Providence High School volleyball plays season with majority GRIC players
Gila River Indian News
If you watch a Providence High School girls’ volleyball match, you’ll notice the majority of the players are Gila River Indian Community members. The team has six GRIC members on its squad: Nellie Brown, Grade 9 from District 4, Krissiante Soto, Grade 9 from District 5, Martha Lugo, Grade 10 from District 3, Gabriella Voss, Grade 9 from District 5, Leticia Delowe, Grade 11 from District 5, and Kayla Delowe, Grade 10 from District 5.
Providence High School is a new charter school in Chandler that opened its doors this year and offers small class sizes with individualized education, focusing on the long-term goals of their students. The school provides intern- ships, extracurricular activities and athletics.
Even though their record isn’t perfect, the girls are thoroughly enjoying their season. Although they have to carefully manage their time between games, homework and chores, volleyball allows the girls to stay busy and helps them make new friends. But they all agreed that sports help them to do better in school.
Volleyball coach Cassie Johnson is from Parker, Ariz., and is Navajo and Zuni. Coach Johnson said, "it's been interesting because it's a new school, first sports season for the school, and first time playing for many of the girls, but we're making it work." The record for the team isn't the best, but she's enjoying the progress that everyone shows with every game.
Practices are at a public gym that can be rented or reserved called "The Lab" located within a mile of the school where they practice fundamentals, run drills, and learn how to work as a team Monday thru Thursday every week. For many on the team, it's the first time playing, and it was a leap out of their comfort zone.
Transportation for the students to and from school isn't easy for the players as the closest lives 15 miles away in District 4. For those in the athletic programs getting home in the late evening is nothing new. Providence High School staff and coaches share the responsibility to transport students home after practices and games.
Coach Johnson said those that stick it out with the athletics program, including the coaches, show how much dedication is given to the students. Faculty and staff at the school are doing the best for the team with the school's mission in mind: "to enable our students to realize their unique talents while mastering core academic skills and developing the social-emotional strengths required for student success in the 21st century."
In the next issue, we'll high- light the GRIC boys who play for the Providence High School Foot- ball team and are contributing to the school’s efforts in building a promising football program.