Volleyball sets up team for future

   With the 2020 volleyball season coming to an end in late October, the volleyball team finally got some time to rest and reflect on this year’s season. New head coach Lori Byrd had coached for the Sheridan High School Lady Bronc volleyball team before in 1987 and has come back this year for a new season. 

   The varsity team had a record of 2-13 with their final game in the regional tournament against Kelly Walsh, losing four to one. “If we wouldn’t have had that twenty-day break with COVID-19 in the middle of the season, it would have gone a lot better,” said Byrd. 

   Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the volleyball team was only able to play fifteen out of the thirty-five games they were assigned to play. With the new season, Byrd and the varsity team focused on establishing that every athlete is equally important. They also try to have fun with the sport that they are in. 

    This year’s varsity team experienced new unseen challenges. COVID-19 brought new challenges to the court, and Byrd got to face them head-on in her first year back. Senior Madisyn Danforth was one of the teammates who helped lead the younger athletes. “I’m really sad that this was my last year,” said Danforth. “I’m grateful we got to play when some didn’t.” Danforth loved the new head coach this year and the entire coaching staff. “It’s really good for underclassmen to know that the coaching staff loves them and wants them to succeed,” said Danforth. She says that the new coaches brought out the potential in all players and is very excited for the current underclassmen to become the head of the school, and for the underclassmen to continue to grow with Byrd. 

   Junior Jenna Sweeny will be stepping up to the plate as a senior in next year’s season. For her, this season has been a new experience from years before. They’ve learned new life skills from Byrd that they have not experienced before in the past. 

   “I definitely want to put emphasis on how awesome Coach Byrd was for us,” said Sweeny. “She’s done really good at coaching and has gotten us together as a team and made us realize some things that maybe we didn’t realize last year and the years before.” Despite the team not reaching their goal of going to state, this year was a valuable year in learning new ideas of teamwork and bringing everyone closer together. As a future leader of the high school, she hopes for a good season next year.

   The most rewarding part of the season overall has been the entire volleyball team coming together and working as a family. Byrd also mentions that in the spring and summer of 2021, there will be open gyms and hopefully other new changes as new kids and familiar faces enter the gym this spring.