“We’re celebrating all levels today,” Ralph said.
That celebration came on the heels of an awards presentation that saw players and coaches hoist a large golden trophy in victory amid cheers and applause Saturday. Players received smaller trophies before gathering for food and splitting up into bowling teams. Ralph had vowed to allow his ponytail to be cut should the team take home the championship, and he was true to his word Saturday.
At the behest of the young team members, Coaches Lang and Beisel donned dresses that drew laughter from the students.
But in spite of the uniforms, the silly wagers fulfilled and the sport that had brought them together, it was the continued friendships that stood out the most at Saturday’s banquet.
Parents, in particular, were more than pleased with the way the coaches have represented themselves for their children.
Audrey Krizman, whose son Liam attends Good Shepherd Christian Academy, called her first season as parent of a player “an amazing experience.”
“It was really awesome,” Krizman said. “I was totally blown away. He’s [Liam] already ready for next year.”
Board Vice President Jackie Hadley and wife Jennifer, who serves as secretary, have two children on the championship team: “Bre” Hadley and Connor Deaton. Jennifer said she was most impressed at the level of respect taught to the children of the team. Jennifer also mentioned that coaches continually go “out of their way” to help students, even offering rides to practice when necessary. Jackie Hadley described the group as being “like a big family” and expressed pride in the students’ community service efforts.
Shelby Wheatley, the public relations specialist for the team, gave rave reviews for the coaches while her son, Owen, wound up a second-year all-star.
Causes aren’t far from the minds of parents and coaches, either, as team members will put on purple socks in honor November’s designation as Epilepsy Awareness Month, Wheatley said.