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By Leah McCune, West Branch sophomore
WEST BRANCH – Having a parent’s support benefits a child in all aspects.
To West Branch High School varsity volleyball players Paige Donohoe, Kelley Trimble and Leah Hott, it means the world to have their parents at every game.
And those parents just might have played an important role in the girls’ first trip to the state tournament.
Volleyball mothers Deb Donohoe, Michelle Trimble and Pat Hott tried their best to be at every game this season to support their daughters.
These parents volunteer their time and commit to the team as much as they possibly can.
“It’s really important for me to be at every game, I don’t think one game is more important than another,” Deb said. “I would say volleyball is the one activity where (Paige) has a lot of drive for something that means so much and can take on leadership.”
The Bears noticed it wasn’t only support to the varsity team that contributed to their success.
“I show up early and show support for the JV and fresh/soph games, too,” Michelle said. “I would want them to support the varsity girls, so we try to support them just as much.”
When there is parental support and confidence from an adult, it means a lot to the players. That confidence is essential to good performance on the court.
“I think (Leah) likes to know that we’re there,” Pat said. ”She feels better to know that we’re always there for her because she enjoys it, then I enjoy it.”
The parents are responsible for taking charge and guiding their girls to victory, just as well as helping out at the games.
“The parents often organize dinners or treats at different times during the season and often run the stands,” Donohoe said.
The volleyball moms organize and put together the volleyball homecoming float every year. Most of the time Donohoe would do the stats at the games, but this year she backed off a bit and watched Paige since it was her senior year. Trimble said the last thing she wanted to do was miss a game, too.
“I have never missed a single game,” she said. “It means a lot to be at every game. Kelley has grown as a leader (because of volleyball). She can handle pressure more and that has a lot to do with getting to state.”
This year, the varsity made it to state for the first time in West Branch history. The girls fought their way through every game, showing the community that the Bears cannot be broken.
“Playing on a team with the same girls since fifth grade and then finally making it to state her senior year, that’s a huge accomplishment,” Trimble said.
West Branch has a very solid volleyball program, but there’s always room for more to accomplish.
“(Head coach) Josh (Lukavsky) trusts the girls, he allows the girls to follow their instincts, to do the right thing, and it helps with the attitude,” Donohoe said. “It lets the girls feel more successful. Josh doesn’t over coach.”
The games allow parents to come together and relate to one another on a more personal level.
“It’s easier when you can talk about some of the stressful parts with other parents,” Hott said.
Volleyball was very time consuming. With hard work, the girls came out triumphant at every game, even if they lost, because they had parental support in the stands every step of the way.