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Walter Fuller Recreation Center volleyball
Congratulations to this month’s Joto’s Top Team, the Walter Fuller Recreation Center volleyball team.
Walter Fuller is a member of the TASCO (Teen Arts, Sports, and Cultural Opportunities) sports league. The girls volleyball team, composed of twelve 8th – 10th graders, finished the regular season with a record of five wins and one loss, earning a spot in the playoffs – quite an impressive feat for a team that is significantly younger than much of its competition. (Many of the other teams in the league are made of up of 9th – 12th graders.)
What is the key to this team’s success? “Simple,” says Program Director Eric Ventura. “Teamwork: everyone coming together for one common goal, putting individual goals aside, and focusing on what’s best for the team.”
“Everyone contributes in some way differently,” says Ventura, as he describes each team member:
Vina Aggabao is a setter that “everyone loves to be around.”
Brittany Copponi is a hard-working middle hitter with “tons of potential.”
Britny Bounthisavath, left side hitter and team captain, is a “consistent, intense competitor.”
Cyndi Calkins is a hard-working setter with a “great attitude.”
Danielle Morris, the youngest player on the team, is a serve specialist with “tons of power.”
Porcelain Griffin is a right side hitter who “can make all the plays.”
Brooke Krimmel, right side hitter, is the “most improved player from last year.”
Stephanie Sousek, right side hitter, is a “hard worker with a big heart.”
Toni Johns is a setter and team captain who naturally “leads by example.”
Celyna Levesque, left side hitter, is a “great athlete with tons of potential.”
Jill Meiners, an “extremely talented” player, is the libero and a right side hitter.
Delisa Silva is a hard-working right side hitter with “tons of heart.”
Head Coach Bianca Iannello places a strong emphasis on teamwork. She often reminds her players that “teamwork makes the dream work.” Coach Iannello is assisted by Joy Bounthisavath, a knowledgeable and experienced coach. Ha Bounthisavath serves as team mom, attending practices, planning the team banquet, and making things for the team.
The Walter Fuller volleyball team is a blend of individual players, parents, and coaches who are united by common goals. Winning the championship is the most obvious goal, says Ventura. However, another primary goal of the Walter Fuller sports program is for every player to finish the season having learned at least one new skill. In addition to developing volleyball skills, players also “learn the value of teamwork and taking pride in their accomplishments, understanding that hard work and dedication always pay off,” says Ventura.
The value of teamwork is a theme of the entire TASCO league. When registering for sports teams, TASCO athletes sign a sportsmanship agreement in which students commit to “place the emotional and physical well-being of [their] teammates” above their own desires to win. They also agree to promote sportsmanship by respecting others, demonstrating fair play, and abstaining from drugs, tobacco, and alcohol.
TASCO, a division of the City of St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation, offers teen volleyball, dodge ball, basketball, and flag football leagues, as well as a variety of mini-tournaments. In addition to sports, TASCO offers a wide range of educational, social, and community service activities for middle school and high school students. For more information, visit http://www.stpeteparksrec.org/tasco.
Walter Fuller Park has playgrounds, pavilions, several athletic fields, tennis and basketball courts, a community pool, a lake, a nature trail, and much more. Walter Fuller Recreation Center provides recreational classes, elementary and teen programs and leagues, community rental rooms, and indoor basketball, volleyball, and pickleball courts. The park hosts the Green Thumb Festival, the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Cancer Walk, and a variety of other events including dog shows, birthday parties, nature walks, cross country meets, and community picnics. Walter Fuller is available to the general public for rentals. For more information, visit http://www.stpeteparksrec.org/walter-fuller-rec.html.
Nominate Your Top Team
If you wish to nominate a “Top Team of the Month” please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or simply drop off your nomination at your local Joto’s Pizzeria.