Monday, April 9, 2012

For the Love of the Game

As I sit here watching the Voice on television, I have a few thoughts running through my head. 1) I’m glad Cee Lo is not wearing that wig again, 2) Christina Aguilera looks so much better without the hair extensions and not having her breasts one sneeze away from popping out. 3) I wish I could sing like this, and 4) these competitors have so much passion for what they do…it’s amazing!

I cannot carry a tune to save my life…the only time you’ll catch me singing is in the car.  Although I love all kinds of music, it was never my thing. I never took vocal in junior high or high school, sports was more my thing. Specifically, volleyball. It caught my attention at an early age and it still is something I love.

I played all through high school under the coaching of Mr. Wyrick – I learned how to be both a good player and a good team member. In my four years of high school, I think we had a winning season every year, won Regionals a time or two and almost won Sub-State. We always had a good group of girls who trusted each other, worked well together, and kicked some butt. I learned a lot from my teams and coaches in high school.
BHS Volleyball
After high school, I had opportunities to play at a few junior colleges and KCAC schools, but chose Pratt Community College under Coach Hall. That man taught me so much in a short time and the girls I played with are still near and dear to me. We didn’t have a great season so-to-speak, and I was plagued with a back injury...but we had heart, a love for the game, and we had a lot of fun as well.
PCC Volleyball
I didn’t get a second year at Pratt or another season anywhere else because of my accident. Throughout all my therapy, I was known as the volleyball player from Kansas, but I felt nowhere even close to being that girl…I was so far away from it – it almost made me sick to think about. I would never feel the slam of a ball off of my hand again; I would never have that camaraderie of a team.

That all changed in the spring of last year when Mr. Wyrick approached me to help him and Bev coach high school volleyball. I accepted his proposition in a heartbeat, but I had my doubts…How am I going to be able to coach when I’m in a wheelchair? Are the girls going to think I’m a joke? Will anybody take me serious in this chair? …I had tons of questions of doubt running through my head. The doubt quickly left as soon as I wheeled into practice the first day. All of the girls disregarded my chair, listened intently to what I had to say, and accepted me as part of the team immediately.
2011 BHS Volleyball Team
As the season went on, I quickly found myself leaning towards the logistics side of the game with stats, rotations, and what not. Obviously, I couldn’t demonstrate plays and drills, but was able to explain what was in my mind and what needed to be said. This team brought back a love for something that I didn’t think could exist anymore.  The girls were absolutely amazing and they totally kicked butt on the court. The Lady Aces ended up the season 23-18 and were the first BHS volleyball team ever to make it to state.
State Tournament 2011
I may not ever be able sing like these people on the Voice, but my passion and love for the game of volleyball is plenty for me.

1 comment:

  1. Ohhhhh Em!
    I cried when I found out how hesitant you were to help. The girls LOVED you, found you inspiring, and fed off your passion for the game. You are a wonderful addition to the team. It wouldn't be the same without you!!!!!