High Point High School’s volleyball team may not have left with a state trophy or plaque last weekend at the University of Maryland, but the Eagles were awarded the Lesley A. Cooke Sportsmanship award.
The award, named in honor of the late Lesley Cooke, a former athletic director at McDonough and longtime member of the state volleyball committee, has been a consolation of the tournament since 1998.
Shirley Diggs’ team, which lost in three sets to eventual 4A champion Dulaney, became second straight Prince George’s County volleyball team to be bestowed with the honor after Eleanor Roosevelt took it in 2012.
— Travis Mewhirter
There’s perhaps only one situation in volleyball where being down 21-8 in the early stages of a match is still a cause for smiles and laughs: an All-Star game. That was a perfectly acceptable excuse on Tuesday night at Parkdale High School as Prince George’s finest seniors met on the court one last time.
“I wanted to win but I think it was good seeing all the schools’ variety,” said Largo’s Brittany Chang.
“We pulled through because we played each other during the season,” added Friendly middle hitter Tiffany Watson. “So it’s like we had to play against each other during the season and now we have to pull together. We put our feelings aside during how we felt during the actual season for this one.”
The night was broken up into two matches; the first featured the 3A/2A/1A League representatives and the second the 4A League.
“It was a little bit nerve-wracking at first, honestly,” Central outside hitter Jasmine Edwards said. “But then I just kind of got into regular volleyball mode. I think it was because I was playing with new people and a lot of the people were better than what I was used to seeing.”
Given that there was only one practice, which took place at Parkdale the day prior to the game, it took some time for the newly acquainted teammates to get used to one another. But, all in all, whether a set was a bit off the mark or a ball dropped to the floor due to miscommunication, there were smiles abound and laughs to be had in the senior send-off.
“I think it was cool that we all got to play with people that we would normally be competing against,” Eleanor Roosevelt’s Alesia Richardson said. “So it was a lot of fun meeting people. We kind of just meshed and we just all had fun.”
— Travis Mewhirter