ARCANUM – The Cedarville Lady Indians were staring certain defeat at the hands of the Catholic Central Lady Irish in round one of the OHSAA Sectional Volleyball tournament held in the Arcanum gymnasium without stepping foot on the volleyball court.
With their uniforms back in Cedarville, the Lady Indians were facing a forfeit when Arcanum Athletic Director and Sectional Tournament Director Brian Sprada jumped into action.
“It’s one of those things where you feel for a team,” said Sprada. “Things happen and we had an opportunity to help. I called around to some athletic directors to get their opinion on things being a first time sectional tournament manager and had some good advice and that was one of the options for them. You hate to see kids that have played all year end up losing their season on something like that.”
With all parties working together, the problem was solved when Arcanum High School offered their volleyball uniforms to the Cedarville Lady Indians so the tournament match could be played as scheduled.
“Whatever it takes to play,” said Catholic Central Coach Stacey Webster. “It’s silly to have to forfeit because you don’t have your uniforms. Cedarville is in our league. It could happen to anybody.”
“That is absolutely amazing,” said Cedarville Coach Kelsey Carter. “It was like the biggest heart attack. It’s a coach’s worst nightmare. Arcanun was so generous, so supportive and so sweet…and the refs were really helpful as well.”
A graduate of Cedarville University, Carter was a setter on the Cedarville University Yellow Jackets volleyball team for Coach Teresa Clark and studied under the direction of Greenville’s Dr. Steve Gruber.
“He was our education guy at Cedarvillle,” Carter said of Gruber. “I’m physical education and health…so I was under his tutelage for that.”
“It’s so awesome. There wasn’t even a moment’s hesitation,” stated Carter. “It was like; hey let me see if I have uniforms and if we have uniforms you can use them, and they did.”
“Our girls were trying to find sizes that worked,” continued Carter, “and they put them on. We are so grateful because we wouldn’t have even gotten the opportunity to do that…play and play our hearts out if they hadn’t helped us out.”
“This is one of the feel good stories,” said Brian Hanson, father of Cedarville volleyball player Brianna Hanson. “We heard that our girls had forgotten their uniforms on the way here. We actually turned around to go back to get them but we were out of time.”
“When we arrived I was waiting to pay my admission because we were told that we would have to forfeit if we didn’t have our uniforms. When we walked through the door my wife poked in and said, ‘they’re wearing uniforms’…and we were like, what’s that all about because we knew that ours weren’t here yet.”
“We walked in and they were wearing Arcanum’s uniforms,” continued Hanson. “It’s one of those neighbors helping neighbors. They wanted us to play and we were very, very grateful, otherwise we would have had to forfeit, so they allowed us to play because of that.”
Hansen, a missionary with GateKeepers Ministries works with sports teams including the Columbus Blue Jackets.
“It is an American story,” stated Hanson of Arcanum’s generosity. “We took up a collection to just ask if the (Arcanum) Athletic Director could buy the girls their volleyball team pizza or something and he said no…just share the story that we did something good and I’ll tell you…I’ll share that far and wide.”
“We are very appreciative of a neighbor helping a neighbor and Arcanum High School…it was just an awesome thing they did and our hearts are full because of it,” added Hansen.
“We had a lot of complements from the (Cedarville) parents,” said Sprada. “That’s nice to hear. We just want to put on a good front for them and reflect well on Arcanum and Arcanum Schools.”
“Its high school athletics, that’s what it is,” added Sprada. “Athletics play a huge roll in the education experience of every child…that’s my belief. Both teams, Catholic Central was fine with it so let’s go with it. It worked out for everybody.”
“We wanted to play and there is no sense in not playing without the uniforms,” concluded Central Coach Webster. “Whatever works…works for me.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Cedarville High School Coach Kelsey Carter breaks the Lady Indians’ huddle with her players wearing the Arcanum Lady Trojans uniforms. (Gaylen Blosser photo)