Mulberry is the smallest school in 3A-1 volleyball. By far.
The Yellowjackets and Lady Yellowjackets compete in Class A for basketball. The school doesn’t field a football team.
It’s a basketball school, through and through. The girls team is regularly among the state’s best in the class and the boys team has had its share of moments, too.
Playing up in volleyball, however, is sometimes a bit trying. Case in point Tuesday. West Fork handled the Lady Yellowjackets 25-6, 25-6, 25-14 to open conference play for both schools.
In Mulberry’s case, it was the first game of the season period. Coach Amy Jones knows her team is in a fight to get a win against much bigger competition.
"But our girls love it," Jones said. "They know these schools are bigger, but they don’t, you know, realize these are 2A, 3A schools. We’re barely an A school."
West Fork took advantage of 45 Mulberry errors to easily win Tuesday. Mulberry had its moments, especially in the final game, forcing a couple of early ties thanks to the play of Brittany Edwards. She led the Lady Yellowjackets with four kills and a pair of aces.
Edwards, like most of the Mulberry roster, plays every sport offered. It’s almost a necessity at such a small school, Jones said.
"Most all the time they practice basketball, turn around and practice two, two-and-a-half hours of volleyball," Jones said.
Despite the losses, the team clearly enjoys playing. On three separate occasions Tuesday night, a shoulder, a head and a kick put the ball over the net in play on the West Fork side. Each time drew nothing but grins.
"You could say ‘Oh, well, they’re laughing,’ Jones said. "This is a stress-free sport for them. A lot of them are real, real big in basketball and they stress over that. They play here to ease the stress and have a good time."
West Fork def. Mulberry, 25-6, 25-6, 25-14