The Wells volleyball team, which is pictured above, is competing in its first year on the varsity level after playing as a club team last season.

The Wells volleyball team, which is pictured above, is competing in its first year on the varsity level after playing as a club team last season.

WELLS — It doesn’t matter what sport it is, starting up a varsity program from scratch is not easy – and you will need someone with plenty of passion for the sport to lead the way.

When it comes to the new Wells volleyball program, the Warriors found the right man for the job in Ryan Fairchild. The head coach, not only brings a lot of passion for the sport of volleyball, but a ton of experience.

Fairchild played high school volleyball in Connecticut and would go on to play club volleyball at Houghton College. He would also work as a manager – and eventually a student-assistant – for the Houghton College women’s volleyball team, which made it to the national tournament during his time there.

It hasn’t been a quick or easy process to start a program, but Fairchild says there has been plenty of support from the school district.

“Our athletic director, Jack Molloy, has been a huge supporter of the program from day one, and actually approached me last summer and asked if I would coach the team,” said Fairchild.

The entire Wells community has also been happy to provide support for the new program.

“The parents, the district as a whole, and the entire school community have really embraced the team and are excited about volleyball being added as a sport. So, all of the support has been great,” said Fairchild.

The Warriors began as a club program last year and are now in their first season as a varsity squad.

“It’s been great,” said Fairchild of the process. “It’s been fun watching the team get better and better each day. It’s a lot of hard work building a program, but I have enjoyed it.”

All of the hard work put in by Fairchild and his players quickly paid dividends as the Warriors picked up a win in their firstever varsity contest against Lake Region last Friday.

“It’s huge. I think it’s huge for the program,” said Fairchild of the program’s first win. “I told the girls that they are setting history here with the first varsity match of the program … girls 30, 40, 50 years from now will hearken back to that and see that we won our first match. It’s very exciting to be a part of.”

Fairchild believes there is a bright future for the Wells program.

“It’s exciting to think about the future of volleyball in Wells and, based upon what I see each day, the future is very bright,” said Fairchild.

Sports Editor Pat McDonald can be reached at [email protected] or at 282-1535 ext. 322. Follow the Journal Tribune Sports Department on Twitter @ JournalTsports.


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