The Campion Academy varsity soccer and volleyball teams traveled to the annual Union College tournament this last weekend. The tournament was organized a bit differently this year, with the games on Thursday determining if you were placed in the gold or the red division for the next two days. This gave an opportunity for first place trophies to go to both the red and gold championship games for both soccer and volleyball, allowing all teams a fair shot at first place.
The Campion soccer team came in first place in the red division, ending their game 3-0. The volleyball team came in fifth place in the red division, ending with two ace serves by Ashley Herber. Both teams won their last games on Saturday night. Collegedale Academy, from Tennessee, took first place in both the volleyball and the soccer gold championships.
Obed Barrera, a senior captain on the soccer team, said, “In the fourth game we were playing to see if we would make it into the red division championship, and at the beginning of the game we were not playing that hard. Then at half time, Mr. O gave us this big speech about how we should keep pushing even if we’re playing for seventh place. Then in the second half we started dominating. It was a big difference and it was a really cool turning point because after that speech we just gave 100 percent.” He continued, “I learned not to give up. I was pretty beat down because I was like ‘we’re out of the (gold) championship game, what are we playing for?’ But I learned to overcome that and just play for fun because that’s what soccer, and any other sport, is all about. If it’s not fun, then why are we playing that sport?”
When asked about her favorite part of tournament Delanie Kamarad, a senior captain of the volleyball team, said, “My favorite part was the last game after we won. Even though we had a lot of hardships through the season and in tournament, looking around after the game there was no one else I’d rather be by. The energy we had toward each other all season wasn’t just about the sport or our positions it was about the memories and the friendships we made.”
Barrera also said, “One of my favorite parts about tournament was cheering on our volleyball girls. That was hype and it was really fun.” Not only did the Campion teams cheer on each other, but they also cheered on the Mile High teams. Even though Campion and Mile High Academy are typically top rivals, before the tournament volleyball coach Kelsey Cate encouraged the girls to cheer on their sister school when they could. Ashley Halvorson, a senior volleyball player, then made a sign that said “Colorado Proud” so that the volleyball team could cheer on Mile High when they didn’t have a game. This led to both schools showing up to each other’s games to hold up the sign to cheer each other on.
“It felt empowering to cheer on Mile High. Not only did it make us feel good about ourselves but I think that people on their team payed attention. One of the moms of the players came up to us afterwards and said, ‘Thank you so much. We really appreciate you guys and this means a lot to us,’” Kamarad said.
The Campion teams came away from tournament with great memories, new friendships, and important life lessons.
Ashley Herber, Student Editor
All photos used with permission from Union College