ADDISON — Pam Wilkins has seen a lot of volleyball talent graduate from Addison High in recent years.

Since taking over Addison’s volleyball program, Wilkins has sent several players to the collegiate ranks — including two who are currently on Division I rosters.

Graduating star players is something high school coaches have to overcome. And judging from Wilkins’ track record, she’s done a pretty good job of adjusting.

Since 2003, Addison has won three Class 1A state championships and advanced to the Class 2A semifinals twice — including a state runner-up finish in 2006.

Even though Wilkins has dealt with voids left by graduation in the past, it’s been a while since she’s graduated a group like the Class of 2008.

Wilkins had four seniors sign with collegiate volleyball programs last year. But even though the program graduated a talented senior class, the Bulldogs coach doesn’t see any reason to panic.

“We’re going to be young, but we’re also going to be athletic,” said Wilkins, who has a busy July planned for Addison’s volleyball team.

So just how young is Addison’s volleyball team going to be next season? According to Wilkins, very young.

“We only have two seniors, and neither one of them is older than 16,” Wilkins said. “We played in the 18U tournament at the (Alabama) Sports Festival, and we didn’t have any players older than 16.

“That’s a pretty young team.”

Addison’s volleyball team may be young, but the Bulldogs have promise.

Competing in the 18U division at the Alabama Sports Festival Saturday, Addison finished second behind Class 6A Pelham — which handed the Bulldgos their only two losses of the day.

“Pelham beat us once in pool play, and they beat us again in the championship,” said Wilkins, whose team finished third at the Alabama Sports Festival in 2007. “(Pelham) is going to be a very good team this year.”

Even though Addison graduated a talented senior class with years of experience, the Bulldogs have several players returning that played significant roles on last year’s team.

As a freshman last year, Sadie Beam was one of two players that broke the AHSAA record for most aces in a single season.

With players like Beam, Megan Box, Kali Lake and Hannah Powell back from last year’s team, Addison has the potential to be successful in Class 2A this season.

But before Addison’s players can start thinking about playing in the AHSAA Elite Eight, Wilkins has a few things for the team to do this summer.

“We’re going have to work hard,” she said. “I’ve got some things scheduled this summer. We played Hartselle, Athens and Brewer (Monday). We’ve got a few play-dates scheduled, and then we’re going to team camp later this summer.

“Right now, we have a lot of work to do.”

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