That wasn't the way it was supposed to end.
I mean, I was looking for something a little more romantic.
That's the type of deflation and confusion I felt walking out of Hilliard Darby High School on Saturday (Oct. 27) evening. Along with my fellow students abiding in "The Pit," Hilliard Darby's labeled student section, it felt like we blinked our eyes once and it was all over. The Delaware Christian School girls' volleyball team lost in the Division IV District Finals to Shekinah Christian in three straight sets. From the first set loss you could tell our girls were just outmatched. To put it simply, we got beat. Bad. In an hour's span of time, we ended up dropping all three sets by double digits. Unfortunately, there are bigger, stronger, and physically better teams out there, and we met one on Saturday.
But man, what a ride. Let me not underscore the fantastic, and may I say unexpected, success of our volleyball team. These girls frankly might not have been high in your mind this preseason. I mean who can blame you? After losing a very dominant handful of seniors in 2011, you would think that it would be almost impossible to come back with the same success. You would be definitely just crazy if you would tell me that the girls would make it FARTHER than last year, right?
This team separated themselves from the rest with their heart. They just wouldn't quit. They overcame trial after trial throughout the season, under the excellent coaching staff led by Mrs. Jackie Boggs. They kept winning, winning, and winning. Eventually, they won a share of the MOCAL, and made it farther than any other MOCAL team in the tournament, which is, in the end, what really matters. In the end, though falling pretty hard, these girls come out of this season standing high. This was outstanding. That's true of the season. That's true of the coaches. Most importantly, that's true of each of these young women, who laid out their bodies on a nightly basis for each other. And hey, they made it out with a trophy. As a student, it was very fun to watch, not only for the reasons I described above.
This was a year when the students could come together and forget homework; forget whatever they were going through, good or bad. We would scream our lungs out, paint our faces red and gold, and unite for a common cause. We believed we would win. It was fun to think that we possessed the ability to get into the other team's head, heckling and poking every chance we got. It was fun to take partial credit for a win in our hearts because of our efforts. It was fun to come home unable to talk right. To see David Tobin's face light up and to hear him scream, "That's my sister!" when Beth Ann came in to serve, to hear Pete Kerins talk as loud as he could for no apparent reason, and to see Ben Evans go on his many "water breaks," leaves me feeling nostalgic.
In the end, from a student's perspective, there's nothing like uniting with your comrades to cheer for a team, your team. That's what made this awesome. These are my classmates who I see every day. I sit in the same study hall as some of these girls. They aren't celebrities, they're our girls. This is why I get so excited, why we get so excited. We are united and this joins us together. In my mind, this overshadows any loss or bad game you can have, and we had our few.
Today, I likened the whole year to a mosaic. With my face in my hands on Saturday in the disaster that was that game, I only saw one piece of the puzzle. There has to be a few dark and ugly spots. There's life for you. But when I stepped back today and looked at the whole picture, I saw a priceless piece of art. It was more than just the volleyball team, wins and losses, and x's and o's. This was a culture we built on game night as players, parents, and students. This was bigger than us all, yet we all had our special spot in our mosaic.
That was beautiful, wasn't it?
- Submitted by Andrew Standley