One team ~ one family Team bonding brings success for Lady Dragons

By Kristine Kern

Review Staff Writer

One team, one family.  That is what the Dragon volleyball team has lived by on and off the court this season.  The team is posed to have the most successful season in Dragon volleyball history with a regular season record of 28-2, earning the Red Rock Championship and the number one seed in the South Sub Section 3A tournament this week.  Coaches and team members all the credit their success to that feeling of one big family and that each member is important to the success of the team.

I met with the team during a bonding event hosted by Head Coach Brittany Jackson and her sister Tracy Kunkel.  The team had gathered after school to play some games, eat and just relax and have fun together.  This is something Coach Jackson has emphasized these past two years that she has been head coach.  She explained that the goal is to be a family first and the team work comes from there.  Team bonding nights have included playing games, a hayride and even making blankets and always having fun together.  When talking with the seven Seniors on the team, Kendra Frodermann, Kasie Tweet, Jennifer Preuss, Morgan Neuenburg, Bailey Lonneman, Julia Serrao and Miritza Beltran they shared as a group, “Brittany is teaching us skills off the court too.  She is always showing love and support to us.”  Maritza Beltran laughed as she quipped, “her love is our blue” which brought laughs but everyone agreed that the statement was very true. They added, “even on bad days she is positive.  As a coach and as a person she steps up for us.”  This year’s Senior class were Coach Jackson’s first team in JO volleyball and they credit her for the programs success today.  Senior Kasie Tweet said, “this is our second family and the coaches are like our second moms.  It’s not just about volleyball, we’ve made friends outside volleyball.”

The one team, one family extends to every player in the Adrian volleyball program from 6th grade to Seniors and whether you are a starter or waiting for your shot from the bench, you are recognized as an important part of this group.  The Seniors stressed that all the players from middle school up are pushing each other and encouraging each other.  They shared that during scrimmages the varsity has to be on their game because the JV is pushing them to be their best.  When asked what being a part of this program has meant to them, Kendra Frodermann stated, “my confidence has gone up because this team builds you up.”  They all added that as a team, whether you are on the court or on the bench, they know each other’s weaknesses and the goal is to encourage their team mates to be the best they can be.  Commenting on one of the many things she has learned as part of the team, Jennifer Preuss said, “we are learning leadership skills and other skills we will use outside of volleyball.”

As we were wrapping up and I asked the group what their goals were.  Bailey Lonneman commented, “as we head into post season we do have expectations, but our goal is to play our game as a team.”  The Seniors agreed that is the most important thing is to continue as a team, to remain positive and play like any game could be their last.

Good luck to the Lady Dragon family and congratulations on an already successful season with many memories shared.

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