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Viking Sports Roundup - We Give Thanks 2018

In this thankful season, it is only appropriate to thank our Fall Sports student-athletes.

Let's thank our Cheerleaders first, because they spend all of their time 'thanking' - i.e., cheering for their classmates on the field and on the court. Coach Ennis and Coach Coajou, thank you for the time and effort you put in with your girls. The positive attitude of the Cheer Squad permeates EVERY game and EVERY event they participate in. Thanks, girls!

Let's thank our footballers who gave us a Homecoming Game for the ages! As I stood on the field after our Vikings last minute, come-from-behind victory with what felt like was the ENTIRE SJCP student body and community, I said to one of the seniors nearby, "Michael, you will never forget this game; this day."  THEN, I realized that I would not forget this game, this day, ever, either.  Who could?!

Starting with the INCREDIBLE 'move-the-whole-student-body-to-McCurdy' miracle - I have never witnessed a student body handle a 'glitch' as well as they did that day - to the tug-a-war, to the dramatic Powder Puff, to the Cheer Squad/Football Squad duet (?!), to the football finish, through the dance, it was a weekend that will define Mr. Knotek and his administrative team and all Vikings - frosh through senior - for years and years to come. Wow. THANKS for such teamwork, it was astounding to watch.

Thanks for first-year coach Wil Ricketts and his rejuvenated and revitalized Boys Soccer stalwarts. They lost to Pallotti early in the year 7-3, and, because of coaching and players allowing themselves to be coached, they beat Pallotti in the tournament quarterfinals 5-1. AND, they won 5 games ON THE ROAD. Soccer is back to stay on Buckeystown Pike.

Thanks for 5 senior Volleyballers for hanging in as the Vikings went up a conference and took some to-be-expected lumps. There were some great thrills in the gym when their supportive classmates came to back them, er, LOUDLY. Electric was the vibe, and we are thankful for the way Viking student-athletes support one another.

Thanks to our Girls and Boys Cross Country teams and their stellar campaigns! BOTH were undefeated for a large portion of the year and, speaking of support for one another! NO ONE does THAT better than our Viking runners, both Bridesmaids in their respective conferences, but wildly successful when judged against past years at SJCP. A legacy in Cross Country has taken hold here, and we are thankful.

Thanks to our Soccer Girls and their Tournament win, which propelled them to the quarterfinals. Playoff success is hard to come by, but they found it.

Our babes - the JV Volleyball team and our JV Boys' Soccer teams - were both remarkable in their own right. The JV Volleyball team went 16-2 and won what is essentially their league title (the IAAM has no playoffs for the JV girls volleyball conferences) when they won the Chapelgate Tournament the last weekend of the season. Our volleyball program continues to rise.

But, my last thanks goes to our JV Boys' Soccer team, coached by Mr. Mitch Kelman. These young Vikes, because of HEAT, because of THUNDER and LIGHTNING, and because of RAIN, played only 4 games in 55 days to start the season. Please do the math. Every day they came ready to play and were often disappointed by the elements. Then, the skies cleared somewhat and the rain went away for a spell, and they played 7 games in 16 days.  WHOA!

In those last 16 days they reminded me - with their JOY FOR THE GAME, their LOVE FOR THE GAME - just how thankful we ALL should be to play, to be a teammate, to be coached and helped. Because of their enthusiasm, NOT dampened by the damp, they won waaaaaay more of those last 7 games then they ought to have won - two of them virtually at the final horn by identical 1-0 scores. Something else.

So, on this Thanksgiving we at SJCP Athletics hope you PLAY that family touch football game, or 3 on 3 hoops game, or tag or whatever it is with those you love and who love you and that you THANK GOD that we can ALL still PLAY and ought to PLAY and never forget what it means to PLAY. Thanks.

Peter Strickland
Director of Athletics