If you see Sylvan Hills head volleyball coach Harold Treadway these days, you might see a little grin on his face.
That’s because his Lady Bears’ are further along in their work than he expected.
"With our experience and our talent," Treadway said, "we did a lot of things in week one that we normally do in week two."
That means his team will likely be game ready a week early.
"I’m having to find extra drills," Treadway said.
Not that Treadway is complaining, but it appears his team could be game ready by next week, which is a week earlier than their Aug. 27 opener against Greenbrier.
That has prompted Treadway to do something that he doesn’t normally do.
"I’m not a big scrimmage guy," Treadway said. "Normally, if our junior varsity isn’t as strong, it doesn’t give our varsity the competition they need."
Scrimmaging in specific situations to turn up the competitive heat is what Treadway is likely to do in the coming days.
Once the season starts, Treadway feels like his team can cut their competitive teeth well with four more quality opponents on their nonconference slate.
The Lady Bears take on Lonoke, who are consistent state tournament participants and are opening a brand new facility, as well as Vilonia, Conway St. Joe and Central Arkansas Christian before diving into the rigors of the 5A-Central.
Treadway said his nonconference scheduling philosophy is to try to find as many competitive matchups as possible and to stay away from games that his team feels like they’ve won before they step onto the floor. Sometimes that isn’t easy.
"In January, you look at a team and think that they’ve gone to the state tournament, they are good," Treadway said. "Then sometimes in the offseason, they lose a bunch, have a couple transfer or get a new coach. So sometimes it’s difficult to know in January who is going to be good during the season."
Sylvan Hills will represent quality on their opponents’ schedule, and they are a week ahead of theirs.