Behind New Head Coach, Volleyball Rocks Looking for National Recognition

Daniel Russell, Staff Reporter

They don’t play in front of huge crowds, but that doesn’t stop this tight-knit group from striving for national recognition.

This year’s volleyball Rocks begin with new head coach Richard Weaver, a 2010 Trinity graduate who played varsity volleyball for the Rocks.

Weaver said, “I didn’t grow up with volleyball, but once I found it, I fell in love.”

After Trinity, Weaver moved from playing to coaching. He began with a club team and then coached at Trinity with the JV team.

Two years later the Rocks’ head coaching spot opened, and he was the man to fill it. Coaching to Weaver is more than just a win-loss record.

Weaver said, “It sounds weird with me being 23, but these  kids keep me young. It’s great knowing them and having them feel like they are able to talk to me about things they are going through in high school because it was only five years ago when I was dealing with the same stuff.”

On his talented squad Weaver considers one player to be the “glue of the team.”

That player is senior Daniel McCarthy, who was named team captain by Weaver at the beginning of the season. McCarthy is the setter for the team. For those who don’t know volleyball, the setter is similar to a team’s quarterback or point guard.  

I want to do my best to build this program and men’s volleyball in general in the state of Kentucky.”

— Trinity head coach Richard Weaver

McCarthy has played volleyball since the third grade and joined a club team in the seventh grade. He said, “When I joined the (Trinity) team freshman year, it gave me a group to fit in right away with all the open gyms and camps we had at the beginning of the season.”

The team gets along well, but it was rough at first. “We lost a lot of varsity players last year (from the 2014 12-5 squad) and only have five returning with just as many new players. The practices were a little awkward and quiet at first, but in our first tournament we started to learn how to communicate with each other,” McCarthy said.

In addition to McCarthy, the varsity Rocks are seniors Luke Archer, Logan Frederick, Jack Nagel and Josh Dailey. Juniors on the varsity are Ryan Gatewood, Matthew Hess, Cole Morrissey and Andrew Weisbach.

Communication is going to be very important if the volleyball Rocks are going to meet the expectations of their captain and coach. Both McCarthy and Weaver expressed a clear desire to take down that school on Poplar Level Road. St. Xavier is the only true competition the Rocks have locally.

McCarthy said, “There is no state championship for men’s volleyball in Kentucky so whoever wins the most match-ups between us two is the best team in the state.”

The goal in Weaver’s mind is more than being the best in the state. He has his sights set on being ranked in the top 50 nationally before the season is over. The Rocks have nationally ranked teams from Ohio and Indiana coming to play in Steinhauser Gym this season.

If the Rocks are able to pull out some of those wins, national recognition is possible. The Rocks also compete in a tournament in Indiana at the end of the season. McCarthy expects nothing less than a second-place finish up North.

Weaver, who is assisted by coach Elisa Burkman, enjoys the demands of coaching.  “I love the challenge,” he said. “I want to do my best to build this program and men’s volleyball in general in the state of Kentucky.”