A Historical Weekend

The Windsor volleyball team ended the 2019 season in fourth place in Class 3.

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A Historical Weekend

Austin Williams, Staff Editor

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History is being made every day. No matter the scale, something new is always being added to history every day by people of all kinds, ordinary or extraordinary. History is not, however, necessarily measured by these small things. It’s measured by the big moments that will be talked and written about for years to come.

On Saturday, November 2, the Lady Owls volleyball team defeated Perryville, meaning they would not only be winners at sectionals but would move on to compete at state in Class 3 on November 8 and 9 in Cape Girardeau. They became one of the final four who would go on to compete for the championship.

It was at this moment where these girls, not only became the first Windsor team to go to state in almost two decades, but the first Windsor girls team ever to advance that far. This was their moment to make history.

Freshman player Madison Williams said, “It’s really incredible. We made history. No one’s ever done this. It’s really a learning experience for all of us. We’ve never been here and it’s just crazy.”

Williams and her team weren’t the only ones excited, however. The Owls were the only thing anyone in the community could talk about. The excitement was so large that the Windsor administration turned Friday the 8th into a half day of school.

@WindsorOwls (Windsor C-1 SD) had this to say on Twitter: “Congratulations to Coach Dueker and the Lady Owls Volleyball Team for making the Final Four! To make sure all can attend the games and support the team on Friday, Nov. 8th @ 4:00 pm in Cape, SCHOOL WILL ONLY BE IN SESSION FOR HALF A DAY.  Good luck; we are very proud of you!”

Windsor made shirts, celebrated the team’s departure on Thursday school wide, and even gave students the option to ride a bus down to Cape Girardeau, if needed, to watch the Owls play. Needless to say, this was a monumental occasion and Windsor was expecting a large turnout.

Windsor didn’t disappoint. Students and parents filled the stands with energy that many Windsor students hadn’t seen before, along with bringing love and support to the Owls. The support was so large that the players were in shock at the turnout.

Junior player Lidiya Sokolic said, “I didn’t think all of those people would be there for us, even people outside of our school. The community is always behind our backs. The school is 110% behind our backs, and it’s just great.”

The atmosphere in the Show Me Center, where the Final Four tournament took place, felt historic. There were hundreds of people there cheering and screaming for their teams with signs, clapping, and more. The grandness of the situation could be felt everywhere.

One person, in particular, who was feeling it all was Owls’ coach Stephany Dueker-Richmond. She has been the head coach for 19 seasons, so making it to state with this team is a big moment in her career.

“This is on my coaching bucket list, so I’m excited to be able to check this off. It’s special to be able to take the first volleyball team and first Windsor girls team (to state),” Dueker-Richmond said. “Being an alum, it’s exciting, and nerve wracking, and very busy. Lots of things to do before you go to state. They don’t give you a trophy at sectionals; they give you a big packet of paperwork to do, so I’ve been a busy lady here for the last couple of days. When we got here, it just got busier. There’s kind of no way to prepare for this.”

On Saturday, the Owls ended their historic season in fourth place of Class 3. Emotions filled the air as this mark in history also marked the beginning and end of players’ careers. While this season was just the beginning for the three freshmen on the team, the five seniors had just completed their time with Windsor volleyball in a notable way.

Abby Bailey was one of these seniors. Bailey had been playing volleyball with Windsor since the seventh grade. Out of all of the ways her Owls career could have ended, making it to state is one of the most fulfilling.

Bailey said, “I feel accomplished. I mean, this is the first time that a (Windsor) team has ever made it to state for for women’s volleyball. It’s amazing to be a part of history. I’m glad I get to be a part of it, especially to end my career with Windsor volleyball.”

So as this is the end for some, the Lady Owls making it to state is the sign of something bigger to come in the future. The team has a strong foundation with their younger players whose abilities will continue to grow over the years.

Sophomore Madison Heaghney said, “Hopefully next year we can do big things again. Hopefully we can get a district championship again, sectionals, and hopefully we can make it to state again. I feel like we have the potential to do that, so hopefully we can.”

The team and the community have a lot of hope for their future. While the team may not have won the state championship, they made Windsor history and gained an experience that will guide them for the rest of their volleyball careers. What the future holds? That’s uncertain. What they do know is they are destined for greatness.

Williams said, “I feel like we are going to keep improving from here and on, and just keep on getting better and better. I hope next year we will win that first place, and I don’t know. We’ll see what happens.”

 

Please check back later for more photos and stories from the final four. 

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