Posts Tagged With: Fall Sports Focus

Fall Sports Focus: Soccer

With fields preened and freshly striped, the Allendale Varsity Soccer team slides on shin guards and laces their cleats with poise and positivity. This group of young men brings fresh heart and determination to a young program still growing and learning together.

Having worked together since mid-August, Coach Payton and Coach White have been most impressed with the way this group listens and shows an eagerness to learn, stating, “We have gotten better every day in practice! We had a tough start to the season, but the players are working hard and not giving up.”

It seems these men realize that “not giving up” is a life skill that will serve them well throughout life. It is a message that they’ve grasped with heart and hand, leaning on both their coaches and the student-leaders on the team to keep improving.  This year’s team captain, Quent Rauch is a senior who models the tireless work ethic and game mastery his teammates seek to emulate. He is quick to help teach the game and clarify confusion on the field, and does so with the kind of humility that makes him a servant leader in the truest sense.

Quent is supported by several other natural leaders that model excellence in their own way: Josh Longo (senior), Luke Hamlin (junior), and Cameron Ham (freshman) display a work ethic indicative of their varsity standing, spurring others to keep going — to not give up. Additionally, Abe Juarez (sophomore) and Hondo Ibanez (freshman) bring knowledge of the game and years of experience to the field.

Coach Payton notes that the Allendale community and team parents have done much to bolster the program and support our student-athletes. Julie Smoes has spearheaded fundraisers and has also partnered with Touka Kelly to help with the sorting and distributing of team shirt orders. Touka and many other parents have additionally gone out of their way to apply for grants or sponsorships from local businesses, bringing support to the program while creating a valuable partnership with our community.

Of course these moms also realize that a group of growing boys demands food, and they are ready to lend a hand — or a spoon full of casserole. Sonya Archer has offered to coordinate snacks for both the JV and Varsity teams, and is working with an army of others to provide upcoming team dinners. “I have been very thankful and impressed with the support from our parents. They are making the experience of playing soccer at Allendale a good one,” said Coach Payton.

“The players on this team have been really fun to work with. Not only are they good listeners and they come with a good attitude every day to practice, but they are good kids as well. I look forward to working with them more and more. I like just being around the kids. They work hard and they never give up.”

>>Consider coming out to show your support TODAY as the Falcons take on the Sparta High School Spartans!

The game will be held in Sparta at 6:45.

Go Falcon Soccer!!

For a complete list of contests, CLICK HERE.

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Fall Sports Focus: Girls Volleyball

AHS girls practicing together prior to the start of the school year.

This summer while many of us were still packing picnics for the beach, the girls of Allendale High School’s volleyball team were setting and spiking in the early morning hours, sending balls flying and shouts echoing through an otherwise empty gym.

Their hard work and diligence has already paid off: this August they won 2nd place in the Godwin Heights Volleyball Tournament! While this and their other two tournaments were non-conference match-ups, the preparation has set them on track for a great season. Mrs. Audra Murphy, head coach of the team, says that this group of girls is constantly working on something — whether it’s concentrating efforts on functioning as a team or on a specific skill, she sees the spark that comes from wanting to reach personal bests and achieve as a team.

“Everyday I’m in the gym I love seeing girls being successful by working hard. I love seeing them take joy in giving their best effort; take joy in hard work; take joy in being part of a team. I know what that felt like as a player, and now as a coach, I love helping to provide that opportunity for other young women.”

To promote an environment of growth and positivity, Mrs. Murphy has her players work on daily goals together. Each young woman uses large group stretch or warm-up time to share a personal goal with the group for accountability. Those goals might sound something like “not missing any serves” or “to get more kills than errors.”

But what the team enjoys more than the accountability with one another, perhaps, is the accountability, the trust, and the camaraderie they share with Mrs. Murphy. Each week or so during drills, Mrs. Murphy calls girls out one by one for a brief, private conference where she offers feedback on one individual skill and thoughts on how that student is contributing to being a team player. She reports that her players often site this conference time as being integral—and special—because they know they can ask questions and hear an honest answer — without an audience.

” I try to run a volleyball program that focuses on the positive strides I see rather than constantly correcting errors. I tell the girls that focusing on the little things each day can make a big difference in the long run.”

Now in her 4th season of coaching some of these girls, Mrs. Murphy says that the six seniors on the team certainly hold a special place in her heart. Of those six, three were voted as team captains by their teammates: Emily Patten, Paige Wells, and Kristin Doornbos.

“The fact that we have three captions says a lot, too,” Mrs. Murphy noted. “Typically we only select two captains, but this year there was a tie, so we kept all three in that role. These young women are natural leaders who have the drive to out-do themselves — to perform at their personal best. They want to be better. They’re not just there to socialize, they take the competition very seriously. “

Mrs. Murphy said that one of the great things about being a coach is that you have the unique opportunity to work with kids who want to be there and who want to play the sport. We hope that the Allendale community will share that desire and come out to support them this week for their league-opener against Wyoming!


Varsity: 6 pm

JV: 5 pm

Go Falcons!

Categories: Athletics/Fitness | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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