A great team led by great coaches

Warren Area High School head volleyball coach Mike Dolan addresses his team and fans that gathered to celebrate upon their return to Warren Area High School early Sunday morning.

Something that Warren senior Trinity Wennberg said shortly after the state volleyball championship against West York really made me think.

“Having it be my first and last year, it’s really sad,” she said. “I really, really wish I would have done it for four years. I was happy the whole year. This is team is absolutely amazing and I’m really sad that it’s our last time.”

Of course everyone on the team was feeling a little down after losing in the state final, but the reality of what they accomplished together will last long, long after that sadness has faded.

Her response was so genuine, and it speaks to the character of each individual, that, when put together, made this a special team, even far beyond what they accomplished on the court this season.

You need great people to do that, and you also need great leaders.

Warren’s Grace Wortman gets a hug from coach Mike Dolan during the medal presentation.

Warren has that, with head coach Mike Dolan and assistants Sue Baldensperger and Randy Gillotti.

They pushed this team, and hard, because they knew how good they could be.

But if you see them when they aren’t competing, that’s when you get a real feel for how close they are.

“I wouldn’t be here without them,” said senior Lydia Latimer.

Together, they have been a perfect team, one that took Warren County on a fantastic journey.

“I was looking out the window and every single kid was waving,” recalled Dolan about the send-off on Friday. “And the girls just loved it. They really embraced the role they have in the community, as somebody kids can look up to. I’m really proud of the way they handled themselves.”

It’s true, this team has inspired the next generation of Dragons.

What’s also true is that this program has, is and will continue to be in great hands because of the great role models they have as coaches.

“I’ll miss our little corny jokes at each other, and Mike,” Wennberg said. “I just want to thank them so much for working with us.”

Great things happen when hard work meets preparation, which certainly speaks to the coaches and players on this team.

And because of that, great memories are made that will last a lifetime, long after the final whistle blew on Saturday.

“I want to remember everything that happened,” Latimer said. “All the fun memories we’ve made, all the funny things that everyone’s done.”

And you will, Lydia. And so will you, Trinity. Each and every one one of you will.

You all made this team legendary.

And because of the great coaches on this team, this program will continue to be legendary.


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