Eyes on the Prize: Middle school volleyball sets goals for the start of the season


Coach Meg Brown talks to the 8th grade A team during a timeout in their game against Clint Small Middle School. Picture by Sammie Seamon


Volleyballs flew from both sides of the net as the teams lined up with serious expressions, preparing for their game. The 8th grade team was about to take on Clint Small Middle School, and the room was filled with cheers and nervous jitters.


“Small is a very good team.” Coach Jackie Thiel said. “They were doing a lot of things other teams at this age can’t do. Our girls, I was so impressed by some of the girl who just stepped up to the challenge and gave it their all. They’ve already built their confidence since last week,”

Last year the 7th grade A team won City Championships against Gorzycki Middle School, and the coaches look forward to seeing the team continue to improve from where they left off last season.


“I think our 8th grade team is very talented, they’re coming back as repeating zone champions and our 7th grade team has just the same amount of potential,” Coach Meg Brown said.


The 8th grade team made a reputation for themselves last year by becoming the new city champions, and are excited to see if they can uphold it this season.


“I think the 8th graders expect to get to the tournament and to go as far as they can,” Coach Brown said. “I expect them to work as hard as they can every day and go into the games with confidence and play and whatever happens, happens.“


Although she is a brand new coach, Coach Thiel is already impressed with the determination and rigor of both the 7th and 8th grade teams.


“I was absolutely excited and could not wait for the season to get started after seeing all the girls work so hard and be excited and wanting to be there and learn,” Coach Thiel said. “Seeing them was so overwhelming because of the enthusiasm that was there.”


More girls were generally accepted from tryouts this year than in the past, encouraging a promising season.


“Every year the girls try really really hard, and this year we kept a lot more than we usually do, and that was because we just saw potential in a lot of the girls,” Coach Brown said.


Although, it’s not only the coaches who are looking forward to this season. Even though the Small game didn’t turn out as planned, the girls are still motivated by their hard work and past successes, and are willing to give it their all. This determination definitely seen in the game, for example, “KK” Ruiz, captain of the 8th grade A team saved a point by diving into a row of chairs.


“It’s okay if we lose, we just wanna give a fight for it, and just not give up, play it until the last set of games,” Guadalupe Gonzalez (8) said. “At the last point, we will still be giving our best out there and that’s just the most satisfying thing.”