Having the city welcome the Lady Pirates volleyball team home from tournament play has been a long-standing tradition in Sneads, what with seven Class 1A championships in a row to celebrate.

But last year, because the team arrived in town so late from their trip away, they didn’t have one. As a result, this year’s welcome would be the first experienced by second-year head coach Heather Edge.

“When I saw dozens upon dozens of people at every corner at the railroad tracks, and the fireworks, and the crowns they brought the team, it was overwhelming,” Edge said.

“It was really exciting. I’m pretty close in age to the girls on the team, so most of time I feel like a sister to them, but as a parent myself now, that night for me brought up more motherly feelings. I have a 2-year-old (and one on the way). You want your children to experience these kinds of things, and I just stepped back and enjoyed it in that way for them. It meant a lot to them, and it was a joyful thing to me because they feel like my own family. It was like Christmas morning for them. It was electric.”

See page 11A for more photos and page 1B for more about the team’s run-up to victory last Friday night in the title hunt.

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