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D'Errico family sees possible ESG fees as a problem

By Brian Hillabush

Alyssa D'Errico has always been a star on the volleyball court. She has won state titles, club titles and two national championships at Penn State.

But one of her favorite volleyball memories is the 2006 Empire State Games when she was chosen to kick off the ceremony by lighting the torch that kicked off the opening ceremony.  

D'Errico has three gold medals in the scholastic competition and picked up a silver in the open division last year.

With the news that athletes may have to pay up to $300 to play in the games, she isn't positive she will be back for another ESG.

"It doesn't really bother me right now because I'm so far removed," D'Errico said. "If I was still in high school, it would bother me. But right now I'm not as big a part of the team and I would be playing open. But as a college student, I don't know if I could play if they charged $300. I think it would make it a lot less fun because I've always looked forward to playing for and representing Western New York."

Alyssa made an excellent point when the idea of having to pay to play in the ESG came up. She believes it is an honor to represent your region, but a player would be better off spending the money to pay to play club volleyball, where she will be noticed by college recruiters.

D'Errico won three state titles at Byron-Bergen while reaching the 1,879 kills and 1,521 digs in her career.

But a big reason why she landed a Division I scholarship to play with Penn State is because of her years with the VolleyFX Magic Club. She helped lead that team to four regional titles and a 17th-place finish in the 2006 nationals.

"For $300, you can go to a camp and get training, rather than just play," D'Errico said. "It was a great experience, but I guess it depends on who (the ESG team) is trying to attract. It is definitely going to deter people from trying out because of the cost."

Alyssa's mother Cindy was a member of the 1977 volleyball national A2 team and is still heavily involved in the sport. She coached the Bees while Alyssa was in high school and still attends all of her home matches at Penn State.

She helps scholastic coach Rob Werkmeister with player selection and runs the masters division, which could be one of the sports eliminated if there are cut-backs.

She thinks a charge would make things very difficult for a lot of players.

"It's going to be tough," Cindy said. "There are going to be families and parents that are going to have to decide if going to Empires is going to benefit their sons or daughters."

Brian Hillabush

Wow Russ, we agree.
The Eddie Meath Game is terrible. You pay whatever to watch large school kids play. The locals (Le Roy, Pembroke) don't even get in the game.

Jan 7, 2009, 12:54am Permalink

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