Boomer Elmsdale
Wed, March 20, 2024 at 07:03 AM . California
As the head coach of the boys' volleyball team at California Academy of Math and Science (CAMS), located on the campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills, Coach Harry Bugarin has his work cut out for him. With a small total enrollment of just over 550 students, including all four grades, CAMS does not have the luxury of a large pool of students to recruit from. In fact, the school does not allow transfers, so the team is comprised solely of students who have earned their way into the highly competitive and academically rigorous school. But despite these challenges, Bugarin is excited about the team he has this year. As a second-year coach for the boys' varsity team (he also coaches the JV girls' team), Bugarin inherited a group of players last year that he describes as "wonderful." And this year, with a large group of seniors on the team, Bugarin is looking to make a splash in the competitive local volleyball scene. One of the defining characteristics of the CAMS team this year is their multi-sport athletes. These students are not only involved in volleyball, but also play other sports such as basketball and football. However, with CAMS being a highly academic school, there is also competition for the players' time and energy from academic programs like robotics. Bugarin recognizes that academics always come first for his players, and he is willing to work around their busy schedules to accommodate their commitments to other activities. In terms of experience and skill level in volleyball, Bugarin and his team are almost starting from scratch. With most players having just started playing in their freshman year, or even more recently, the team is working on building their skills and tactics from the ground up. Bugarin himself is learning a lot from his players, as he is a former basketball coach who has only been involved in volleyball for the last two years. But with a love for coaching and mentoring, and a background in education, Bugarin is embracing the challenge and enjoying every moment of it. When asked about his approach to X's and O's on the court, Bugarin admits that he is still learning and adapting to the sport. With a background in basketball, he has had to make adjustments in his coaching style and tactics for this new sport. One of his main focuses is on thinking outside the box and being creative in his strategies.