That’s exactly what happened as Spanish Springs won a share of the High Desert League’s regular season championship. But it also meant the Cougars were the favorites to add some hardware next to what it won last fall.
Spanish Springs took home its second straight NIAA 4A State Academic Championship in volleyball with a team grade-point average of 3.88 last semester. The NIAA does not compute team GPA’s with weighted grades, so the Cougars who take honors classes, don’t get credit for the more challenging schedule.
Coaches can motivate their players in practice and during games, but they have very little access to their players in the classroom. So it’s up to the players to be self-motivated and realize they are students before athletes.
“It says a lot about our players and their parents. They truly are student-athletes,” SSHS volleyball coach Frank Sandomenico said. “It’s a coaches dream to have such motivated kids. They’re not only motivated in volleyball, but in the classroom also. It makes my job easier and more enjoyable.
“It’s really a credit to the parents and the kids. One year I took all the girls who got a 4.0 to a pizza buffet. We had so many girls who got it, that it was too expensive for me to do it again. That’s the only motivation I’ve done for it, and even that we don’t do anymore. These girls are busy. We ask them to put in a lot of time. They all play club and other sports.”
Spanish Springs finished with a school best 27-8 record this season and were the Northern 4A Regional runner-up. Because they only lose one senior off this year’s squad, the Cougars will be one of the teams to beat next fall. However, it could mean a third straight academic championship to put in the trophy case as well.