Chaffin’s Final Freshman Volleyball Team

Chaffin Junior High lets go of their last group of freshman volleyball players. Hear about some of the team’s favorite memories & their importance to Coach Lucas!

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Jasmine Washington

As Chaffin Junior High comes to an end, so does something else: freshman volleyball. With the last volleyball game on October 21st, it’s unreal to think of how quickly the season has gone. With COVID-19, broken ankles, hilarious moments, and some ultimate wins, the last 9th-grade volleyball team Chaffin has plans to go down in history. Despite the wins or losses of the season, these 9th-grade athletes will always be missed.

When I asked my teammates what some of their favorite memories were from their years on the team, there was a splurge of answers. Many of us on the team have suffered injuries, and some of us twice at Chaffin! Kathy King recalls when she dislocated her knee twice while playing volleyball at school, and how she cried after one of the dislocations because she didn’t want to sit in the chair. Ruby McGruder remembers her time at the beginning of the 9th-grade season, when she hurt her ankle and Coach Lucas stated she couldn’t help Ruby without her mask over her face. Or when Maddie Edgmon got a concussion in 8th grade against Alma.  Even Kylee Dominguez remembers when she sprained her ankle in the middle of the season, and our coach asked her if she was about to cry on the court. 

Even with the numerous amounts of injuries, unfortunate luck, and confusing losses, the freshman team has some good memories as well. Such as when Skylar Aldridge remembered a volleyball game where Alexis Hansen went up to spike the ball and it hit her on the head. Or when Karlie sent a free ball out of bounds in a game and she covered her face while laughing. And Anna Durham, who’ll never forget the inside jokes she created with her teammates and all the amazing friendships she made.

We have great memories, like when Caroline Snow tried to hit the ball, but she missed it and did a cartwheel on the court. Even in 7th grade, their first year at Chaffin Junior High, Kennedy Watts and Alexis Hansen had memories. Alexis forgot her volleyball clothes on the first day of practice, and she had to work out in jeans. Kennedy also forgot her clothes for the first day of volleyball, and she was yelled at by Coach Lucas (it’s yes ma’am). Reyleigh remembers when Coach Lucas gave her six boxes of Dots candy during practice once, and she even remembers when she was doing a viral dance in the locker room and our coach walked in on her. 

The funniest moments like this really made everyone on the team laugh, including all of the times outside of practice when silly behavior was displayed. Like in 8th grade at FSJ (club volleyball) when Alexis damaged the FSJ sign at a party. Maylea Burton’s favorite memory from the team was when we beat Greenwood at their school on our last game with them. Questionable line judges put aside, Maylea also remembers always bringing Kylee’s shoes and water bottle to practice every day. As crazy as all of us could get in practice sometimes, there was never really a dull moment with the freshman volleyball team.

“‘There was never a time I needed to tell y’all to work harder.” 

-Coach Lucas, Volleyball Coach 

When asking the volleyball coach how she felt about my hilarious teammates, she had a lot of coaching moments to recall. “…when y’all didn’t give up playing against Greenwood at Greenwood…that was a standout.” With pride, she explained to me how silly everyone on the team is (including Alexis, who found a way to make her laugh even when she was angry). She found her last team of freshman volleyball girls extremely great and silly, saying we all had amazing attitudes and never stopped trying. 

 

 

Now you may be wondering…what makes this group of freshmen so special? Well, the coach has a lot to say about what made us stand out. “You kept coming back for more. Even when we lose a match or I get mad at you or there’s injuries or quarantine…y’all just kept coming back and kept coming back.” Coach Lucas talks about how proud she is with the girls who even don’t play as much, because they still work extremely hard in practice and never quit playing. She also believed that her freshman team understood the struggles of being a coach, but she knew “you don’t hold grudges.” 

As the volleyball season comes to an unfortunate end, Coach Lucas states that she’ll miss how funny the girls are. “Just a bunch of sweet girls,” she told me, her voice faint of nostalgia. “Goofy, silly…it’s easy to coach girls who are fun to be around.” 

 

Without a doubt, Chaffin’s last group of freshmen volleyball will be dearly missed, and it’s been an honor to become friends with so many amazing and hilarious girls. With all of the astonishing talent on the team, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear about more than half of my teammates playing professional in college.

Thank you to coach Lucas, who always believed in the team even when things were rocky, and to everyone on the freshman team. There will never not be a time for all of us to look back at and laugh on. Go, Lady Cougars!