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Championship Significance

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By now you should all know that The Habersham School Volleyball Team won the GICAA Div. II-A State Championship last weekend in Suwanee, Georgia without dropping a single set throughout the entire one-day State Tournament.

The enthusiasm that has surrounded the team and the victory is extremely encouraging—may it continue! But it is important that the significance of the accomplishment is not lost in trophy photos, texted emojis, and exclamations points.

This 2015 Lady Patriot Volleyball Team went as far as the league and the season allowed. Finishing a season in the playoffs with a win is an earned honor experienced by a very small number of players and coaches. Even if you can think of teams that seem to do it every year, realize that those teams are exceptional. Also realize that, as those dominant teams win, there are thousands of teams, each comprised of coaches and players, who lose every year. Even if they lose in the championship game, they fall short of accomplishing their goal and they miss that championship experience.

Had they lost in that championship game, our Lady Patriots would have been heart-broken for a few days, but their season would have been worth all the sacrifice and effort. The value of competitive athletics is found in the lessons learned as teams and individuals work and solve problems in an effort to achieve complete success with the hope that complete success is possible. When complete success is not achieved, the team has the opportunity to reflect on the process of the season and learn and grow stronger through their disappointment. But a team that wins has the opportunity to learn even more.

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Sarah Delk (left) goes for the kill. Ashlyn Burnsed and Abbie McIntyre (right) on the block.

Reflecting on the season, Coach Susan Barry said, “We started this season with specific goals we wanted to reach. At our very first practice, we each shared those goals with the team. To a person, we each listed winning the state championship as one of our goals. The whole season was a constant process of working and learning as players and as a coach to get our team into position to achieve that goal. It was a wonderfully satisfying feeling to see these girls play so well and to win the championship and achieve what they were striving toward and to do it in an overwhelming fashion. They constantly improved throughout the season and always learned from the setbacks encountered along the way. They are resilient, determined young ladies with an excellent work ethic and indomitable spirit.”

Under the direction of Susan Barry, these ladies—two of whom had roles in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, four of whom are in House Leadership, one of whom is a Prefect, one of whom is in 7th grade, all of whom exhibit a laudable work ethic in the classroom—fully realized the hope that motivated them before and throughout their entire season.

That is a truly unique and remarkable accomplishment.

Coach Barry shares the credit for the accomplishment with the Habersham community. “I can’t say enough about the wonderful support we have received from our student body, parents, faculty, administration and communications personnel. They were crucial to making this season a successful and memorable one. It has meant so much to me and the girls, and we are so very thankful to everyone who came out this season and cheered or held up signs or posted things on Facebook and Instagram. Thank you so much!”

“It was a remarkable privilege to watch these girls play and grow as a team,” said Angie Copetillo. “Though their season was fantastic, tournament day, these eight players came together as a team like none other. They were nearly flawless, and might I add, a whole lot of fun to watch win! They and Coach Barry absolutely deserve this championship; they worked for it.”

May this remarkable volleyball season be treasured by the Habersham community and may it serve as a foundation for the hope and the future of Habersham Athletics and The Habersham School.


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