Posted On: 10/17/18 2:24 PM

If Yelp had ratings for a volleyball experience, Kasson-Mantorville would have received five stars.  I will do my best to capture my experience through words, but for those directly involved in matches or big games like this, here’s a memo: this is such a privilege to play in this type of game, this situation, and have fans like there were for the Komets and Stewartville filling up a first class gym Tuesday night at Kasson-Mantorville Senior High.  There are a lot of half full gyms with parents of the players, a few friends of the players, and that’s about it. But not Tuesday. Tuesday was an atmosphere that if you bottled it up, it would be priceless.

Walking into the gym you can feel energy provided by the crowd filing into their seats, both teams warming up, trying to play cool, but the pregame jitters are always there and it’s there for the coaches too – balancing the tug of war between excitement and nervous energy.  While this is going on, the Komets have a little bit of their own pre-game entertainment.

Kasson-Mantorville has a pep band.  Yes, a pep band for their volleyball games and this is frankly my opinion, but a good pep band is better than any warm up playlist you can create.  This really brings the whole school together. I’m sure there were athletes that if they weren’t on the court they would have been in the pep band as well.  This adds such an extra element to an event involving more students from the high school getting to play the national anthem, and school song. For an athlete running out onto the court or in the pregame huddle to the sound of a packed gym, fans clapping along to your school song – what else do you need?

For Kasson-Mantorville’s homecoming they actually had a volleyball match during the afternoon where one side of the gym was full of students.  Homecoming is always highlighted by the football game on Friday night, but once again another way to incorporate more students into an event, the better.  Again, it isn’t like this everywhere, this is something special.

I have to commend both student sections.  Kasson-Mantorville was engaged from the start with their team coming out of the gate on fire, but Stewartville students stuck with their team.  So many times I see fans leave after the second set, but not in this case. After a rough second set for Stewartville, their fans stayed, and were right there when they won the third set.  There is a chance, a strong chance both of these teams will be playing each other again in a few weeks for the postseason. I can imagine both student sections will be in full force. There was some banter back and forth.  I was happy to see that the chants of “We got spirit, yes we do…” is still going strong as well as, “Let’s play football”. Some things never change, and in cases like this, I’m ok with that, there is far worse students could be chanting.

Prior to working at Prep Dig, I was a 6th grade teacher for eleven years.  I ran an after school coding club, I taught science, and I’m still a science and tech geek.  When a robot on wheels that shoots t-shirts into the crowd came rolling onto the court, I was in awe (that might be an understatement).  I know the work that goes into something like that. I know its a lot of out of school time for the advisors and the students. I know its a financial commitment from administration.  This might be a common thing at Kasson-Mantorville, but with it being my first time at the school, I was just in amazement. Again, it’s not like this everywhere.

Thank you Kasson-Mantorville.  Thank you for making me feel welcome, thank you for the entertainment, and thank you being able to showcase students involved in so many different activities.  Tuesday night was more than a volleyball game, and again….it’s not like this everywhere.


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