Flagler Palm Coast is taking lumps early with young, inexperienced squad
When Anthony Favors took over the Flagler Palm Coast High School volleyball team this year, the first thing he noticed was there are no volleyball banners in the gym.
He would like to change that, but first he has to build his program from the ground up.
The Bulldogs lost eight seniors to graduation last year and returned only a few players with varsity experience.
"The whole program is super young," Favors said. "A lot of these players have not seen action at this level before. There's no substitute for experience, and we're taking our lumps right now."
FPC was swept in its first two matches by Fleming Island and Seabreeze. They're learning as they go.
"This is a totally different team from last year," said sophomore Lily Purtis. "We're not used to playing together."
Purtis and senior setter Emma Laupepa are trying to help ease the transition. Purtis, particularly, has a heavy load as a six-rotation player, playing in both the front and back rows.
"She passes and hits," Favors said. "But you become everyone's target. Most of the serves go to her. Teams are going to go after your best player."
Purtis said she is accustomed to the role.
"It's not new for me," she said. "Volleyball is my life. I've been playing it since I was 11."
Favors hopes Purtis and other young players can help help form a foundation as he establishes a culture and tries to take FPC to new heights.
"Lily is carrying a big weight right now," Favors said. "She could become the best player this program has ever seen."