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South Forsyth hosts state's top volleyball event this weekend
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South Forsyth junior and Auburn commit Shealyn McNamara will be just one of several highly-touted volleyball players attending the All-City Play Date at South on Saturday. - photo by Micah Green

Three years ago, South Forsyth volleyball coach Kelly Wren had the vision of creating a weekend event to bring together the best talent and teams in the metro area who normally couldn’t play each other for the most metropolitan of reasons: distance and traffic.

What became the All-City Play Date is now arguably the top regular season high school volleyball event in Georgia. Of the 12 teams playing this Saturday at South beginning at 8 a.m., 10 are ranked in the top 10 in their respective classification by MaxPreps.com and 11 made the state playoffs last season, including two reigning state champions (Sequoyah in AAAAA, North Cobb in AAAAAA).

“It’s really a top, top-notch event,” Wren said.

Wren said it’s become that because of the effort of everyone involved with South’s program. At other weekend high school volleyball events, visiting schools are asked to provide volunteers for various jobs. South supplies all the work crew – the concessions, the scorekeepers, the hospitality suite – letting the visiting teams focus on their play.

“All of the families, all of the athletes, everyone buys in and is there the entire, long day. They do everything,” Wren said. “We even had a parent come back to help with this who doesn’t have a kid in the program anymore.

“It’s something we’re very proud of.”

South hopes to use this weekend as a barometer for its chances in the Area 6-AAAAAA and state tournaments. Wren makes the schedule for the event, and she gave her No. 3-ranked Lady War Eagles a stiff challenge right from the start – an 8 a.m. match against No. 5 Lassiter who defeated South back on Aug. 15.

“I felt like we didn’t play our best against them,” Wren said. “If you look at our attacking average, it was really low in that match, and we weren’t prepared for them to be as strong as they are. That is an 8 a.m. wake-up call.

“There isn’t a team in the state that we cannot beat, and they need to see that playing the best teams.”

IF YOU GO

What: All-City Play Date

When: 8 a.m.

Where: South Forsyth High School

Who: Cambridge, East Coweta, Etowah, Harris County, Johns Creek, Lambert, Lassiter, Landmark Christian, North Cobb, Sequoyah, South Forsyth, West Forsyth.

What to know: Proceeds from the event will be donated to Angels Among Us, a charity dedicated to savings dogs and cats from high-kill shelters in north Georgia. Animals will also be available adoption in between the gym and concession area.