against tough competition, to be more competitive and confident, according to Swayze, who is in her third season as coach. “This year is going to be different,” she said.
The team also welcomes two star freshmen: Andie Litz, setter; and Madison Ethrid, starting middle.
Chloe Womack, a senior on the volleyball team, shared her perspective on the changes this season. “Already, there’s so much more excitement, so much more sportsmanship,” she said.
This year marks the beginning of a new tradition called Sandcrabs Supporting Sandcrabs, which was started by Seabreeze’s new principal, Earl Johnson, who is also a former student-athlete at Seabreeze. Each sports team will be paired with another team as a buddy system. The teams will be encouraged to attend each other's games as often as possible. Volleyball is paired with baseball for the 2021 season. Both teams will come together for a local beach cleanup on Sept. 18.
“I’m very proud to be a Sandcrab,” said Binford, another former student, who is coming up on her 20th year coaching for Seabreeze. “It’s amazing to watch the team grow over the years. This year is going to be a good one. … Sports are very important in young lives. It’s good to be a positive influence.”
The team will be taking extra COVID-19 precautions. “My biggest fear is the season getting cut short because of COVID,” said Swayze. Regular sanitation of the equipment and social distancing will be in full effect this season.
“Seabreeze is going to be different this year.”
Skylar Martin, varsity player
Brad Montgomery, the school’s athletics director, said he hopes to see “lots of hard work, lots of fun and competition this season.”
The first home game will be on Aug. 31 against Father Lopez. Junior varsity starts at 6 p.m., varsity at 7. Tickets will not be sold at the door; they will be sold at GoFan.co.
To donate to the Seabreeze volleyball team, go to Seabreezehigh.org.
“Seabreeze is going to be different this year," said Skylar Martin, second-year varsity player. “Our goal is to be the best we've ever been, and make it to districts.”