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After accepting the head coaching position in June, Doyle Tracy quickly scrambled together a volleyball tournament to raise money for uniforms.

by: COREY BUCHANAN - Doyle Tracy delivers a set for a teammate during the North Marion Volleyball Tournament.

When recently hired North Marion volleyball coach Doyle Tracy was told his team needed money for uniforms, he found his entrepreneurial cap and thrust it over his head.

After some contemplation, he realized the answer was obvious.

“I thought, ‘what’s something I’ve done before – volleyball tournaments,’” he said.

His thought facilitated the birth of the North Marion Volleyball Tournament. The tournament was organized by Tracy and North Marion volleyball players and made up of four co-ed teams, one of which was filled with North Marion residents and the other three with players from Salem.

“I ran co-ed leagues three nights a week in Salem so I had a good pool of people I could call to get to join the tournament,” Tracy said.

Tracy not only served as the tournament’s organizer, but participated as well, igniting the “Doyle Oil” squad with an encouraging attitude, pinpoint sets and ferocious kills. In the end, “Doyle Oil” finished in first place.

Tracy said his ability to step onto the court and compete against his players will prove fun and beneficial.

“One of the things that I enjoy and one of the things that they haven’t gotten in a long time is a coach that is also a player. I can jump on the court, set for them and hit at them,” he said.

He added: “A lot of my girls I play sand ball with. Any chance they get to beat their coach, they get really excited about that.”

Living in West Salem, Tracy plays a ton of volleyball, but is more of a free agent than a player bound to one team.

“I’m the guy you call if you need a sub because I’m always ready to play, but I’m not on an official teams,” he said.

Tracy holds open gyms to become more acquainted with his players. Typically, four or five players show up.

He said the girls have responded well to his motivational philosophy.

“I’m a very positive coach. It’s a different outlook that some of the girls have really been responding to,” he said.

However, he said he likely won’t meet a large chunk of his squad until practice starts on August 19.

Tracy estimates the team raised around $500 for uniforms, which doesn’t cover half of uniform expenses. However, the team received an anonymous donation, which will cover the rest of the cost.

Because of time constraints, he didn’t recruit as many teams as he would’ve liked, but is optimistic about tournaments in the future.

“We’re looking to expand to Portland and maybe add some Vancouver teams in the future. We’re hoping to get it to grow and keep doing this,” Tracy said.

Still, raising any sort of profit for his new team while playing the sport he loves is a win in Tracy’s book.

He said: “We will raise more in the future when I can give people more notice and as I get more used to the school. But it was great for a fun day where people are just playing volleyball.”

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