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By HALLIE BEARD, Magnet Correspondent
Thursday was an exciting night for the Spencer County Lady Bears as the girls’ freshman, junior varsity and varsity volleyball teams played the Bullitt Central Cougars and celebrated Senior Night.
The Senior Night festivities took place before the varsity game, showcasing the four seniors on the team: Leah Brown, Marianne Gaddie, Shelby Hall, and Bethany Martin.
The varsity game, along with the Senior Night celebration, marked the last home game for the four seniors.
The coaches and team members decorated the gym with balloons, streamers and personalized picture boards for the soon-to-be graduates. Each of the four girls was walked onto the court escorted by her parents, and received flowers, gifts, and a tiara from the team members and coaches.
After the seniors were recognized and had a few minutes of stress-free celebration, they set aside their tiaras and pulled back their hair, ready for the challenge of one last game.
Coaches Tim and Wendy Elder prepared the girls for a busy season by practicing frequently and doing intense workouts three days per week during the summer.
Tim and Wendy work together to coach the teams, with Shannon Reed assisting with the freshman team. Along with volleyball technique, the Elders also teach valuable life lessons to the girls.
“Athletics help any child. It keeps them out of trouble, teaches them respect, and makes them a better rounded person,” said Wendy.
Tim agreed, “This is more than just volleyball. What we teach is ideas they can use in life, like teamwork and how to get along in relationships.”
Tim and Wendy also strive to promote equality in terms of effort and status, stating that they do not encourage having a “star player” or an attitude of one.
“We push all of them to be superstars,” said Tim, explaining that the girls have to rotate positions, giving everyone the chance to have the same responsibility in the game.
“We try to promote their strengths and work on their weaknesses,” said Wendy. “They all have so much potential.”
The volleyball program is not sponsored, so a lot of effort is put into fundraising. Wendy said the girls and parents have done everything from picking up trash to selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts in order to create enough money for the season.
The Elders hope that the volleyball program continues to grow and improve, and they plan to coach again next year. Tim and Wendy have over 20 years experience in Spencer County and want to stay involved for as long as they can.
“If we don’t coach here, we don’t want to coach anywhere,” said Wendy. “It’s all about the kids.”
The Lady Bears beat the Cougars 3-0 by winning 25-21 for the first set, 25-16 for the second set, and 25-12 for the last set. This was the Lady Bears’ 14th win of the season.