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May 2007
Colorado River Parker Dynasty 18's - Team Members: Mary Elizabeth Alford, Alicia Alford, Jennifer Dewey, Patty Flores, Maryam Gary, Lynnis Gonzalez, Secilee Hooper, Felicia McGee, Staci Mitchell, Elizabeth Preito, Tahnee Sharpe, Samantha Sosa, Amber Swick, Megan Zynda. Coaches: Dan & Marie Maya

Colorado River Beats the Odds, Club Red for 18’s Club Title

One hundred and forty miles west of Phoenix, Daniel and Maria Maya took the best the city of Parker, AZ had and made them champions.

It wasn’t an easy road, but one that used the winds and bumps to their advantage. As Daniel says, “Their dedication is what got them to this level.”

The level of which he speaks is the Region Championship for the 18 Club division, a first for his Colorado River 18-1’s team who downed Club Red’s 17-Black team in the final held Saturday, April 28th at South Mountain Community College.

Daniel and Maria undertake running the Colorado River Club team to further their region’s play. “My wife and I are both high school volleyball coaches.” Daniel says. “We do club because you will not compete at State if you don’t. Unfortunately we do not have the easy access to club like the girls of the Phoenix area. My wife and I wish we had all of these great coaches available to coach our girls. We have to do it all. I guess the advantage we have is we are the only club in this area and we can pick the best to travel to Phoenix.”

“The other reason we have been successful is these girls are very committed to the club.” Maya says emphasizing his point about sacrifice. “Many play softball and track. They only go to the club tournaments that don’t interfere with those activities. These girls rarely have a weekend off and they often come to practice volleyball after a hard afternoon of high school softball and track practice.”

Club Red 17-Black Team Members: Erin Cooper, Samantha Esserm, Lauren Fielding, Shea Hansen, Jenna Hines, Maria Huenneke, Samantha King, Audrey Purdue, Ashley Totten, Taite Wall. Coach: Terri Spann

But Club Red’s road, while not as long or perilous, was bumpy as well. “I thought I was going to be the assistant of this team”, Terri Spann says, “And I inherited the team after the 1st tournament of the season. I don't think they knew what they were getting into with me as their coach, but I changed my style of coaching for them and they took me in with open arms.”

Spann’s style showed early and often as the 17-Black squad stayed in the top 2 teams of the Championship division all season. “We always worked hard no matter what.” Spann says. “Going into regionals we were preparing for the unexpected thanks to prom! We had our whole team throughout the pool play and crossover and then lost half of our team to prom for the bracket play. But our girls knew what we were going against and were not going to use that as an excuse.”

Maya was ecstatic about how his 10th seeded girls played the day and into the finals. “Our girls played great for the finals. They finally learned how to win a championship. We just told the girls to play to win. We feel in the past we had played not to lose. The attitude of attack and score was what we tried to sell. What ever it was, the girls played awesome. It also helped that we did not have softball, track, or prom on this day. We were only missing one of our impact players.”

But Maya points to an attitude that helped his team get to the pinnacle of their division. “We try to live by a quote I saw on a Nike T-Shirt. ‘Champions aren’t made by chance. Champions are made by CHOICE.’ Our girls have been working for this championship since they were 13 years old. The sad part about this championship is we are the only ones who know how big an accomplishment this is. Our community is not aware of how many teams are in the 18 and under Championship Division or how competitive this level of play is. Championships at this level don’t happen by chance. We are very proud of our team’s accomplishment.”

Equally proud is Spann of her girls. “I felt like we grew as a team mentally and physically.” Terri says smiling. “I wanted this team to improve as a team and individually so they could take it into their high school teams and they did both.” She says proudly. “All of my players stepped up, learned a lot of new things and had an open mind while doing so. I'm just grateful they accepted me as their coach when they didn't expect it to be me.”

18 Club Final Standings > > >

Gold Medal Squared Coach's Clinic Brings In Heavy Hitters

Gold Medal Squared founder and lead clinician Dr. Carl McGown discusses the program and its systems with eager coaches. U.S. Men's National Team coach Hugh McCutcheon is in the background in the grey coat.

The Gold Medal Squared Coaching Clinic held April 20-22 at Arizona State University not only gave some Arizona coaches a chance to learn their system, it was also a mini who’s who of volleyball’s finest.

USA Volleyball coaching legend Carl McGown, the founder and lead clinician for the Gold Medal Squared program was joined by U.S. Men’s National Team coach Hugh McCutcheon for the three day clinic. Several of the program’s summer clinicians were on hand as well to learn the program from its founder.

For information on Gold Medal Squared clinics, go to www.goldmedalsquared.com

May 2007

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