Grace Christian SchoolColumbus, GA
Click to visit website
<< 2010 - 2011 School Year
Grace Christian School Sports
by Coach Joey Harmon
We are anticipating another action packed year from our sports department. Last year was an amazing year. It all started with our volleyball team. We had the privilege of adding Miss Bethany Moody to our staff as the volleyball head coach. She was not sure what to expect from our girls but quickly got acquainted and led our girls to the state finals. We had considered this to be a rebuilding year due to key players graduating the previous year and various injuries, yet the team proved to play at a higher level than was expected. Jessica Brown, Danielle Alexander and DeBorah Jordan were our senior leadership on and off the floor. Our ladies were undefeated going into the state playoffs. It has been more than a decade since our team made it to the championship match. Late Friday night, at the State semifinals, our team was dealt a tough blow losing junior Cherie Cummings to a dislocated shoulder. Freshman Brittany Kutz stepped up to the challenge and we made it into the championship match. Our ladies fought hard but came up just short to the defending state champions, Jubilee Christian from Gainesville, Georgia. We are extremely proud of our Lady Crusader Volleyball team and what they accomplished last year. It is going to be hard to replace our seniors. They meant so much to our program over the last few years. Coach Moody and the team is already working hard and anticipating another successful year. As the only senior, Mollie Newman has her work cut out for her in leading the team from the floor. Our first tri-match will be at Newnan Christian on August 28.
Small schools prove to have a unique situation when it comes to fielding each of its teams. With the basketball season following volleyball, it creates a challenge to field a team for practice for the first two weeks. This past year was more difficult due to the fact that we only had a few girls on the basketball team that did not play volleyball. As a basketball coach, it is very hard to be happy about not having all your team available as soon as you can. However, as the athletic director, you are extremely proud and happy for your volleyball team to make the accomplishment they did.
The basketball season started out rocky and we were unsure how we would end up but the girls remained focused and worked hard in practice. Seniors Jessica Brown, DeBorah Jordan and Danielle Alexander led the way for the Lady Crusader Basketball team. With an overall record of 14-6, we were not expecting to finish very high in the state. We fought hard, unexpectedly beat stronger teams, and made into the semifinals at the state tournament. It was unbelievable − we were just so proud to be there. It was an incredible experience for our girls to play that far into the tournament. They stepped up to the challenge and beat a team with a much better record than ours and allowed us to move on to the state championship. It is one of those Cinderella stories you hear about where you really did not expect to make it to the finals. Our girls played hard and fought all the way to the end but fell behind in the fourth quarter. It was too much to overcome in the end. Coach Joe Harmon, Sr. will tell you that he is as proud of our girl’s accomplishment as any state championship that he has won in the past, and his teams have won many. It will be hard to replace our seniors but we expect the 2010 seniors to step up and lead the team.
In ’08, our varsity boys basketball team made it to the state championship and lost by four points to a team from Powder Springs, Georgia. We lost four strong seniors and a junior that would have been a leader for us. Coming into the season we looked at what we had and braced for a long road ahead of us. As we continued practicing we noticed a glimmer of hope. All the guys worked extremely hard and were focused, wanting this to be a season to remember. Our first test of the season was a big school tournament in near Pensacola, Florida. We knew a little about the host team and nothing about the other teams from South Carolina, Kentucky and other parts of Florida. The teams we played were huge compared to the size of the teams we normally played in Georgia. In the GCAA, we play schools in similar size and numbers. Very few of them have more than three players over 6’6” on the same team. One of our major concerns was our height. Our guys went to work and played fundamental basketball. Coach Harmon, Sr. has been coaching more than thirty years and said that he was highly impressed with the tenacity of our players. The boys jumped up and took the championship trophy leaving the other seven teams wondering what happened. We were the only undefeated team at the tournament. What a way to start a season!
We, the coaching staff, knew this was both good and bad for our team. We knew it was encouraging to our players to have played with the bigger schools and won, yet we had reservations that this may give us an ego that could hurt our play. I can’t tell you how glad we were that our guys checked their egos at the door and just played fundamental basketball. At the other tournaments we went to, it was hard to pick All-Tournament players because each of them did their job and did not look for the glory. It is hard to come by these days, but our guys proved that you can still win graciously and know that it was not because of you that you gained the victory but that it was a team effort all the way down to the last player off the bench. They took this mentality all the way through to win the state championship. We finished with a 22-4 record. Senior Anthony Levins did an outstanding job for us last year and he will be highly missed. We look forward to seeing how this year’s seniors will lead.
Our baseball and fast pitch softball teams had good seasons last year as well. Both teams were really young and improved as the season progressed. Coaches Song and Brown are looking forward to working with our guys again this year. Even though they were young they had a lot of determination. Coach Henderson said that the fast pitch softball girls had the best attitudes of any recent team at Grace. “When you have a group of girls that work hard and don’t give up, it is really encouraging for their coaches,” says Henderson.
We promote all aspects of the athlete at Grace Christian School, from the physical to the spiritual and moral condition of each athlete. Success is not merely attained by winning trophies but in teaching the student athlete to be ready for life challenges. How you react to adversity and stress on the field or court gives you an indication of how you will react to pressures in real life outside of sports. We want to teach our athletes that to be successful you need to develop your character and spirituality so that when faced with adversity, you will be able to react in a way that is positive. We play hard and practice even harder to train our players to learn how to be winners on and off the court. God Bless each and every athlete at Grace Christian School!