DYNASTY? How could you say anything less than the Sneads Lady Pirates volleyball team is and has been a dynasty for more years than most can remember but for sure, they have been for FIVE straight years. Saturday, the team arrived home to a large crowd of well-wishers with Sneads Chief Burt McAlpin and his department rolling out the red carpet for them. Chief McAlpin met the ‘yellow dog’ as they exited Interstate 10 and gave them a police escort to the railroad tracks right down from Sneads High School. They were cheered and greeted by fans, media, SHS faculty and staff, and of course Cupcake as they exited the bus. They were given ‘crowns’ to wear and blown up hands to signify their five state titles. The team then walked to Sneads High School where they were met by even more fans and well-wishers.
Anyone in Sneads and Jackson County will tell you nothing is too much for this group of girls or the four groups before them. Dedication, sacrifice and teamwork, along with a coach with more determination than even an above-average coach accomplished a feat that may never be topped. With all the excitement of the fifth state title, there was a distant sadness within the team – they knew they would lose their coach after this season. Sheila Roberts went out with a blaze of glory much like she entered into the picture. Those who have been fortunate enough to play for her will tell you, she was a no-nonsense coach on the court. She could motivate, train and follow through with win after win, contradicting all odds.
Allie Ann McCord had a bonus going her way when she awoke to start her birthday celebration Saturday morning. Not only was she an integral part of a state champ team, she was celebrating her birthday. And what an early birthday present she had one day earlier – she scored the last point of the last set in Friday’s State Championship game.
In the state playoff game against Union County, Sneads won 25-14, 25-13, and 25-10 to seal the win.
On the season, Sneads towered over the national average in every stat. Taylor Roberts had 613 digs with the national average 83, as well as Taylor added 430 receptions to 85 for the national average. Roberts wasn’t done as she recorded 96 serving aces while the national average was 16. Lacee Glover got in the record books with 297 kills, which definitely towered over the average of 53. Michaela Edenfield had 84 blocks while the national average was 14. Alyssa Stagner recorded 858 assists as compared to 50 for the national average. Proof is in the pudding that the Sneads Lady Pirates are above the norm.
This season the Lady Pirates outscored their district opponents during the regular season 450 points to 118 and didn’t stop there. In the playoffs, they dominated 450 points to 170 points.
Add to that stat the fact that they have not lost a single set in playoff action in five years. In my lifetime, I don’t see that feat being repeated. Next year is a question mark, just like the last four have been. One thing is certain, these players have memories to last a lifetime.
Congratulations to the Sneads Pirates players, coaches, fans and SHS staff and faculty from the publisher and staff of the Jackson County Times.