Community’s ‘generous spirit’ helped team in its success


Please allow me to take this opportunity to recognize the generous spirit of our extended community. Many members of Eaton Community Schools, of the Eaton area and of Preble County as a whole came together this fall to support the Eaton Varsity Volleyball program in its successes.

Because my daughter was a member of this Eaton volleyball team, our family had a front row seat to the 2015 volleyball season and all of the gifts that came with it.

To start, I would like to recognize the team and the coaches for their efforts and endurance. Each player fought through injuries and illness at some point in the season, but each family chose to put the team first. There was not a varsity player on that team that did not practice and play through fever, fracture, severe contusions or a significant sprain at one point in the season.

This 2015 team was the epitome of setting aside the personal to obtain a team goal. These Lady Eagles were an inspiration in many ways and I thank them all for their example of commitment and perseverance.

To the coaches, athletic department and administration of EHS, I thank you for your insight and wisdom in building our girls’ skill, our schedule and our program. Thank you for bringing our team to a level of success only five other Eaton volleyball teams have experienced before.

The JV and junior high teams and parents were especially supportive to the varsity girls and parents in countless ways.

Local physicians’ offices and our trainers Molly, Austin and Lori instantly adjusted their schedules to help keep our girls physically sound when crisis struck.

The EHS faculty, staff, student body and fan base were instrumental in motivating and supporting the team throughout the season and it was much appreciated.

The large crowds and cheers from the stands inspired our team to battle from behind and win three championships this season.

At each big game of the season our fans were superb! Eaton graduates from years ago returned home to support this team.

Fans, who typically follow the other county and area school teams, donned purple, cheered loudly or waved yellow towels. Seeing that support from other county and area schools was touching.

At the regional tournament game, a spectator from Canada marveled aloud at the enthusiastic sea of purple and gold in the stands.

During the season, Eaton businesses generously donated toward our Volley for the Cure fundraising event, put up signs wishing our girls good luck during the tournament and wished our team well as we entered their establishments.

Some vendors called out to our girls with a roaring “Good luck!” while others silently slipped them an extra cookie or two with their sandwich. These small kindnesses meant so very much.

The Eaton Police Department helped enhance our memories of the season by escorting us into town after our tournament championship wins.

The families of the coaches and players bonded over team dinners, shared photographs and moments that we know will live with our loved ones forever.

The local media outlets and photographers were especially generous in covering our season in print and through social media, helping us preserve our memories.

For those I have unintentionally not recognized, please forgive my oversight. Understand that your support added to the bliss of this season. Your kindnesses were deeply felt and most appreciated.

The generous spirit of our extended community added to the joy and memories of this incredible season for all of the Eaton volleyball players and families.

Thank you all.

Shari McKinney