This year’s Big Lake Mud Volleyball Tournament was a success. In addition to the first year of hosting sponsors, it was the first year in which the tournament also added a third pit to comfortably accommodate the 60-plus teams that participated.
“Most of our rules come from more of a beach volleyball setting,” Jaime Estes, the tournament director, said. “But we have players, so we have eight people on the court at all times.”
Estes herself has played in mud volleyball before, and is one of the many participants who attended mud volleyball as a kid.
“My grandmother was actually one of the founders of this group, of being able to start mud volleyball, so I’m kind of a third-generation, now organizing the event,” Estes said.
A similar situation occurred with Jeremy McClurg, a UAA alumnus and the team captain of this year’s winning team, Fishers Fuel.
“I actually used to go as a kid and watch my parents play it,” McClurg said. “I think I was about eight or ten when I remember going to one of my first ones.”
Fishers Fuel has been playing for about 13 years, and the team mostly consists of coaches and volleyball members.
“Most of the guys on the team, we play basketball together,” McClurg said. “This is my one thing for the year. I wanna go out, get sunburned and play volleyball.”
Though McClurg doesn’t play volleyball professionally, he enjoys going out to play during the tournament with family and friends. Fishers Fuel is a seasoned team, having won in previous years.
“I wanna say this is our fourth win,” McClurg said. “We will probably play until they quit doing it or until we can’t get our team together. For the most part there are always five or six of us who are always there.”
Tournament champions win t-shirts, a trophy, and of course, bragging rights.
“I think I’ve had more Facebook activity the last couple days since Saturday, mainly because of my volleyball friends, since everyone sees it and whatnot. There’s definitely a little bit of trash talk, but that’s predictable.” McClurg said.
McClurg used to pass the word around when he went to UAA — and he still does. He encourages others to come and to enjoy the spring break atmosphere surrounding the competition, especially in the upcoming years.
Fishers Fuel is comprised of the following players: Josie Cannon, Brandy Borough, Mary Beck, Jeremy McClurg (team captain), Jeremy Robinson, Billy Cannon, Brandon Gaines, Charlie Graydon, Brittney Marie Lais, Steve Womack, Stephanie Womack and Robin Katherine.
They would also like to give credit to Teri Shanley and Luke McLain, their biggest fans, as well as Robbie Warner, the manager/water-boy of the team.