Our View: Worthy effort
This year's Tonganoxie High School volleyball team should be a case study in perseverance.
For six consecutive years, the Chieftains fought their way to the substate championship match only to be left carrying home the runnerup trophy. That is, until this year. Not only did the THS girls shed the substate monkey off their back, they fought and clawed their way to a third-place finish -- the team's best finish ever in the state tournament late last month.
After compiling a 1-1 record in pool play at the state tournament, the Chieftains came up against a heady Clearwater squad with advancement to the tournament semifinals on the line. Trailing by 5 points in the second game of the match, co-coach Brandon Parker challenged the THS girls to put up or shut up. They put up and swept Clearwater aside.
The Chieftains lost to the eventual state champion, Topeka Hayden, in the semifinals but bounced back for a victory over Andover to take third.
The squad was laden with eight seniors, which means THS will face a heavy challenge next year to match the success. But the die has been cast for future Chieftain volleyball squads to try to meet or exceed.