2022 GODDESS & WARRIOR AWARDS
Ajax 16 Gold
In all my years of coaching, I have never been in a position where every player could and should be recognized for an award of greatness. This is truly a thing for 16-Gold so, when the team met and talked about warrior and what it meant we came up with some adjectives or descriptors.
We said a warrior is: helpful, hard-working, inclusive, a listener, focused, goal oriented, intentional, calm under pressure, patient, coachable, and strives for more for self and team.
This player is all that and more. He was described by his teammates as someone who puts in effort at every practice. Always does the mental homework that Coach assigns. Puts in effort and intention into building skills and his relationships with teammates, always strives for positive takeaways and looks for ways to grow. He is described as someone who loves a challenge and someone who always keeps a positive attitude on the court. This player is thrilled by competition.... when our team plays up into the 18s, as a young team, many players on this team are playing guys who are 2 to 3 years older. For this player however it means he’s playing against guys who are 4, 5 and even six years older than he is and... he does it fearlessly. Add to that this weekend he was a serving machine and got to play front row and even got a few kills...our first warrior award for 16 gold goes to Kaleb Dougless.
Athena 17 Silver
Haley brings energy, effort, and passion to every play every day. She is the first and the last player shagging balls and is always ready to lend a hand where needed. She goes all out and isn't afraid to throw her body on the ground in pursuit of a dig. She loves to be challenged and is always seeking feedback to make herself a better player. Great work Haley!!
Athena 15 White
From the start of the season Cheye has been a consistent leader on and off the court. She initiated warmups without being asked, makes efforts to include everyone at all times, picks up her teammates when needed, and helps everyone come out of their shells to further bond as a community.
Athena 12 Silver
Elle is a ball of sunshine on and off the court! She is just as excited doing cheers on the bench as she is when she scores a point! We have seen so much improvement in all of her skills but especially setting, hitting and serving. Katiya and I always know that Elle will always show up to practice with a smile on her face :)
Athena 12 Black
Honoring Ellie with the Goddess award was a long awaited moment. Because of scheduling conflicts, we had to wait almost a month after choosing Ellie as Goddess. Of course she had no idea of the behind the scenes logistics, and so she just kept on doing all the Goddess things without knowing she was receiving this award. By the time we were able to present Ellie with the Goddess award, the coaches were even more excited because the list just kept compiling of all the ways she had earned it!
One of my favorite moments of this season was during a 3rd set of a match when we were down 10-13 and had just gotten the ball back. Our team was having a bit of a serving struggle and we just needed someone to go in and confidently serve at our opponent. Ellie had not played yet during that third set, but was fully participating with her whole heart from the bench. I looked at her and asked if she wanted to go serve her team back into the game. She did not even hesitate for split second before she said “YES” with the biggest smile on her face. She went out there in what appeared to be fearless posture. If there were any nerves, she was not showing it. Instead it was the posture of someone who was so excited at the opportunity in front of her. Ellie indeed served us back into that game and yes we won! Even if the story had gone differently and Ellie had gone in and missed that serve, I would like to think I would still have been just as proud because of her genuine desire and positive attitude.
This is the type of player Ellie consistently was the entire season. Always ready to jump into the need. She played her role as a supportive and invested teammate with full heart whether her feet were on the court or the sideline. Her position didn’t matter. Her role never affected her attitude. She had the attitude that treated every practice and match as an opportunity to say “YES” with a big smile on her face. This young lady does not waiver in championing her team. She is an absolute delight to coach! 12 Black coaches are thrilled to name Ellie Drake our 12 Black Goddess.
Athena 14 Gold
I'm beyond proud of the player and person Jada is on and off the court. She works hard every day in practice and there's never a doubt about her readiness to bring it in matches. She inspires her teammates through her never-ending energy and "all-in" dedication. She's quick to support our other teams and has been known to lead a "Go Athena" cheer to rally the sideline. I'm blessed to be her coach and look forward to seeing all she accomplishes along her journey.
Athena 13 Onyx
When she makes mistakes in practice or in a game it is a quick that was me and then as I call it, "she just Dory's it" She then adjusts to what we have taught, and it doesn't happen again. She is great at asking for directions or help when she needs too. She gives 100% all the time and she also has a lot of it. She earns everything we give her. This person always is the biggest cheerleader on the sideline. She is always the on on the court that communicates the loudest. There is never a time that Coach Emilie and I don't recognize her give it all attitude. Lilly Heydet you are a rock on our court sideline, and practice. We also have a lot of trust in you. We, as coaches, are so proud of you!
Athena 13 Gold
We have 12 athletes who work super hard, and when you play a team sport like volleyball, where you must rely on a teammate or opponent to touch a ball before you can touch it again, it is difficult to single out one person that stands out more than the others. Therefore, we have waited until now to select our goddess for 13 Gold. This athlete exudes everything I love to see in a person. She is always at practice early, always working on her craft, and always with a huge smile! I see her constantly lifting her teammates up, and when she makes a mistake, she Lets it Go and Moves On (Usually with a grin and a nod to fix it next time). She is super coachable, and always thirsty for more knowledge of the game and how she can help her team be better. She is always willing to share court time with teammates, play all around when needed and gives the same amount of energy from the bench as she does on the court. She works hard off the court as well, always turning in her assignments on time and with lots of thought behind them. It is for these reasons, and many more that we select Delaney Averill as our Goddess for 13 Gold! Thank you for setting a high standard for all of us!
Ajax 14 Gold
Emerson is new to volleyball but brings a competitive and team oriented mindset. As one of our starting setters, Emerson leads by example and looks beyond his own game in assisting the team as an extension of a coach on the court. In our second tournament, the team improved for an undefeated record, and Emerson helped key some close games with tough serves and great offensive decision making. He brings an important calm presence and is key for bettering the ball and improving our ball control.
Athena 14 White
Reese was solid for us all weekend in Seattle. She was a clutch server for us, and had the drive and determination we needed to compete with some tough teams. She is a consistent and smart player, along with being a great teammate on and off the court. Great job, Reese!!
Athena 15 Silver
Erin started off as a very consistent player on our team. She has since elevated her skills in blocking, serving, and serve receive passing. It has showed everyone she is a force to be reckoned with! Even though she is currently injured, she is still putting in the work where she can. She always has a positive attitude and is constantly lifting up her teammates :)
Athena 14 Silver
Athena 14 Silver’s goddess award goes to Ella Fischer!! Ella is a versatile, hard working volleyball player. She shows leadership in the most simple, effortless ways with her consistent calm, confident and positive composure. She always knows where to be and naturally makes smart, strategic plays. Lately, she has been OWNING the net when it comes to overpasses and finding open areas to attack the ball. And the little spinning rally hand movement she makes to celebrate both her and her teammate’s successes never ceases to cheer the rest of us up too! Congrats, Ella! Athena 14 Silver is so lucky to have you!!
Ajax 18 Gold
Brodey earned the Warrior award for AJAX 18s by dedicating himself to the concept of “team before self.” After breaking his thumb early in the season (and playing through the pain), Brodey stayed in-tune with the team at every step and worked his way back to health. Brodey didn’t take any days off; he worked out with the team, shagged, cheered, and mentally prepared for his return. Brodey has been an excellent model of a true teammate!
Ajax 16 Black
From this weekend for Ajax 16 Black. The one who stood out was Price. He really put himself out there in defense. He internalizes the positional information and really throws his body around
Athena 16 Gold
16 Gold took one point at a time and ended up winning the open division in Omaha. The team approached the tournament like the “Little Engine that Could”. “I think we can, I think we can, …I know we can, I know we can!” This forward motion mentality was epitomized by one player especially. Sidney Friesen who kept believing in herself and her teammates and her example of “I know we can” ended up as “We did it!” Proud of our little engine that set us in motion all weekend.
Athena 15 Gold
Addie was amazing on and off the court this past weekend at our Matt Hartner Memorial Tournament. She really displayed positivity to all around us all weekend long.
Athena 15 Onyx
Rachel is our second setter, but this past weekend our 1st setter was out and our 3rd setter got injured after the first match, meaning she was running a 5-1 almost the entire day. She really stepped up and out of her comfort zone. Not only that, but did it extremely confidently and rocked it.
Athena 17 Gold
Coach! I'd like to nominate Addie Hoover for sure! She played well and battled all day, went down with a potential serious injury and STAYED with the team to support them. She was enthusiastic and such a good teammate the entire time!
Athena 18 Gold
Emma Burlingame is someone who represents one of our core values here at Athena/ Ajax; The value of Arete (Excellence and the pursuit of excellence in everything we do). Emma is constantly leading by example and being a role model for everyone around her. She is a middle who has dedicated herself to being an all around outside. Her work ethic, love and commitment to the game is something to be admired. Emma is a true ambassador of what it means to be a volleyball player from our club. She has without a doubt earned this award!
Athena 14 Onyx
Emily (EmJ) exemplified the growth mindset and willing to go out of her comfort zone to learn/improve her skills. I always see that her eyes are glued to the speaker during our group sessions. She has struggled with making short serves but I saw her going for a short serve during match warm up - which was followed by full body celebration jumping up and down for the success. it almost looked like we won the match! She went on to pull the team ahead in that match by mixing deep and short serves. She is often recognized, receiving kudos, by her teammates and coaches for her hard work during practices and matches. She is one of the players on 14 Onyx that inspire others to be better on and off the court and we're lucky to have her on the team. We appreciate her hard work, questions, coachability, and positive attitude.
Athena 13 Silver
This player provided value on and off the court at our qualifier. She's consistently working on being a smart player and a good teammate and it's starting to show! By providing constant tough serves, she had 53 serves with zero errors! She's also supporting her teammates with energetic cheering and the ability to take deep breaths between plays! That player is Rose Hogan!
Athena 12 Gold
Tabitha is an athlete our 12 Gold team depends on both on and off the court. On the court, she is a leader by way of her skill, attitude, and work ethic. She is always excited to be at practice and is always asking for additional things she can do outside of practice to work on her game. This past weekend at Power League Qualifier, she stood out to me not because of the amazing things she was doing on the court, but by her behavior and attitude when she was on the bench, as well as her leadership on the court in assisting her teammates with their serve receive positions. As a starter, it would have been very easy for her to check out and be disappointed when she was on the bench. Instead, I heard her explaining rotations and base defense to her teammates, cheering for the girls on the court, and asking coaches for feedback on things she could improve on the next time she went out on the court.
Athena 16 Onyx
Rowan always has the best attitude ever when the odds are against her. She is a team player and is determined to grow not only as a player but also a person. In addition, Rowan is very responsible and adaptable. Finally, Rowan is always trying to become more versed and knowledgeable about the game.
Athena 14 Black
Anna was an exceptional serve receive passer this weekend and lead our team from the back row. She read the attack and played smart defense. Anna also celebrated her teammates and encouraged them after making mistakes. We are so proud of Anna and how she wore the libero jersey! She was a TOTAL ROCKSTAR the WHOLE day! I'm so SO proud of ALL of our girls, but Anna TOTALLY stands out as the GODDESS as she puts that same AMAZING effort into EVERY practice too! Serious, rockstar goddess status!
Athena 18 Black
Avery exemplifies our core values so naturally. Parakaleo means to come alongside and uplift. Avery does this both on the court, from the bench and in her free time with her team. She always has a smile on her face and is encouraging her teammates. Congrats Avery!
Athena 17 Black
Riley always has a positive attitude and wanting to grow as a player and an athlete. Riley is selfless, willing to play any position for her team and hard working. She leads by example and strives for "arete" (excellence) by working on homework on the plane, busting her lip mid game while still coming back to play, and so much more.
Athena 13 Black
Bennett is a leader by example on the 13 Black team. On the court, she makes BIG defensive plays... sacrificing herself to keep the ball in play at any cost. Her effort is exceptional! What separates Bennett as a Goddess, though, are the little things behind the scenes. She is coachable, she thinks ahead and asks questions to clarify what's happening, and she is respectful to coaches and teammates. Those little things are the BIG things that help our team improve and get better!
Ajax 16 Black
Luke although still very young has stepped into a new position this year and taken on the captains role. He leads by example at practice and is working on his vocal leadership skills as he helps to guide a team with 8 players that have never played on a volleyball team before.