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Clarion Area Lady Cats Volleyball Team Honored By Boosters At Team Banquet (12/04/19)

(Above photo by Kim Constantino) 2019 Lady Cats Volleyball Team

The 2019 KSAC Champion, District Nine Class-A Champion and PIAA State Final-Four participant, Clarion Area Lady Cats Volleyball Team was honored by the Volleyball Boosters at the Annual Banquet, at the fellowship hall at Trinity Point Church of God, on Sunday, December 1st.

Booster President Tracy Girvan welcomed everyone to the event to “Celebrate the amazing season, by this ‘family.’ ” She said she refused to say team, “because this is truly a family.”

Booster President, Tracy Girvan

Mrs. Girvan then gave the invocation and blessing over the meal, catered by Daddy’s.

Staff from Daddy’s serving the fine meal

After the meal, Mrs. Girvan mentioned that it was inspiring to watch the players grow this season and said that they had each other’s backs on and off the court. Choking back the tears, she shared how Coach Shari Campbell and the other “family” members were there for her daughters, KK and Aryana, when KK suffered a serious health scare, several weeks ago.

Mrs. Girvan thanked Coach Shari Campbell “from the bottom of my heart” for being there. She then passed on thanks to Coach Campbell, from all the team parents. Special thanks was given to Superintendent Joe Carrico, Principle Ted Pappas and Athletic Director Nancy Mills and Jim Campbell, as well as Martha Campbell, the Lady Cats “adopted Grandma.

Coach Campbell

Coach Campbell then thanked the Boosters for their work (sponsoring camps, T-shirts and decorating lockers during the playoff run). She thanked Athletic Director Mills, Superintendent Carrico and Principal Pappas for creating a different atmosphere at the school, saying that the family atmosphere didn’t include just the volleyball team, but the entire school. She also thanked trainer Steve Seifert for his work in keeping the girls healthy.

Coach Campbell thanked the girls for the memories made and to all those attending the banquet. She mentioned several key themes that the girls used as motivation. Several include: “You are the most important ingredient in the rest of the team’s success,” Because of you, the team doesn’t need you (you make everyone else better),” “Focus on what you can control – everything else is a distraction” and “work harder, than you possibly think you can, on what you love to do.”

Coach Campbell highlighted the hard work of this year’s squad, saying that when her husband would ask her how practices went, there were maybe only two times that she answered, not that great.

She said that it “was an absolute joy” coaching this team and thanked the seniors for “the run of a lifetime.” The Coach mentioned that it was now time for the seniors to pass the torch and that they were leaving it in capable hands.

(Photo by Kim Constantino) several players with their jackets provided by the Booster Club

Coach Campbell listed a number of facts and figures on the team this season, among them, facing twenty-three state ranked teams, from all classifications, being victorious over many.

She mentioned that the Lady Cats had nothing but three-set victories throughout the District Nine playoffs, giving up as little as nine points and no more than twenty points in any game. The team followed that up with three set wins over Saegertown and Bishop Carroll in the State playoffs.

The line-up needed changed before the Bishop Carroll match, due to KK’s not playing, but Coach Campbell said that, “Is KK OK?” was the only thing that mattered to the ‘family’. Coach Campbell mentioned that this year’s team “is the truest example of team” she has ever coached and that they should take pride in what they accomplished and the memories they take with them.

Lady Cats with Coaches: Samantha Beichner (front left); Shari Campbell (front second from right); trainer Steve Seifert front right; and Tracy Durish (back right)

Coach Campbell mentioned that the plan and the effort were there in the loss to eventual state champion Northern Cambria, in the semifinals. The four set match with the Lady Colts was decided by a total of of just seven points (an average of less than two points per game).

She mentioned that, “Only one feels the feeling of being a state champion. It takes courage to put your heart out there to not be the one who feels that.”

Coach Campbell then looked at her players and said, “How proud I am of you! You should be proud of what you accomplished.”

Then the team was invited up front to be introduced along with the Gnomes, Victor and Victoria who have been part of the Lady Cats since 2006.

KK and Brenna holding Victor and Victoria

Duane Schmader then presented Bobcat Paw plaques that he made for each of the senios, KK Girvan, Kait Constantino, Grace Matson and Maddie Schill.

He mentioned that he decided to do that, in appreciation to the team after the whole group came in out in comfort and support during visitation, when his father passed away.

(Photo by Kim Constantino) Duane Schmader with seniors KK Girvan, Kait Constantino, Grace Matson and Maddie Schill

The players were then presented with jackets, recognizing their KSAC and District Nine championships and PIAA State Final Four appearance.

Coach Campbell then recognized the girls who were selected to the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Class-A All-State Team. They include KK Girvan, Brenna Campbell, Kait Constantino, Maddie Schill and Korrin Burns.

(Photo by Kim Constantino) 2019 PVCA All-State Volleyball Recipients: KK, Brenna, Kait, Maddie, Korrin

Next was the introductions of the PVCA Academic All-State honorees. To be selected the players must have a 3.5 Grade Point Average or higher. Those honored include: Brenna Campbell, Noel Anthony, Payton Simko, Jordy Best, Kait Constantinno, Grace Matson and Maddie Schill.

(Photo by Kim Constantino) 2019 PVCA All-State Academic Recipients: Brenna, Noel, Payton, Jordy, Kait, Grace, and Maddie

Junior Varsity Coach Tracy Durish thanked the JVs for their season and said that she was already looking forward to next season.

Coach Tracy Durish

Coach Campbell then thanked a number of others who were responsible for the team’s success. Among them were team manager Hayden Quinn; Gia Babbington, Taylor Alston and Lauren Lerch who kept the scorebook; Volunteer Coach Samantha Beichner; Junior Varsity Coach Tracy Durish; parents; various media, including Clarion Sports Zone and Chris Rossetti of D9Sports.com and Explore Clarion etc. Coach Campbell mentioned that there were over 5,000 tuned in to one of the playoff webcasts by D9Sports and Explore.

Mrs. Girvan invited the seniors up front to give gifts to the coaches and staff. The Boosters presented the girls with jackets, recognizing their KSAC and District Nine championships and PIAA State Final Four appearance. The seniors were also presented with gifts from the Boosters.

The 2019 Lady Cats Volleyball players included:

Seniors: Kait Constantino, KK Girvan, Maddie Schill and Grace Matson.

Juniors: Brenna Campbell and Jordy Best.

Sophomores: Korrin Burns, Payton Simko and Noel Anthony.

Freshmen: Aryana Girvan, Grace Ochs, Bri Pierce, Bailey Rupert and Adia Needham.

(Thanks to Kim Constantino for her photos. CONGRATULATIONS TO THE LADY CATS ON A GREAT SEASON AND TO THE BOOSTERS ON THE FINE BANQUET!!!!)