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Virtual Madness: Nederland, PNG keep volleyball rivalry alive with workouts

Mid-County Madness doesn’t stop for pandemics, it seems.

Volleyball coaches Allie Crommett of Nederland and Brittany Fruge of Port Neches-Groves, who are longtime friends, reignited the schools’ rivalry, starting up a competition between the teams to see which can complete the most home workouts in May while practices and gyms remain closed due to COVID-19.

Each weekday during the month, the coaches give their players a workout to perform at home.

The players record video of their workouts and submit them to Crommett and Fruge. Points are awarded to the teams and players based on how may workouts are submitted, with bonus points given for consistently submitting workouts and for winning the day’s competition.

At the end of the week, the player with the most points wins a prize. At the end of the month, one team is going to take home its very own Mid-County Madness trophy, complete with bragging rights.

“We’re just trying to get them back into competition mode because we can tell them to do stuff,” Crommett said. “I feel like if there’s a little incentive, it’s a little more fun, and since it’s Nederland vs. PNG, it’s just added to it.”
The competitive spirit is key to keeping the players’ motivated to stay active.

“We wanted to do something that would make the girls want to get up and move,” Fruge said. “Any time you put Nederland and PNG on a playing field together, whether it is football or volleyball, they’re going to compete. That’s how it works down here.”

Nederland’s Ava Wiltz works out at home in the garage. Wiltz earned the most points in the first week of competition.

The competition started May 1, which was a Friday, so the one workout was tallied with the next week’s set. The teams completed their first full week of workouts last week, and Nederland freshman Ava Wiltz took the lead with 18 points, submitting all five workouts and winning three of the six daily challenges. Her prize was a Target gift card.

After the first week, PNG leads in overall points with 210, while Nederland has 109. Though Nederland has won more of the daily challenges, participation among the PNG players has been more robust.

The coaches hatched competition as a way to keep their girls in competitive condition.

“It’s very hard when we haven’t had our offseason,” Fruge said. “We’re not doing our strength and conditioning. We’re not sure if we’re going to have our summer strength and conditioning.”

Fruge is working on getting a trophy made in time to award the final winner at the end of the month. It will say “Mid-County Madness, COVID Edition, 2020 Champion.”

“We’re going to try to do this every year,” Crommett said. “The football guys get that big trophy if they win Mid-County Madness, so we’re making ours a little different since it’s workout related.”