Boys volleyball beats the defending county champions


Photo courtesy of Ben Lee

The boys varsity volleyball team jumps in victory after scoring the winning point for the game against Clarksburg team on March 21, 2022.

By Clara Young

Cheering. Constant screaming and jumping and yelling. WCHS students have been cheering the whole year. Whether it was for the football team, or the swim team at Metros, or the basketball team at the University of Maryland, or the hockey team at states, they have spent the year cheering. Now the boys varsity volleyball team will become WCHS’s new reason to cheer as they have proved themselves after winning against last year’s county champions, Clarksburg High School, on March 21, 2022. 

“Coming into the Clarksburg game I was only thinking about winning,” WCHS senior and boys varsity captain Ben Lee said. “I had known about this match for months and the trash talk started way before the season even began. I knew I wasn’t going to be surprised by anything since I play with Clarksburg players on club.”

Through Lee’s leadership and guidance along with the other captains and older players, the team was able to work as one. One mind and one way of thinking, everyone with their own jobs and skills to add to the equation yet all with the same goal: winning. 

“The atmosphere of the team is amazing and intense,” WCHS sophomore Hagan Yeoh said. “Our mindset going into Clarksburg was that we had nothing to lose and to play our game. Even though deep down we wanted to win badly.”

In order to achieve their best, the team knows they have to stay organized and focused. But, a great deal of pressure falls on the captains and their ability to keep a strong mindset while the team plays. 

“On the court, I have to rally and motivate the team together and make sure everyone is playing at the top of their game,” Lee said. “Volleyball is a super mental sport, and sometimes it takes help from one another to get back into the right headspace.”

As most sports, volleyball is a team effort. In order to win the players have to come together and synthesize their skills so that they can function like a machine. But through all of the intensity and pressure, volleyball remains an outlet for players to take away the stress of their daily lives and just focus on the present moment.

“High school volleyball means everything to me,” Lee said. “It’s how I first got started playing. I started on COED my freshman and sophomore years. When you put 2-3 hours everyday for 4 years into a sport it definitely holds a special place in your heart.”

Despite being on the team for a relatively short period of time, the dedication it takes to remain on the team truly connects players to one another and the sport. Every game is as serious as the last no matter what team they are against

“Before games we prepare by reviewing the other team and discuss strategies and also practice different ways to tackle the other team,” Yeoh said. “Every team is different but we know we have to keep the same mindset through it all and just focus on playing our best.”

The whole season the WCHS boys volleyball team had been doing their absolute best in each of their games, yet this match was bigger. CHS held the title of county champs and they needed to beat them. But the boys were ready for the challenge.

“It was as tight as a game can get, 3 sets were won by 2 and the last set went past 15,” Lee said. “Every single point was hype and the crowd was going crazy. There were so many intense plays and long rallies. This definitely was the craziest high school match to happen in the past decade.”

Despite their win, the boys always look for ways to improve. They cannot let their egos get too big and must just focus on the future and getting better.

“This didn’t change our mindset and we knew what we needed to do to improve and hopefully make it easier to win next time,” Yeoh said. “We celebrated well but we had to focus and improve for our future games”

The boys know that now that they had such a big win, they need to play at 110 percent. Going forward, opposing teams will expect nothing less than their best game. Neither will the fans watching them at WCHS. 

“At the end of the day we knew it was just a normal regular season match and they would get better for playoffs,” Lee said. “We got a target on our back now cause we’re the best in the county, but we just have to keep working on ourselves and improving for playoffs.”