By: Maxine Kooper
Throughout my four years of high school, I’ve had different friends, took different classes, and have had hundreds of different experiences. The one constant during these years was Heritage Volleyball. It wasn’t the sport that made me want to wake up twice a week in the summer at 8 am to go to workouts or go to camp for four days: it was all the friends I made and our coaches. For some people, it’s hard to say they truly enjoyed playing a school sport, but I was given the best group of people to spend every fall season with.
That’s why it’s so hard to say goodbye to all of this. Maybe I’m not going to miss getting home around 9 pm after games, but I will miss the bus rides back from away games and sitting in Coach Furlough’s office talking for hours before home games. Even as a freshman and sophomore on JV, I was lucky to be able to come to Furlough if I ever needed something. She always wanted everyone to succeed, advising that we play club volleyball outside of school season and attend spring and summer workouts. Without the support of Coach Furlough, it would’ve been very difficult to enjoy my last two seasons on varsity.
When I started volleyball my freshman year, I was nervous coming into a new school with a whole bunch of people I had never met before. That’s when I became best friends with Maggie Loutzenheiser, Shae Eggert, and Hailey Midles. I had known Hailey years before, but for Shae and Maggie, I wouldn’t still be best friends with them without volleyball, and that is crazy to think about. The next year, I met the most amazing freshman: Allana Riley, Jessica Connelly, Kylee Hughes, and several others. This past season, their junior season, I was finally able to play with them again, this time on varsity. Without them, my senior season would have been a lot less special. The people that I have met through this program are ones who I will never forget.
Out of my four years on the team, the most memorable moment had to be winning our conference during my senior season. After all the previous seniors left, we were expected to have a bad season. We had a tough non-conference stretch, which seemingly proved that our grim predictions were going to come true. But in a twist to our fate, the new juniors who were brought up on varsity stepped up their game. We swept through conference matchups, defeating every team we played. And when we heard that we had one more team to beat, we played the best game we had ever played. I remember the feeling after all of the Hooligans ran onto the court, something that they began to do at the beginning of the season, and cheered so loud. We circled up and counted down from three and, in unison, yelled “HUSKIES!” The sheer amount of school spirit shown on that night made it impossible to forget.
This sport was not only my favorite part of high school but my favorite thing to do after the fall season. I am so lucky to be able to play club volleyball with a lot of people from the school team along with athletes from other schools, creating more and more friendships. Whether you’re reading this article wondering if you should tryout for volleyball, or if you want to know what it’s like to play a sport at Heritage, I hope this helps you understand what a big part of my life volleyball has been. The relationships that I have made are what has helped me through high school and hopefully will carry me for a long time.