SNEADS, Fla. (WMBB) — The Sneads volleyball team arrived home on Monday, but with some extra hardware to add to their trophy case.
The Pirates brought back their eighth-straight state title and had a nice surprise waiting for them when they got off the bus in Sneads.
The community was waiting with crowns, fireworks and posters to greet their state champions with.
Sneads head coach Heather Edge said one word describes how she feels after coaching the Pirates to another state championship: proud.
“These girls keep their composure very well no matter the situation, no matter the opponent,” Edge said. “There was never a time I doubted them, I knew from day one to the last day, and from first point to last point, they were gonna play their butts off and they went out and did exactly that.”
Players were grateful for their friends and family who made the trip from Sneads to Fort Myers to see them bring home the state title once again.
“At the game they were so loud and it really encouraged us and it made me just want to keep fighting,” said junior volleyball player Taylor-Reese Howell.
Mindy Howell, a Sneads resident and team mom for the Pirates, said getting to see the program grow from the ground up has been a special experience for the community.
“Every part of the community has just supported this group of girls, and we are so thankful for that support system and there’s nothing like a small town for sure,” Howell said.
The girls wanted nothing more than to come home and celebrate their victory with the people who helped make it possible.
“Warms my heart to know that rather than getting a trip to universal, and even more important than these medals, these girls wanna hurry up and get back to this amazing community that backs them on everything and not just volleyball, they back every sport that’s what so great about this town,” Edge said.
Howell said the fact that the team wanted to be with their community to celebrate tells a lot about their character.
“I think they appreciate where they come from, and I hope they all go and play college ball and do big things but I know their roots will always be at home,” Howell said.
The Pirates aren’t finished yet, younger players said they’ve got their eyes on the team’s ninth state championship in 2021.