Sunday, May 20, 2018
Sports

Berkeley Prep boys volleyball coach wants to raise profile of the game

TAMPA

In the span of nearly three decades of coaching girls volleyball at Berkeley Prep, Randy Dagostino seemingly has accomplished almost everything.

Almost.

"The next step is to help put boys volleyball on the map and grow it in this area," Dagostino said. "It thrives in other places around the state. Why not here?"

And that's the question one of the most decorated coaches in the history of girls volleyball is trying to answer. Dagostino, who recently retired from coaching the Buccaneers girls team after capturing 15 state titles in 28 seasons, is in the process of making boys volleyball relevant at the high school level in Hillsborough County.

"My goal," he said, "is to make an impact."

The Florida High School Athletic Association currently oversees 118 schools in boys volleyball. The bulk of those call either Broward or Dade County home. Berkeley Prep, the only Tampa Bay area school with a high school boys program, also stands as the lone school west of Orlando to field a team. Dagostino, who compiled a staggering 829-161 record with the girls team, said that he can envision a scenario one day where the sport catches on in Hillsborough County.

"Because I have been around so long, I can remember the days when girls volleyball wasn't a very big deal around here," he said. "In 1983, Tampa was no volleyball hotbed, believe me."

Dagostino, who has been named Florida High School Athletic Association Coach of the Year seven times and Florida Dairy Farmers Coach of the Year three more times, started the boys program four years ago. After a provisional season, the Bucs became state-series eligible the next year.

"It's stereotypically a girls sport," outside hitter Nick Burgess said. "We're trying to bring to light that the guys' game is exciting and athletic."

Because no other local teams play, the Bucs travel up to two hours one-way to face teams in their district such as Bishop Moore, Apopka and Orlando Edgewater.

"We don't mind the travel too much because we do things to keep us entertained, and I think it brings us closer as a team," setter Kyle Dagostino said. "We'll have freestyle rap contests and play card games. It's a good way to interact with the whole team."

But Randy Dagostino would prefer those district matches to be crosstown trips instead.

"To me, for the school systems to pick this sport up is a no-brainer," he said. "They already have the equipment in place because of the girl's teams. The gyms aren't being used (during the spring). There would be very little expense."

Dagostino isn't sure how long it will take for the boys game to catch on around here, but he believes it will be sooner than later.

"We need to get the right people out to watch this game because I'm telling you, they would be shocked at the level of athleticism," he said. "It's a dynamic game."

Kyle Dagostino said winning a state title would go a long way in helping to get the sport established in the area. The 19-2 Bucs open up district play on Tuesday with an eye on the state finals May 11-12 in Kissimmee.

"If we can finish up the season as successfully as we think we can, it will help grow interest in the sport and create an opportunity to get more teams around here," he said. "We are ambassadors."

Brandon Wright can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo again as “the opener”

For starters: Rays at Angels, with Romo again as “the opener”

UPDATE, 2:27: If the Rays win today, it would be their first four-game sweep since Sept. 20-23, 2013, vs. Baltimore and first on the road since Aug. 16-19 here at Anaheim. … It also would be the first time they swept back to back series on the ...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Softball: Scouting the Academy at the Lakes vs. Lake Worth Christian semifinal

Softball: Scouting the Academy at the Lakes vs. Lake Worth Christian semifinal

Academy at the Lakes (24-4) vs. Lake Worth Christian (10-3)Where: 11:50 a.m. Monday at Historic Dodgertown, Vero BeachHow they got thereAcademy at the Lakes defeated Seacrest Country Day 11-1, defeated Canterbury 5-1Lake Worth Christian defeated...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Rays hang on to beat Angels 5-3 behind Robertson slam, get back to .500

Rays hang on to beat Angels 5-3 behind Robertson slam, get back to .500

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Playing .500 ball is obviously no goal, and the Rays certainly know that.But given where they came from, that terrible 1-8 start that oozed into 3-12 and 4-13, climbing back to the respectability of .500 would be an accomplish...
Published: 05/20/18
Lightning defeats Capitals, can clinch Stanley Cup berth in Game 6

Lightning defeats Capitals, can clinch Stanley Cup berth in Game 6

Tampa Bay Lightning center Cedric Paquette (13) celebrates his first period goal after beating Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby (70) 29 seconds after the start in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final of the Stanley Cup Playoffs Saturday...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays journal: New pitching plan worked so well Romo starts again Sunday

Rays journal: New pitching plan worked so well Romo starts again Sunday

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The first part of the Rays' new and unusual pitching plan worked so well Saturday, as game "opener" RHP Sergio Romo struck out the first three Angels hitters, that the Rays will do it again on Sunday.That's right. Romo will st...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/20/18
Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay withstood Washington’s barrage

Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay withstood Washington’s barrage

TAMPA — A two-goal lead was suddenly only one, and the Washington Capitals, having pulled their goalie, had a furious 96-second siege.Andrei Vasilevskiy made the last three of his 28 saves to preserve the Lightning's 3-2 victory Saturday in Gam...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/20/18
Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay’s early surges carried the day

Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay’s early surges carried the day

TAMPA — Dan Girardi knew where the puck was heading. It was heading to Alex Ovechkin for a one-timer on net, so Girardi did the only thing he could do. He blocked it.With his rump."It hit me right in the cheek," said Girardi, the Lightning defe...
Published: 05/19/18
Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 3-2 victory in Game 5

Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 3-2 victory in Game 5

TAMPA — Faster than Justify down the stretch at the Preakness, quicker than Harry and Meghan walked down the aisle at Windsor Castle, the Lightning jumped on Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final. No runaway gallop. No funny hats. Just ho...
Published: 05/19/18
Lightning-Capitals: How Ryan Callahan and his linemates overwhelmed the Caps

Lightning-Capitals: How Ryan Callahan and his linemates overwhelmed the Caps

TAMPA — They're called grinders. Pluggers. Checkers.They're lunch-pail guys. Like 9-to-5ers. They get up every day and go to work. They punch in and punch out for no glory or credit. But the business would fall apart without them.They're the fo...
Published: 05/19/18
Justify wins foggy Preakness, keeps Triple Crown bid alive

Justify wins foggy Preakness, keeps Triple Crown bid alive

BALTIMORE — Justify rounded the final turn and hit the top of the stretch winded but with the lead. The roar from the crowd was delayed, hushed by the thick fog that enveloped the track. When Justify emerged from the haze in view of the grandstand, t...
Published: 05/19/18