Off and running again
Synonymous with winning is Lady Dawg Volleyball (18-4) and Dawg Tennis (8-3) at this time every year. Both programs have become well known throughout this region of Texas as consistent winners. CCISD is very fortunate to return two veteran coaches for the programs. Cari Lowery begins her 13th year as the head volleyball coach, while Paul Talbett is in his 18th year as the head boss of tennis.
Both programs have established excellence. Stability and quality coaching have created expectations of the student-athletes. To make both team rosters, players must prepare yearly. Inconsistent workouts on the tennis or volleyball courts will almost guarantee hopeful players will not make the team. Is it because they missed off-season workouts or is it because there are so many students wanting to play on a team with good discipline and thorough coaching, that if you do not workout properly, others will pass you up? Yes, both programs are very competitive. Talent and commitment are a must to make the squads.
Volleyball games and the Cari Lowery Show can be heard most Tuesday nights on Centex Central Internet Radio (www.centexcentral.com). The Cari Lowery show begins at 5:30 p.m. with the game following at 6 p.m. How many volleyball teams have their games broadcast? I am sure there are probably some volleyball programs on internet radio, but I have not heard of any.
Tennis is a team sport but centered on individual and doubles play. Volleyball is strictly a team sport. One of the many strengths of the Lady Dawg volleyball program is the girls play like a team. They know how each member plays and rely on each individual to do their job. Folks, this does not happen by accident. This kind of unity requires trust. Trust is developed by working together in the weight room and on the court in the off-season. These girls are the epitome of dedication.
One of my favorite examples of teamwork is the 1978 Penn State and Alabama football game. Both teams went 11-1 and fell just short of their goal of a National Championship in 1977. Throughout the 1978 season, these two teams were on a mission. Alabama had lost one game to USC but still climbed to the number two ranking. Penn State was undefeated and ranked number one. The matchup was set for one and two in the Sugar Bowl.
Two well-coached teams took the field that day. They fought hard all day and the win came down to the very last moments of the game. It was fourth and goal and the national championship was on the line. The two best teams in the nation were going head to head. Penn State needed just one foot to win the game. Alabama was on defense and called a double-x pinch.
With a foot to go, only teamwork would win this game. It was the immovable object against the irresistible force. No one could falter on offense and allow a defender to penetrate the line. One foot was all the offense needed.
Everyone on defense had a specific assignment and each had to be executed perfectly. If anyone hesitated and tried to find the ball and be a hero by making the tackle alone, Alabama would lose. Every player had to trust the person beside him to do his job.
The Penn State quarterback took the snap and handed off to a punishing runner. Across the defensive front, each player held his ground. One of the Alabama defensive linemen penetrated into the backfield and collapsed the line. An Alabama linebacker crashed into the lead blocker to take him out of the play. The running back leapt over his blocker, where he was met by Alabama linebacker, Barry Kraus, and was stopped in mid-air. The free safety came flying in from his defensive back position and pushed the runner backward to the ground. No gain.
This play became the most famous stop in Alabama history. The Tide stopped the Nittany Lions and held on to win. If each of these individual teammates had not trusted the man beside them, this defensive stop could not have worked. Trust was the key.
The Lady Dawg volleyball and tennis programs continue to grow. I believe it is because of the hard work, great coaching and players trusting in each other. Come out and support the Dawg tennis and Lady Dawg volleyball programs this fall.
Thought for the week, “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” Babe Ruth