Golden Hawks stick together through adversity

By Paul D. Bowker
Posted 9/14/21

Long after Mid-Prairie’s volleyball match ended last Thursday night, the Golden Hawks finally emerged from their locker room and into a hallway at Mid-Prairie.

There were hugs in the …

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Golden Hawks stick together through adversity

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Long after Mid-Prairie’s volleyball match ended last Thursday night, the Golden Hawks finally emerged from their locker room and into a hallway at Mid-Prairie.

There were hugs in the hallway.

And watery eyes.

Sometimes a game is about more than who won and who lost, and who scored the points and who didn’t.

It’s about growing and learning.

A three-set loss to a state volleyball power wasn’t as simple as just a loss. Remember, the Golden Hawks haven’t beaten West Liberty since 2009 and the Comets lineup now includes Macy Daufeldt, one of the best players in the state and a Drake recruit.

Emotionally, it goes much deeper than that.

And it certainly did after Thursday’s match in the locker room.

“I like our team aspect with this group of girls when it comes crunch time, whether it’s on the court or off the court,” Golden Hawks head coach Sherry Evans said. “Coming together as a team, supporting each other. I couldn’t be more proud of them for that.

“We had a good moment in the locker room where that happened. It makes you feel good as a coach to that growth of, these young ladies being good adults, good character, good-hearted people.”

The wins will come.

The emotional tears will turn into happy tears.

When your team is in the midst of a sweeping loss, and a successful point results in a yell and a fist pump, then the fire is already there.

The Golden Hawks lineup is loaded. Evans used 12 players in the match against West Liberty, most of them not being seniors. Four freshmen were on the court: Lanee Duwa, Dakota Mitchell, Brenna Jehle and Brylee Gearhart. Behla Schmidt and Paige Safly are sophomores. And a strong junior class includes Ella Groenewold, Landry Pacha and Maya Nonnenmann, all starters.

Leading the way are seniors Maddie Nonnenmann, Alyssa McDowell and Cana Rediger.

The Golden Hawks’ schedule is stacked. Just looking at their last two opponents (West Liberty and Wilton), the Golden Hawks faced teams with a combined 30 wins in a row. Neither team had lost even one set.

The rest of the schedule loosens up. Outside of tournaments, the Golden Hawks won’t meet another ranked team. That always helps.

But, again, this isn’t just about wins and losses, and who scores and who doesn’t.

“That’s what high school sports, in my opinion, is about,” Evans said. “Not necessarily the win category, but as long as we’re supporting each other and preparing them to be good young ladies and good adults.”

It’s about sportsmanship.

And it’s about hugging and encouraging a teammate when she is down.

And it’s about celebrating the happy moments.

There are many of those to come, for sure.

 

News columnist Paul Bowker can be reached at bowkerpaul1@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter: @bowkerpaul.

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