Originally published Summer 2008
In the spring of 1994, a few groups of homeschooled teenagers who had been playing volleyball socially were invited to Diane Taylor’s homeschool P.E. class. They played once a week for a month. The following fall, the group of kids from Eastern Oklahoma County (EOC) began practicing as a team once a week with Sharon Stricklin as their coach and Gwen Kelly as assistant coach. The first homeschool co-ed volleyball club in central Oklahoma was formed.
By 1998, there were four homeschool clubs: EOC, Shawnee,North OKC, and Lawton. That year EOC hosted the first official league tournament; for the next few years, the different clubs took turns hosting the tournament. But in 2000 the clubs had grown so much that the tournament was moved to the Lighthouse in north Oklahoma City with a five-week pool play and a two-day tournament. In 2001, a Norman volleyball club was formed and joined the league .Many thanks go to Sharon Stricklin, Sally Williamson, and Lianne Growe for hosting the tournaments at the Lighthouse.
In 2005, the Norman Club hosted a six-week league play at various churches with OU volleyball players as the officials. In 2006, Lana Horner volunteered to serve as tournament director, and league games were moved to the Norman Optimist Club, and a new club from Ada joined the league.
The league has been a huge success at the Norman Optimist Club, and its five volleyball courts have become the “hub” for the regional homeschool co-ed volleyball clubs. In 2008, the league consisted of 200 players on twenty-six teams from six different clubs.
Lana Horner strives to run the league by biblical principles according to 1 Corinthians 10:31:“…whatever you do, do to the glory of God.” She thanks the Lord for the opportunity she has had to serve the families and students of the homeschooling community. Sharon Stricklin has continued to be a major part of the league, helping to shape it into what it is today.
Currently, there are six co-ed clubs participating in central Oklahoma:
Excalibur in Shawnee, Incredibles in Ada, Mustangs in Norman, Outsyderz in North OKC, Southern Thunder in Lawton, and Wolfpack in Eastern Oklahoma County. League games begin during the last week in January and end in the middle of March. The league also hosts an annual invitational tournament in which a club from Wichita Falls, Texas, has participated over the years.
Contact Lana Horner for more information about homeschool volleyball, any of these clubs, or help in starting your own club: (405) 834-1832, email@example.com.
The Norman Mustangs Volleyball Club developed a girl’s team called Lady Mustangs in the fall of 2007, competing against private schools and public schools. In November 2007, the Mustangs took part in the National Homeschool Volleyball Tournament in Omaha, Nebraska. With forty homeschool teams participating, the Mustangs placed second in their division.
One unusual aspect of the Norman Lady Mustangs is that six out of the eight players are sisters: Laura
Horner, senior, Lydia Horner, junior, Hannah Horner, sophomore, Heather Horner, sophomore, Victoria Horner, 8th grade, and Katrina Horner, 7th grade. Rounding out the team are Cheryl Cochran (cousin to the Horner girls) and good friend Rachel Herrera. The girls had a wonderful time competing on an all-girl team as well as the co-ed Norman Mustangs team in the winter. Mom Lana Horner developed the team to give her daughters an opportunity to compete at nationals. Coaches were Anna Monsen and Linda
Cochran. Lord willing, they plan on competing in nationals again in fall 2008. For more information, contact Lana Horner at (405) 834-1832 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Northeast Oklahoma Association of Homeschools recently revived the girls’ volleyball program with Raeann Heath as coach. NOAH (www.noahjags.org) provides opportunities for homeschooled students to develop athletic abilities in a variety of sports programs while building character in a distinctly Christian environment.
Two high school girls’ teams, the NOAH Jaguars, have formed with nineteen girls in grades 9-12. Six games with small private schools are on the schedule for the 2008-09 school year and a homeschool tournament in October in Wichita, Kansas. Game information will be posted on the NOAH website. Conditioning practices have begun meeting once a week at the Oklahoma Baptist Children’s Home in Owasso. The official season will begin the end of July with the first game in August. The program is closed for this season, but for further information contact Raeann Heath at email@example.com.