The Dalton Parks and Recreation Department is hanging up another volleyball state championship banner at the Mack Gaston Community Center, but first the staff and the players wanted to show it off to the Mayor and Council. The department's 12 & Under All-Stars recently won the GRPA (Georgia Recreation and Parks Association) state championship.
"Dalton is known for being competitive in soccer, but one thing that we’ve tailed to highlight in the past is that Volleyball within our department is consistently competitive at the district and state level," said Caitlin Sharpe, Dalton's Parks and Recreation Director. "We are honored to acknowledge the incredible success of our 12-U volleyball team."
"This is achievement is no small victory," Sharpe noted. "These (players) are usually selected not just for their athletic ability but also for their sportsmanship that they’ve shown. These young athletes not only demonstrated their skills on the court but also exemplified great sportsmanship and dedication that our community should be extremely proud of."
Each of the players and coaches from the state championship squad were presented with a certificate by Victor Rodriguez, the program's athletic coordinator. Sharpe thanked Rodriguez and also other members of the Parks and Recreation staff in attendance for their dedication and hard work to provide great experiences for local athletes.
"Victor coordinates everything volleyball. He has really grown this program into what you see today," Sharpe said. "It’s important for me to point out that Victor has coordinated our two most continuously successful programs within our department and also at the state and district level (he also coordinates the department's soccer program)."
Mayor David Pennington congratulated the championship team members before posing for a photo with the team's championship banner. The state championship team members are: Volunteer coaches Veronica Lagunas and Cecy Lagunas, Yuvitsel Calderon, Sophia Esparragoza, Amaya Gonzalez, Allea Hernandez, Sophie Lofty, Jimena Lopez, Zaira Martinez, Brisa Moreno, Fatima Portugal, and Aylin Vera-Lagunas.
"I also want to highlight that these girls did not lose a set (in the GRPA tournament)," Sharpe said, highlighting the dominance shown by the champs. "Every opponent, they blew out. So, it’s incredibly impressive that they were able to do that."