Track, Volleyball Teams Push Past Obstacles By Paul Mullinax
Over the last few months, much of the school’s attention has been on the football team and their impressive accomplishments. This is well deserved, as they finished with a solid record and were even featured on Fox News. While the football team has done some great things, the other fall sports at Athens Academy have also had their fair share of accomplishments.
The cross country teams have always been one of the strengths of the school and they were again. Both teams travelled to Carrollton, GA, where they competed on a soaking wet course. The boys’ team finished with a respectable fourth place, being led by two underclassmen; Ryan Iyer (seventh overall) and Alex Branch (eighth overall). The girls’ team had a great day, as always, finishing second in the state, with three girls in the top 15. Despite being sick, Anna Marion Block finished the day with a time of 19:09, which was good enough to get her first place. Even though her time was over a minute off her PR, she had the best time on the girls’ course (before the meet was cut short due to rain). Emily Elder finished second on the team and 11th overall with her second best time of the year. Emily Ballad-Meyer didn’t have the best day running, and her time showed it, but she still managed to be third on the team and finished 15th overall.
The volleyball team also had a fantastic year. With a regular season record of 38-2, they finished fourth in the state. Throughout the year, one of the strong points of the team was their defense. They were also determined enough to play every ball and not give up, even after a long volley or bad pass. One challenge they had was the schedule. All year, the Spartans were playing teams that didn’t pose much of a threat. This made it very tempting to play down to the other teams’ levels and relax or forget the basics, but they didn’t. You could really tell that the coaches loved coaching all year and the players really loved being with them. Coach Thomas and assistant coach Rachel both motivated them all to do their best. Next year, nearly all varsity players will be returning with the exception of M.E. Eberhart, the team captain who played well all year.