As the 2021 fall season comes to an end, Erie High School continues to live up to its high-achieving sports reputation. With multiple state-championship awards and titles locked up in the grand trophy case at the entrance of the school, Erie hopes to add a few more to its collection.
With four sports heading to state this year, these dreams are close to coming true. Throughout the month of October, and now November, Erie has seen numerous posters and signs, pep rallies, and ‘walk of champions’ throughout the school in honor of state-bound teams. In the past, Erie’s sports teams have had tremendous school spirit, and a history of many students showing up to support, and this season is no different.
Many students routinely showed up to Erie’s home volleyball games, overflowing the bleachers, and bleeding onto the courts. Students, coaches and athletes believe this season’s success could be largely related to that support.
Erie varsity volleyball is currently 20 to 5 in wins, ranked 4th in the state for 4A, and is now state bound. Avery Malek, a freshman player on varsity, says this is one of their, “best seasons yet.” Malek believes this has a lot to do with the student compassion and school spirit this season.
“I can feel the crowd’s electricity when I’m on the court, especially from our student section. It’s just an amazing feeling, knowing that the whole school has your back and supports you… I can feel how excited everyone gets, and it motivates us to play harder,” she says.
In regards to success on and off the court, this year’s volleyball varsity team has been a “special one,” Says Avery. “The team has a lot of amazing chemistry… We trust each other and have connections far beyond just volleyball. This connection motivates each of us to be better not just for ourselves, but for each other.”
On the sidelines, Erie volleyball coach Jessi Ashton agrees that, “this team really is special…. [because] coming out of COVID last year, with not a lot of game experience, I knew this team would grow closer and improve immensely. But they [did] far beyond just that. I had high expectations for this year, and the girls definitely achieved them.”
Even though the season may be ending Ashton says, “We’re in the midst of it all right now with state coming up. But due to their…trust within each other, they will definitely work hard, and play hard, for that title.” The same goes for the players who have been working all season for this moment. “We see it as the climax of our season, and continue to work our butts off everyday, and will not wind down until the work is put in.” Malek concludes.