Belding set to open up new gymnasium


By Bruce Bentley • Last Updated 10:18 am on Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A panoramic look at the new Redskin Arena. Belding volleyball will host Grand Rapids Creston in the first competiton in the gym tonight beginning at 5 p.m. with the junior varsity team.

BELDING — All of the construction the past year at Belding High School is starting to come to fruition.

Tonight, the Redskins volleyball program will be the first teams to compete in the spectacular new Redskins Arena. The junior varsity team will play at 5 p.m. with the varsity team starting around 6:30 p.m against Grand Rapids Creston.

A short ceremony will be held between the two matches to recognize the new gym.

“We are going to have about a 10 minute ceremony. We will introduce some people that have been involved,” Belding athletic director Joel Wilker said. “Nothing real elaborate. Scott McNeal will emcee some of the pregame introductions.”

Belding varsity volleyball coach Mikayla Linebaugh said her team is excited to be playing in the new gym.

“We are excited. It’s very big in there compared to what we are used too,” she said. “We have been practicing in there for a while. It will just be fun to get to play in there and get that feeling. We are very proud of it and I hope we have a good showing.”

Linebaugh said she is trying to keep her team focused on the game.

“It will be a big night. There might be a lot of people here,” she said. “We have to stay focused on the game as exciting as it is going to be. It still is a conference game and we have a young team.”

The Redskins are 6-7-4 overall and are coming off a tournament in Portland this weekend, which they went 1-1-1.

“They are doing well and improving all the time,” Linebaugh said of her team. “We played a pretty tough East Kentwood team and we beat them 25-21 and lost 25-22. We would have made it out of pool play with that last win.”

Linebaugh likes the direction of the team.

“We are right in there,” she said. “It’s very promising and I see improvement in the kids. Their expectations and communication is improving. I’m very pleased with what I’m seeing.”

The Redskins will get to show off their new gym to a few more schools on Saturday when they host the Redskins Invitational.

Wilker said the response in the community has been great.

“It’s always fun to have new things and get a chance to use them,” Wilker said. “The people that have been in the gym say it’s beautiful. They all have been very excited.”

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