Aces and Kings a hit

Zoe Roush

       Every year, Cedar Park High School’s volleyball team gets together and does a fund-raiser called Aces and Kings. The event started in 2006 as a student council fund-raiser, but since the game was played and facilitated by all volleyball players, it was made to benefit the volleyball team instead. Aces and Kings is a volleyball tournament that allows junior and senior boys to play volleyball with the girls from the volleyball team as their coaches. Each team got to pick their own coaches and could have up to three coaches. This year’s Aces and Kings Tournament was just as successful as any other year. The boys showed up, brought plenty of spirit, played their hardest and in the end helped the volleyball team raise a lot of money.

     The boys picked their teams and met once a week for practice, where they would work together on their volleyball skills and learn the basics of the game.

     “Every moment during practice was funny,” Coach Jennifer Almanza, the girl’s volleyball coach, said.
     “When one of the boys would get a good point, they would taunt the other team.”

     Most of the boys had never played volleyball before or have only played for fun so “good points” were few and far between. The boys definitely found a new respect for the volleyball girls.

     “Practice definitely helped our team learn communication and court knowledge,” Lisa Gehrlein, senior, said.

      In order to kick start the fund-raiser, the teams had to pay fifteen dollars for their shirts in corresponding team colors of blue, light blue, lime green, neon yellow, pink, purple, neon orange and tie die. At the door, the tickets were two dollars for students and three dollars for adults. There was also a bake sale going on at the concession stand that served everything from cupcakes to cookies. This fund-raiser is much different than most, but it’s a great way to support Cedar Park volleyball because all of the money went to the team who uses the money for various things throughout their season.

     “It’s not as boring as selling cookie dough and it does a good job of bringing the school together,” Emily Sutfin, senior, said.

     The tournament was only for juniors and seniors, but anyone could come and support the teams. On game day there were total of eight teams, and the tournament lasted from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. A lot of people came out to watch the guys attempt to play this sport. Some of the guys were better than others, however.  The fans really enjoyed the serves of Kyle Troxtell, from the Pink Team, who would do a sort of jump and skip as he served. Also a favorite was Matt Gallagher, whose height really was an advantage on his team as he blocked most spikes. There were many other players who really played hard and enjoyed themselves at the same time.

     “The Light Blue Team won the sportsmanship award because they were just really nice guys throughout the entire tournament,” Almanza, coach, said.

     Not all teams played nice, however, the games got pretty tense at parts of the tournament, as players became more frustrated and determined to win, the boys got loud.

     “[Our team] almost got kicked out for unsportsmanlike conduct,” Taylor Teets, junior who coached the Yellow Team, said.

     The team got a loud and began to use fowl language and crude motions towards other teams which almost got them thrown out of the tournament. The Yellow Team wasn’t alone in this though. Emily Sutfin and Amanda Muckle’s team, The Purple Team, also got in trouble for yelling at the refs.

     After an intense tournament, in the end it came down to juniors vs. seniors. It was The Purple Team that consisted of seniors, T.J. Johnson, Charlie Sesselburg, Nathan Thornhill, Collin Raddack, Matt Gallagher, Max Forster and Will Rollo, against The Blue Team that consisted of juniors, Ryan Roberts, Dylan Cox, Holden Ilseng, Brandon Allen, Kole Karol, Zach Duncan and Keller Harlow. The respective strengths of these two teams helped them top all the others in the tournament.

     “The [two teams in the final] were the ones who had boys who had great verticals,” said Coach Almanza.

     After three grueling games, The Blue Team came out victorious, a loss that devastated the seniors. However the tournament that raised a good amount of money for the volleyball team and everyone still had a great time watching the boys show off on the courts.