Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Another Interruption?



Okay, I guess I really don't have to interrupt because I'm the one who decides what to put on here in the first place!  How cool is that?
Actually, I was in the middle of posting my Illinois pictures before I was so rudely interrupted by LIFE!

So much has happened since my last post, I guess I need to slow down and catch my breath.  To begin with, September is such a busy month for us anyway; we have umpteen volleyball games, Bex is in school, we have our annual G-Girls weekend at the beach, various church activities and corporate taxes are due!  These are normal.  Add to that a special weekend for me attending a Beth Moore conference in Orlando with friends, Bex heading to Camp Charis for a teen weekend and then our whole family enjoying a day at Camp Charis for Family Fun Day...whew! all adds up to a very busy September.

But that was September.  Now we're knee-deep into October and the "busy" continues!  As September came to a close, the end of volleyball season loomed heavy in front us.  After playing for Maranatha Christian School for six years, Bex (and me!) looked forward to her Senior season with a mixture of anticipation and dread.  Anticipation for a wonderful season...and dread for the end of her final season playing the sport we both love so much.

This volleyball year has been filled with drama!  As school-time rolled around several of our team's players left for different schools, leaving the team with huge holes to fill.  After practicing/playing/camping with one group of girls all summer, the actual TEAM looks quite different for the season.

This year, our Senior starters include Bex (of course) and Emily.  Both have played for MCS since 7th grade as homeschoolers.  Valerie, who attends MCS has played, but never been a starter.  We have two Junior players -- Sarah is a homeschooler that came back to play with us this year after having to play elsewhere because of a conference rule that limits the number of homeschoolers on a team.  Jackie, is a MCS student who's been on the team for a lot of years.  LaTisha, a Sophomore, is a new MCS student and pretty new to volleyball also.  Kelly is our lone Freshman this year and new to volleyball.  Then we get down to Savana, (Cha-Cha) our 8th grade veteran player (Sarah's sister) who can't play any conference games because of that silly conference rule limiting homeschoolers.  Thankfully, she does get to play in our non-conference games and is a huge asset to the team just because of her encouraging spirit!  We were so limited on eligible players, our coach promoted two 7th graders to Varsity.  Cherelle and Emma had only played one year of JV so there has been a HUGE learning curve for them.  There you have it, an eclectic group of girls thrown together as a volleyball team...but what a TEAM they have become!

After getting off to a shaky start with girls playing new and unfamiliar defensive and offensive positions, and for some of them learning how to play REAL volleyball rather than the "bump ball" version, it's been quite a season.

This picture shows Bex "setting" the ball.  This was so far out of her comfort zone this year.  She is usually an Outside Hitter and LOVES hitting!  But this year, everyone had to make changes and adjustments.  I was proud that she worked so hard to learn this new position.  She still got plenty of chances to hit, too!

As we head into our final weekend of volleyball season, our record stands at 18-0 in regular season and tournament play.  We've knocked off each and every team in our conference, as well as, three big high schools here in Tallytown.  Our girls have worked so hard to accomplish this.

Our conference, Panhandle Christian Conference, stretches north from Florida, to Bainbridge, Georgia and Dothan, Alabama -- then west through Panama City and Pensacola, Florida  nearly to Mobile, Alabama.  It is divided up into two regions -- East and West.  Last weekend, we traveled to Panama City, FL for the East Regional Conference Championship.  The five schools (with teams this year) battled it out to be the East Regional Champions.  The top two finalists go on to another tournament (which is THIS weekend) called the Final Four.  There the top two teams from the East and the West play to decide the full Conference Champions.

Last weekend, our girls easily won the East Regional Tournament.  Here's a picture of our team after the game with our two coaches, Ginny and Rachel.

16-Cherelle, 12-Emma, 22-LaTisha, 13-Sarah, 8-Emily, 21-Bex, 23-Kelly, Savana, 3-Valerie.  Remember, Savana can't play in conference games :(  so she isn't in her uniform.  She cheers everyone on anyway!  Jackie (6) is the one down with the trophy.

Before the tournament, all the coaches vote to determine the best players in the conference for the All-Conference Team.  From MCS, Bex, Emily and Sarah were voted 1st Team All-Conference and Jackie was voted to the 2nd Team All-Conference!

After the championship game, a Most Valuable Player for the tournament is named.  This usually goes to a "tall girl."  That's just the way it is.  


This year, the Most Valuable Player trophy was awarded to a 5'5" Senior....


And, yes... Mom and Dad are so proud!!!  She plays her heart out each and every game and I was so thrilled for her to receive some recognition for her efforts.

Our last regular season game was against Godby High School here in Tallytown.  This is a big, public high school right down the road from MCS.  This is the first year they have agreed to play us.  Since this was the last home game of the season, it was dubbed "Senior Night."   All three of our seniors were recognized with team signed volleyballs, special t-shirts, roses and a framed picture of them playing.  It was a sweet time.  I cried.

As official scorekeeper, I'm considered part of the officiating team.  This means I'm supposed to be unbiased and QUIET during the games.  I've learned how to be somewhat quiet and somewhat unbiased.  But it is HARD!  Believe me, it is HARD!  Since it was our last game, the chief referee (who I've become good friends with over the years) turned around to me and whispered, "If you want to cheer tonight -- I'm not listening."  He was so sweet, he kept turning around between plays and telling me "Did you give her that Ace?  Did you give her that Kill?"  He was referring to my favorite, #21, of course.

So, this weekend we are headed to Pensacola for the Final Four Tournament.  We're excited, but also dread the ending of our sweet season.  Normally, when a team has such a great record, we finish our season by participating in the NACA National Volleyball Tournament in Dayton, TN where Christian school teams from all over the country come to compete.  Remember I mentioned earlier that the year has been filled with "drama?"  (Since this is a memoir for Bex, I can't NOT mention the drama...but I will keep it short and sweet.)  Well, part of the drama included the church Pastor canceling several of our games, our coach resigning under duress from the administration, and our being told that Nationals was NOT going to be in our future.  But despite these trials, our girls have kept their head and finished their season with much poise and focus.

The end of the season is bittersweet for me, as well.  I've been the Team Mom, Team Scorekeeper and traveled with the team for the past four years.  I love these girls and I love the game.  So MY sporting life is over along with Bex's.  But despite all this, I'm looking forward to the new chapters unfolding in my sweet Bex's life.  I can't wait to see what God has planned for her (AND me)!

Stay Tuned with me!

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