Clearfield Elementary Volleyball


All of the participants of the program pose for a photo.

Anna Twigg

The Clearfield Volleyball team has been busy this fall. Not only do they have a packed game schedule, but on their days off they are occupied coaching the next generation of volleyball players. Every Monday and Wednesday, around 44 4th– 6th grade girls flood the Bison gym ready to learn the basics of volleyball. Coach Kelly Kaskan answered a few questions and allowed us to learn more about the program and how it was developed.

While coaching the high school volleyball team, Kaskan noticed a pattern. Many of the players she coached were just beginning to learn the basics in 9th grade. She also noticed that many girls were quitting their other fall sports to try out the game of volleyball. As a result, she started the elementary volleyball program in Clearfield in 2018. The program was originally started at the Clearfield YMCA and ran through the winter. The girls would pay a fee at the beginning of the season that provided them with the opportunity to play and a team T-shirt. But through the years, the Clearfield High School was generous enough to allow Kaskan to hold her practices in the Bison gym starting in 2022. The program now runs in the fall, due to gym availability. With help from the community and the volleyball booster club, the program was made free to any 4th-6th grade girl in the Clearfield Area School District.

Although she has an elementary-aged daughter, Kaskan did not realize how much different coaching elementary volleyball would truly be. “It can be incredibly challenging at times to organize all the kids. They are bursting with energy and very eager to learn. It is nice to teach them the foundation of the game from the very beginning,” Kaskan states. The girls in the first group of the program when it first started are now entering junior high. The program is beginning to see some changes. Kaskan states, “We have seen more changes in the junior high program. The girls have already learned the basics of the game and are learning more advanced skills. The junior high teams in the past few years have beat many rival teams. When those girls are ready to move up to the varsity level, they should be extremely competitive with other schools around us.”

Although Coach Kaskan is immensely proud of the program she has created, there may be some changes she wishes to see in the upcoming years. Since the elementary teams are coached by the varsity coaches and players, they are strictly volunteer. Kaskan hopes in the future for paid coaches to be implemented. “If an actual elementary coach position were filled, the girls would be able to do more work year-round. Coaching is a lot of work, and for me to coach AAU volleyball, high school volleyball, elementary volleyball, and be a mother of three; things can get busy and overwhelming.”

The elementary girls may be little, but they are making a big impact. The future is bright for Clearfield Volleyball.