The Kenmare Honkers volleyball team has made it to regions for the 12th time.
The team shut out Ray High School at Tuesday night’s game. We spoke to the man who started it all, and what has made him so successful over the last 32 years.
“I started this sport here when it was first sanctioned,” said Tim Wallstrum, head volleyball coach.
Thirty-two years ago he brought volleyball to Kenmare High. To get this team and sport off the ground, he had to start in the ground — literally.
“I put the holes in the floor. I don’t know any other coach that’s ever done that. I put the holes in the floor myself,” Wallstrum said.
And his hard work shows. They’ve been to state 11 times and won twice. They’ve been district champs 12 times and region champs 11 times — and they’re working on their 12th right now.
But each year, it still feels new.
“It’s a different group of girls. And it’s a different team and even those girls that I have back are usually playing in a different position. It’s all brand new,” Wallstrum said.
Some girls on this year’s team went to state last year. Although they didn’t win, he reminds them why they play.
“After a loss, he just tells us that, you know, it’s about the experience more than the W or the L online, whatever you see,” said Jordan Rodin, libero. “It’s like what we can learn from that game to improve on our coming games.”
And his secret to success?
“As far as what makes us the team that we are, it’s them,” Wallstrum said. “My girls are special girls. They’re just a…the relationship that you develop, and that’s the best thing about coaching is the relationships you develop with other coaches and with your kids.”
The team plays Stanley Thursday night in the championship game. The winner heads to state.