SNEADS, Fla. (WTXL) — From the outside the average person looking at the Sneads High School Gymnasium wouldn’t think much of it. But inside those walls, surrounded by a stocked full trophy case you’ll find a legacy in action.
The Lady Pirates volleyball team; winners of the last eight class 1A state titles. A record in of itself are gearing up for title game number nine in-a-row.. An experience that’s hard to put into words.
“It’s really a combination of a million different emotions and feelings. I look at them like they’re my babies," said head coach Heather Edge. "So anytime they do something amazing it just hits differently.”
Being a record-holding eight time defending state champion comes with a lot of pressure. But when this team steps on the court those nerves quickly subside. Because whether it’s a Monday practice or a state title game, for the Lady Pirates it’s strictly business.
“So our team has this bond kind of like a family. We all goof around on and off the court. But when we get on the court it’s strictly business to get nine straight championships," says sophomore Gabby Bellamy.
Sneads has played the role of underdogs more than most defending state champs ever would in their 2021 season. But they’re playing in the big game for a reason. And that’s why their approach to Thursday is a simple one.
“A lot of passion. We all want it. It’s there, it’s one step," adds junior Kierstyn Jones. "We just got to play with everything we’ve got.”
“I’ve watched time and time again this year u go into a match with a team that was statistically player for player better than us. But once the match gets going we give them everything we’ve got," Edge added. "And a lot of times we end up hanging with them or beating them. It’s just on them to go out and perform like we have been all year.”
Sneads takes on the Taylor Wildcats at 12 p.m. on Thursday for state title number 9 in-a-row.