Eric J. Wallace, Pensacola News Journal Published 10:26 p.m. CT Oct. 15, 2020 | Updated 11:20 a.m. CT Oct. 16, 2020
Gulf Breeze volleyball drillmaster Jasmine King’s pre-game allowance became a mid-game acclimation adjoin Fort Walton Beach in Thursday’s Commune 1-5A championship bout at Booker T. Washington High School.
It was a simple gift: Temporary tattoos for anniversary varsity amateur bearing the chat “Trust,” a advertence to the abounding hours of offseason training the Dolphins endured calm beneath the ambiguity of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trust accepted to be King’s bulletin absolutely afterwards the advantaged Dolphins fumbled abroad the aperture set to the Vikings. It was tightly-contested, but accidentally went Fort Walton Beach’s way in the acute final points.
True to King’s message, Gulf Breeze recovered its anatomy to ambit the final three sets (23-25, 25-20, 25-9, 25-17) en avenue to a additional afterwards commune championship beneath King.
Gulf Breeze Dolphins bless acceptable the commune 1-5A volleyball clash final over Fort Walton Beach at Booker T. Washington High School in Pensacola on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020.
“They’d been training so continued for a bold like this,” King said. “They did [trust] and the aftereffect was there so I’m aloof appreciative of them.
“No commune championship will be a cakewalk. They got out there and took affliction of business afterwards they were all-a-quiver in the aboriginal set.”
At 15-1, Gulf Breeze’s 2020 resume charcoal once-blemished — a five-set accident at Pensacola Catholic on Oct. 6 — and now appearance coveted postseason accouterments for the additional afterwards season.
It’s a resume as absorbing as any in the Panhandle this division and endless up able-bodied statewide: Gulf Breeze is currently ranked No. 3 in Class 5A and No. 9 all-embracing in Florida according to MaxPreps.
Lauren Kellen (5) plays the brawl during the Fort Walton Beach vs. Gulf Breeze commune 1-5A volleyball clash final at Booker T. Washington High School in Pensacola on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020.
Collegiate aptitude like inferior Lauren Kellen and chief Zoe Cahill accept helped the Dolphins bulwark off agnate agitated bids, but active contributors like green Camryn Brooks accept accurate cardinal as well.
Brooks, a inferior varsity amateur for abundant of the season, fabricated her varsity admission during the commune clash and fabricated a huge consequence on King and her teammates with active advancing contributions adjoin Fort Walton Beach.
“We rarely cull bodies up to varsity that are sophomores, but I anticipate she did an alarming job,” Gulf Breeze chief libero Rebecca Bozeman said. “She brought some abundant plays and activity that we absolutely bare afterwards the aboriginal set.”
There accept been few guarantees for the Dolphins in 2020.
Despite their success, hurricanes and communicable accept fabricated abeyant disruptions a looming possibility, as has been apparent with contempo COVID-related football cancellations in Navarre and Fort Walton Beach.
The Dolphins bless acceptable the Fort Walton Beach vs. Gulf Breeze commune 1-5A volleyball clash final at Booker T. Washington High School in Pensacola on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020.
There was little ambuscade the achievement in advantageous such hurdles to accession Thursday night’s commune trophy.
“We absolutely put in the assignment and it’s able-bodied deserved,” Kellen said. “… Even through the uncertainties and the up’s and down’s of our season, we still put in the adamantine assignment and eventually it all formed out. It’s been assuming in the way we’ve been playing.”
Eric J. Wallace can be accomplished at firstname.lastname@example.org or 850-525-5087.
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