Letter: A championship season

Posted 6/12/24

To the editor:

In the spring of 2021, I was walking off a baseball field with my son, he had just finished senior league practice.   During that walk he told me he wanted to play volleyball …

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Letter: A championship season


To the editor:

In the spring of 2021, I was walking off a baseball field with my son, he had just finished senior league practice.  During that walk he told me he wanted to play volleyball in the spring instead of baseball. I was a little surprised because he had always played soccer, baseball, hockey, and some basketball, but never volleyball. He told me a bunch of his friends were playing and he wanted to give it a shot. 

That season the team had a high number of freshmen, the team ended that season with one win. Over the next three years the win totals increased. They went from 8 to 16 to 15. The early losses were teachable moments that provided opportunity for improvement. As they grew as players, they also recruited other friends to join the team who would make important contributions to the team. The 16-win season in 2023 ended with Barrington as the number one seed in Division Two, going into the playoffs. In the semifinals they lost Lincoln, who went on to win the state championship. 

The group that started playing together as freshmen were now entering their senior year, their last season of high school volleyball. They ended that season with 15 wins and the number two seed going into the playoffs. They faced a competitive East Providence team and won in 5 sets. From there they went on to the finals and played Cranston West, who they had lost to twice during the regular season. Barrington won in 4 sets and became the Division Two State Champions. 

The 2024 season ended with a championship, but it was a championship four years in the making and there are a lot of people that contributed to the season. The upperclassmen who were on those early teams. They were critical in helping the group of freshmen learn the game. Coach Lambert, Coach Ross and Coach Ron created an environment where we don’t lose, we learn. The underclassmen who joined the team over those four years who all had very important roles that led to the success of this season. 

The outcome of this season was a result of an environment that had high expectations and standards mixed with a we over me attitude within the team. A team that played with purpose and had each other’s back. They celebrated when someone made a great play and picked each other up when someone made an error. As the 2024 season ended, and my son and his teammates/friends graduated I am thankful to have been able to watch the growth of those teams over the last four years and I know it will continue to be successful because of the culture that all the players and coaches have established.

Bruce G. Ciummo


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.