Volley to Victory

Shelby - Birmingham, Alabama
Entered on March 6, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in believing. Belief of whatever makes you human and good. I believe in cooperation, family, teamwork and association, but all of these things come together from that one belief of believing.

I’ve gone to the same school for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was four, my school has been a place of warmth and comforting. It’s a small, homey Catholic school where Dominican Sisters teach us real values, including competitiveness and strength to lose, but power to win.

The entire eighth grade, all 33 of us, were due to the gym for an intense, traditional game of volleyball against the faculty. Certainly we were a shoe-in; I mean, six lively, jovial eighth graders against six teachers, including Sisters and middle-aged men and women? Come on teachers, get serious.

As we did our pre-game cheer of “pump it up,” we were just that: pumped. We were excited to proceed to the court and beat the teachers down. As we scurried onto the court, we were unpleasantly surprised. The teachers scored the first point…uh oh. Then, we fell apart. There was chaos on the bench, something with the line-up messed up and people were unhappy.

Carelessly, we lost the second game, after winning the first. All the drama was affecting the team, and we couldn’t let that happen. I wouldn’t let us lose. I’d seen two of three of my siblings win this game. They walked away with their chins up high, when all I had was 33 eighth graders, heads hung low, without belief.

It became a necessity for us to escape this game with a victory. I distinctly remember saying to my friends, “If we lose this game, I will never forgive myself.” They agreed, just not quite to the energy level as I did.

I’m not sure why it was so unbelievably important to me. I suppose it was the shoes I had to fill, or maybe all the years I had been waiting for this finally added up. Nevertheless, I wanted to win. I had to win.

This was when belief needed to kick in the most. We believed in the beginning. Victory. We lost belief, due to our own drama. Defeat. Then, it occurred to me, we must believe! I began chanting, “We’ve got this, y’all. We can do this!!!” I knew we could. I’d seen my siblings do it before. If they could, I could. No questions asked.

Then, it happened. All the sweat, smiles, grunts and tears finally paid off. We won, 21 to 19. Victory, finally. We rushed onto the court, chanting “8th grade!” The cooperation was overwhelming, and neither losing nor winning mattered. All that mattered was being with one another. We believed, and we won!

I believe in believing, that you can do whatever you want if you’re surrounded by those who also believe. And don’t worry; I have a victorious volleyball game as proof.