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Celebrating State Volleyball Champions

On the Friday before the state final, when we had the send-off celebration in the mall, I told your team that WE are proud of you, WE support you, and that WE love you. When I said WE, it wasn’t just the school staff and students that I was speaking for. I meant the entire school, our families, our entire city of Sonora, and the entire county of Tuolumne.

We are all one big family and we are all very proud of you and your team’s accomplishments. We have been getting phone calls and emails from around the state congratulating our school on your accomplishments. You’ve had your picture on the front page of the Modest Bee more times than Colin Kaepernick, including today. Crystal Creamery wrote us a letter stating that they are going to produce special commemorative milk cartons featuring our Volleyball team. You can make up your own joke about having your picture on a milk carton, but this is quite an honor.

On Monday the Sonora City Council issued a proclamation, recognizing the Sonora High School Volleyball Team’s State Championship. On Tuesday, the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors issued a proclamation recognizing the team, and declared today, December 19th, 20-14 as the Sonora High School Volleyball Team DAY. Team, you have an entire day named for you! That means you can do anything you want, and if anyone questions you on it, just say “Hey, it’s my day” But it only works for today!

Your record this year is amazing, 37 wins, 5 losses. Four of the losses were against way bigger schools in preseason tournaments. At the prestigious High Sierra Tournament in Reno, against schools from several states, you won second place. Wow, that was incredible, and a hint of things to come. And then after the regular season, you wisely scheduled a playoff practice match against Pitman, to help get both your teams ready for playoffs. Pitman turned out to be the Division I Norcal winner. You took them to 5 sets and lost the nail biter 5th set by only 2 points. That was the only game that went to 5 sets other than the State final against Alta Loma. Wow!

In League you won every match and every set. You’ve won every home match this year, including preseason, league, and post season playoffs. Let me repeat that: You’ve won EVERY single home match this year. In League, no other MLL team had a chance; you won every match 3 sets to 0. Because you won league, we will be putting a 20-14 volleyball patch, on your league banner in the gym. This is the eighth year in a row that Sonora High has won the league championship in volleyball. This is not just a great team; this is a great program, thanks to our coaches and our community’s support.

In playoffs you marched through Hughson, Ripon Christian, Escalon, and Hilmar to win the Sac-Joaquin section championship. In each of those matches you won in three sets. There will be a blue banner in the gym for that too. For the next level, you defeated Healdsburg, Harker, and Notre Dame to win the Northern California State Championship.

No other sport team from Sonora High has ever won Nor-Cal; you are the first.

For that accomplishment you received a trophy and we’ll have another banner in the gym. In your final match this year, the state final, you defeated Alta Loma 3 sets to 2 to win the California Division IV State Championship. Another first for Sonora High. Another trophy, this BIG one, and another banner for the gym. Congratulations girls.

Sonora High School has a great history of academics and athletics, especially this year. Every sports team this fall made playoffs. Our soccer team made playoffs. Both our boys and girls waterpolo teams made playoffs. Our Girls Golf had two girls make playoffs. Our cross country team made it to post season meets and one of our students, Cassie Land, ended up in 8th place at the state meet. Our football team was undefeated in league and at home and made it all the way to the section finals. Congratulations to all of them.

But today is Wildcat Volleyball day. In congratulating the Sonora High School Volleyball team on their state championship, we would be remiss if we didn’t include one other group that played a big part in their wins. The Sonora High School Golden Regiment Band, otherwise known as the “Most Awesome Band in the Universe” deserves some recognition here today also. Girls, remember the band played at all your home playoff matches, even during Thanksgiving break. They went with you to Notre Dame in Belmont for the NorCal final, but were delayed by the weather and traffic, so they missed your first set. As the San Mateo Times newspaper reported, and I quote: “Notre Dame seemed in control through a 10-point victory in set 1. That’s when the Golden Regiment marched in and set up shop. By set 2 the visiting pep band was in full swing with roughly 50 members, including 20 percussionists – proving a booming soundtrack as Sonora turned the tide in Game 2. Sonora never again trailed in the match, ” and we went on to win the match 3 games to 1. Now, we all know we didn’t send 50 band members, and definitely not 20 percussionists, it just seemed that big and intimidating to the other team. That’s the power of the Golden Regiment!

For the State Championship match in Orange County, we ordered one bus for the band and one bus for rooters. The band was so big it actually overflowed into the rooter’s bus. They went over 400 miles in each direction. They left at 4:00 in the morning and didn’t get back to Sonora until 11:30 that same night. Talk about dedication. Now, we all know the outcome of that championship match. During the awards ceremonies after the match, several people, including the state director of athletics commented on our band. We were the only school out of 10 that sent a band to the state championship. And it proved to be the right decision.

So, the Sonora High School Volleyball Team wishes to thank the Golden Regiment band for their support this season. To the Sonora High School Band, also known as the Golden Regiment, The Most Awesome Band in the Universe: We thank you, we’re proud of you, we support you and we love you.

So now, Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my great pleasure to present to you, the

Sonora High School Volleyball Team, the 20-14 Division IV, California State Champions!