TYLER COUNTY DOES IT RIGHT
Tyler County, West Virginia is home of the Tyler Consolidated Knights Volleyball Team. And it’s also home for roughly 9,000 people who live in the county’s communities amongst the hills. It’s a place where people work hard and still treasure the things that make our country great – things such as education, religion, raising wonderful children, and providing a safe haven for their families. And oh, what proud people they are!
So what does this have to do with Knights Volleyball? Well, it is my opinion that the Knights Volleyball program is one of the best in the state. And for this to happen you need the perfect triangle of strong community support, great parents who are willing to make sacrifices and who instill in their daughters a strong work ethic, and athletes willing to work hard and give back to their communities. Never was this triangle more evident than this past week, which culminated in a wonderful display of giving, compassion, and love which was called “Volley for the Cure.” But before I get to that event, hang with me a second while I give you some information as to why I am proud of the Knights Volleyball program, which includes current and past players.
The Tyler Consolidated High School Volleyball Team was recently nominated for a state award based on academic achievement. These girls are exemplars of academic excellence. The top 14 girls have a combined grade point average of 4.02, which means straight A’s in all classes included weighted college classes. They are not athlete/students, they are student/athletes. Our community passes levies and built a great school. Community-parents-athletes: a triangle.
The Knights Volleyball players give of their time to take part in athletics and also to give back to their community. Knights Volleyball conducts a summer camp popular not just with our community, but also surrounding communities – where they work with young campers and doubtlessly are looked up to. They have volunteered at the annual Trunk-or-Treat event, helped with the Back-to-School Fair, and sold 50/50 tickets for the TCHS athletic department. In short, they give back.
At a time when honoring our veterans has at times become a controversial issue, our girls stepped up and took honoring them to another level. “Coach, can we please sing the National Anthem?” they asked. Who could deny teenagers wanting to take on this task? At each home match, fans do not hear a recording of the National Anthem, just 21 girls standing with their hands on their hearts and singing from the heart. And often, other high school kids and the community join in.
Back to the “Volley for the Cure” event. On Thursday, our volleyball girls, their parents, school employees and the community came together to raise money for the Boggstrong Foundation with the proceeds to go toward future scholarships and to meet community needs. At no time was the triangle for success more evident than on this special night.
The community embraced the event; there was a large turnout for the match, and even the visiting coaches and team (from Ravenswood High School) took part by donating a basket and wearing t-shirts that read “Pass-Spike-Cure, In Memory of Lori Jones,” who tragically passed away just before the start of the season. Just over $1,500 dollars was raised. And how great it was to see several cancer survivors who are part of the Knights family recognized.
See why I’m proud of our program? See why so many people posted, and often post, on Facebook throughout the year “I love our community.”? Tyler County is such a special place. And it is because of our community that I fully believe we have an excellent volleyball program. Community-Parents-Players. It certainly works in Tyler County.