If the Winona-Montgomery County Consolidated School Board approves a request from Winona High School to add volleyball as a girls sport, the team will compete as an independent during the 2020-21 school year.
The board is expected to make the decision on its Jan. 14 meeting. The school presented the proposal at the December board meeting, but it was tabled to allow Winona athletic director Charlie Parkerson to provide the board with information on start-up and annual costs for volleyball.
If approved, volleyball would replace slow-pitch softball as a sport for girls in the fall. The Mississippi High School Activities Association has discontinued slow-pitch due to a declining number of schools fielding teams. Currently, the only fall sport for Winona girls is cross country.
MHSAA associate director Rickey Neaves said 26 schools have been approved for adding volleyball to replace slow pitch. Additional schools could be approved, but they would not be able to compete in a region for the first year because the deadline for being in a region has passed. Independent teams are not eligible for the playoffs.
Realignment of classes and regions for all MHSAA sports, based on school enrollments, will begin with the 2021-22 school year and schools competing as independents will be placed in a region.
Parkerson said a survey of Winona's female students showed overwhelming support for volleyball.