Clayton-Bradley has it's first ever athletic champions! It came in the form of the Middle School Volleyball program over Fall Break. They came close last year, with both the JV and Varsity losing in the semifinal rounds of the Knoxville Independent School League tournaments. This year both the JV and Varsity teams broke through and won in back to back days!
The Junior Varsity team started the season off hot, going 3-0. But, then they were challenged by some better teams and figuring out how to make plays outside of getting points from their own good serves or the other team having bad serves. They dropped to 3-3, but put some extra practice time in and finished the season with a respective 4-4 record. The record put them in the KISL Junior Varsity Silver Tournament as the #1 seed, with a bye placing them already in the semifinal round. They took down Berean, for a second time in two weeks. This put them against a team they also beat earlier in season, of Knoxville Christian. But, this time it was for the championship and at Knoxville Christian. In the end, it was Addison Short, who had been working on her overhand serve, that came through with the final couple of points to give the Blazers the championship victory!
CBA 25 25
KCS 8 16
Tournament MVP: Addison Short
All Tournament: Anadi Patel and Ella Condee
The Varsity team dominated all year long and finished the season perfectly, at 17-0! They put in a lot of work on their own and as a part of club teams this past offseason and their coaches came in expecting big things out of them for this season. They lost some key girls from last year's team to the high school, but also added a few new girls as well. Coach Cheyenne Burnett shared, "After the success we had last season and knowing the girls we had coming back, I knew this season was going to be good, but I did not know that it would be this good. Having Eva come back this year and have Ellie join the team took us from good to great and the way the girls meshed and played together was outstanding. I could see just how much the girls had grown, not just talent wise, but as people from last year to this year and it made for a whole new team. They were supportive of each other and would help each other out on the floor and girls were very vocal with their leadership and would pick each other up when something went wrong. You could see the girls getting better and better over the course of the season and every night it seemed like a new person would step up or have a shining moment. They did not become complacent with winning and continued to try and be better every game. Having an undefeated season and bringing home the schools first championship became a goal for the team quickly once they saw how much potential they had. I am just so proud of each of them and how they played and how, when it mattered most, they fought hard to get what they wanted."
The ability to host the KISL Varsity Volleyball Division 2 Tournament at CBA was a huge advantage for the Blazers. "We knew going into the season that it could be special, so I jumped at the chance to host. We wanted to give our girls the best chance possible to come through and they did," Athletic Director Grant Redmond stated. Coach Burnett kept thinking and saying all year long that she knew who they would be facing in the championship game. She knew that if her girls played the way that they had been playing all year long that no one could touch them. "Throughout the season the girls had a feeling that they would by facing Maryville Christian in the conference championship, and were so excited to be a team that everyone sees as a good team and a challenge. Having already beaten them twice this season, they came into the game with confidence and a lot of energy. They were so ready. They got off to a rocky start in the 1st set, but bounced back and really took the set over with kills by Haylee and great serving all around as a team. The 2nd set they had figured us out a bit and struggled with getting good passes to allow our offense the way it should have and Maryville Christian took advantage of that. We had not been down much through the season so the girls had never been in that position, so it was a bit nerve wracking as a coach to see how they would respond. They dug deep within themselves to get that win and continued to battle through struggling with serves and some calls that did not go their way. They never gave up or showed signs of defeat. Maddie had played great but had been struggling with her serves, so I made the decision to put Nyah in (when the score was 14-13 CBA and for the championship point) as someone who is fairly consistent. She rose to the occasion in the biggest way possible and I was so proud of her!"
CBA 25 20 15
MCS 17 25 13
Tournament MVP: Haylee Munsey
All Tournament: Mia Adkins and Brylee Condee
Both teams will have the first ever championship banners celebrated in the CBA gym as part of a ceremony at the November 15th Middle School Basketball game.
Congratulations and Go Blazers!