Hustle, Hit, Never Quit


“I swear we didn’t plan this.” Galena High School volleyball team dressed in all black on October 15, 2020, just as a fun bonding experience. As they entered practice, Coach Wills began noticing a pattern, all were in black. The previous practice, the senior girls wore their freshman year warmup shirts, so they thought all wearing black would be a good way to get the whole team on board. “Volleyball is not like it has been in the past, so our team does little things like this, to make it a little more fun,” said Julia Townsend ‘23. “This is a fun yet practical way for us to bond and make memories during this crazy, unsure season.”

The Galena Pirates Volleyball Team has been putting in the work this season so they are ready to step onto the court stronger than ever. At the beginning of summer, athletes were unsure if they would have a season in the fall, spring, or not one at all. It was announced on July 29, 2020, that volleyball will be played in the spring of 2021, and from that day, they knew they had a lot of time, with a lot to do.

Sports are one activity that keeps our students sane during the school year, and this year, with that being stripped from them, like many other activities, they were excited every time they got to step into the gym. Varsity Coach Dennis Wills hosted open gyms towards the end of summer vacation, and then took advantage of the 20 contact days the volleyball team was given this fall. 

“Volleyball this year has definitely been interesting, as we went into open gyms not knowing if we would be playing in the fall or not,” said Kylie Brown ‘21. “When we found out that it would be moved further into the year, I think it motivated us to work even harder, and it is going to help us in the long run.” Brown, a varsity athlete stayed optimistic from the start, and worked hard every practice to prepare for any court time they see in the future.

“I think volleyball is just like everything else this year, it is crazy,” said Sydney Benson ‘21. “After being told our season will be in February, we found the excitement within ourselves that we had lost after it was cancelled in the fall, and put in more work than ever to make sure we were ready, for whenever our time came.” Volleyball is one of the many Galena High School extracurricular activities that has been affected, and that certainly shows in our students, coaches, and community. 

“I can’t imagine being a senior this year,” said Paeton Hyde ‘23. “I am lucky to only be a sophomore, with two years of volleyball to go after this year, but my heart goes out to our seniors more than anything. I was beyond excited for the whole team after I heard we would be given a scheduled season for the Spring. We put our heart into every practice we had with each other.” Volleyball has certainly looked different, but our student athletes have kept their heads up, and made the most of any time get together. 

Optimism is what has kept student athletes going in this crazy, unpredictable year. Galena volleyball has always put in the work at practices, and open gyms, so with the schedule being much shorter this year, they did double to work in half the time. From the players, to the community who have supported their every step, Galena Volleyball has not backed down from any challenge thrown their way. Through the many years of work, hours in the gym, and travel time, our athletes have put into volleyball, they hated to see the season be pushed back. The announcement that it was not gone completely, lit a fire under their feet, and from there, they worked harder than ever. February has been the dream of these athletes since the day they heard their season had been moved.