Home Claire the end of a high school volleyball career, big decisions, and on to club

the end of a high school volleyball career, big decisions, and on to club

by Shawni

High school sports are the best.

In my opinion not only are they awesome for the kids (teamwork, work ethic, endorphin stimulation, leadership opportunities, strength development mentally and physically), but let’s be honest, they are pretty awesome for the parents too.

I think I mentioned before that sometimes I get a little smile on my face at sporting events thinking how funny we parents are yelling and hooting and hollering in the stands. Blood boiling at a crazy ref call and on cloud nine with an incredible play.

So it was pretty sad for all of us to witness the “wrapping up of Pothier sports as we know it” after nine years of high school sports: cheering in those stands, the quietly polite sidelines of all the tennis courts (Elle & Grace) to the raucous yelling at volleyball games (Max & Claire). My “deal” with Heaven during Max’s state tournament (ha!) running all over creation to get to games throughout the valley. All those “senior nights” and practices and booster club meetings and slumping losses and triumphant wins shrinking sadly in our wake. (Thank Heavens Lucy is the basketball manager, let’s hope she keeps us in the game a little longer!)

Ok, but let’s move on from lamenting the end because it’s too sad.

Let’s not only talk about saying goodbye to Claire’s high school volleyball career, but also hello to her last club season (which was a tough decision for her but she made a good one!).

I don’t know which pictures I’ve posted before, so sorry if some of these are duplicates, but let’s have the pictures tell a little of the story. (Most of these, by the way, are taken by this awesome sports photographer named Donna Mundy, THANK YOU Donna!!)

This was Claire’s signature move after someone on the team made a good point:

Ha! Love.

This team was so good to each other.

And that’s what team work’s all about, right?

We weren’t the best team out there, lots of young girls moving up, lots of moving parts, a new (awesome) coach, everyone working to figure things out together. And maybe that’s what I loved about it the most.

Kids and coaches working together to make something great. Which they did.

Love that a good student body section showed up for some of the games:

Claire was the co-team captain so she got to have a little meeting with the refs at the beginning of each game (among other duties):

This is what they do at football games: push ups for the number of points scored. These boys are funny.

Kind of fun for Claire to be up amongst the super powers on kills in the state for a while.

My blurring tool isn’t working so great, so that’s a mess up there, but kinda fun to remember.

High school volleyball is so fun because though the years you get to know so many of the girls on all the other high school teams through club.

I liked that her club team posted this pic of her and the other middle on their club team coming head to head in a high school season match:

Ha!

Cancer awareness “Pink” night:

The seniors:

The “wave” rather than the handshake closing up the game still going strong during this Covid-Era:

Homecoming volleyball float:

Claire got interviewed after many of the games, kind of fun to watch:

Senior night:

Can you spot Dave and Lu over there on the other side of the court when I was taking some pics?

Lucy can’t see much, but she came to support a few times…she looks a little bored up there, but she sure hollered out some good cheers!

Some friend spectators:

This team fought hard and qualified for state.

They won their first match handily, but then got matched up with the BEST in the whole state for the second round.

That little team of ours fought their hearts out.

They lost the first game (like, really lost;), but look at the score of the second game:

They battled and did SO well. It was the best we’ve seen them play all season. We were all pretty proud in the cheering section.

The final “wave” of Claire’s high school:

SO sad for these seniors:

But you can’t stay sad for too long after a season like that!

We hosted our last volleyball end-of-the-year banquet here:

I have been on the booster club for the last few years, and this year this thing was the most work, so I don’t want to put up these pictures and not remember that part! I wish I had a pic of the booster club because man alive, those were good people.

I did a little part of it with trivia about all the coaches:

Awards for all the varsity…this coach was so sweet to recognize so many great things about all these girls:

As we said our final goodbyes, my heart was filled up with so much love for these incredible coaches and their families who sacrificed so much for these girls.

They built Claire in so many ways. One small example: she trusted them enough that she felt comfortable enough to share with them a sad night when she broke up with a boyfriend. Now that’s a coach you can trust! And when she told me how they teared up with her and gave her the best advice I just loved them even more. Good coaches can make all the difference in the world!

So proud of our girl!

It was a great season.

Ok, and although that’s a wrap of high school, the story goes on.

Because by then it was off to club.

Now, I have to pause here for a minute and relate that Claire was really unsure of club this year. We had done some college recruiting visits, and she even was offered a spot on one of the teams, but she was in the midst of trying to figure out next steps (she still is as I type). At one point she didn’t know if she even wanted to do club, because did she really want to play in college??

There is so much to take into consideration on this college business.

Is college volleyball really something she wants to do? She was able to see first hand on these recruiting trips the work it takes to be a college athlete.

Did she want to base her college decision on volleyball? Or academics? Or social environment? Or a myriad of other things? How do you find a balance on all that jazz?

But in the end, she decided she wanted to keep all the doors open (she loves volleyball with all her heart, after all, and there is one school she is really, really interested in and that she LOVES, so we’ll see where that goes!).

I do want to remember that there were four really good club teams recruiting her, and that is no small thing I have to tell you! (so funny to look back on our first girls club tryout season in comparison to this one, so much has changed!)

Anyway, Claire took these club matters into her own hands and went to every open gym.

She had some really great discussions with all the coaches. (Gosh, Dave and I looked at each other with wide eyes over and over again as she maneuvered her way through this so well.)

She weighed pros and cons. She prayed. She worried and waffled. But in the end, she made a clear choice she felt SO good about, and she joined her fourth different club team.

It was surprising to me and Dave because she didn’t really know any of these girls before. She was definitely not going for what was comfortable. She just felt so good about the coaches, the girls, the team, the experience.

And it’s been so fun to watch this new team work together.

Once again, building and loving and learning in the great ways we’ve discovered volleyball gives.

Go Claire! Can’t wait to see what’s next!

If you love high school sports:

The beginnings of Claire and volleyball

Claire’s Senior Night

Max’s high school volleyball wrap-up

The “real” wrap up for Max (when we thought it was the end of high school volleyball before Claire came along)

A tennis wrap-up for Grace (and Claire)

Tennis wrap up for Elle

“handing over the baby”

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7 comments

Tammy January 19, 2022 - 8:49 am

Hi Shawni

Wow this is some big stuff for Claire….
Is she thinking of going on a mission?

Reply
Shawni January 19, 2022 - 10:40 pm

She doesn’t know yet, we shall see!

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Heidi January 19, 2022 - 12:26 pm

Ooh how I miss volleyball already!!
I’m so glad she all a real experience. We had a very small season, no tournaments, no big events, only 1 parent allowed & no other spectators etc. so sad, but at least she got to play!
I can’t wait to hear where she chooses to go to college! Yea

Reply
Shawni January 19, 2022 - 10:49 pm

Yes at least she got to play! So glad they didn’t just shut things down. Some day life will get back to normal, right??

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PS January 20, 2022 - 9:22 am

I think your son also played sports in college? I am curious about your experiences. I have some younger relatives that are considering it (tennis and softball). I’m slightly worried. I teach a math class at a Division I public university, and I’ve seen firsthand how much the student athletes in the non-marquee sports struggle. (Football players were given tutors).

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Shawni January 20, 2022 - 11:03 am

Yes it’s definitely not an easy balance to play college sports. Max did have tutors and easy access to lots of things, I think in general universities are really willing to aid those athletes any way they can. Max had such a positive experience but he wasn’t traveling with the team so it was a good balance for him. I have several nieces and nephews who did pole vaulting in college as well and everyone had really positive experiences. I think there are so many factors to take into consideration though. Some kids just adore that sport so much that they are willing to balance out everything out to make it happen. Others are ready to move on after high school and concentrate primarily on studies (and social!). There are all kinds of divisions of college sports as well, some much more intense than others, as well as some sports that require much more than others. Claire has been searching for the right balance if she is going to make this thing a reality. It needs to work for the university as well as for the athlete. So many things to think about!

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Molly January 20, 2022 - 1:54 pm

HS volleyball is just the best!! I’m so sad for Claire (and you all!) that it’s over. Senior year of high school is just such a poignant time! I’ve been reading your blog since I was a high school senior and now I am very much out of college (and have been for a while!) and so I feel like I’ve “seen” your kids grow up. Sending you all best wishes for a safe, healthy and most of all FUN rest of senior year for Claire!

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