Thursday, August 18, 2016

Second-Ponce Volleyball

Church league volleyball was one of the first things that attracted me to SPdL - the family atmosphere where a college student from out of town could get to know not only other college students and their Sunday School teachers, but also parents and high school students, and others. I started attending in April of 1978, the end of my freshman year at Tech.

Games were Wednesday and Sunday nights. Teams were coed, and a girl had to hit the ball at least once every time. This made girls like Deborah Light, Kelly Clark, and Janet Williams valuable. No spiking, of course. Teams included youth, college, singles, choir, and various adult Sunday School teams. The youth team was always slightly disorganized. The college team was good, but not as experienced as some of the teams that had been playing together for a long time.

Mike Ayers took the volleyball seriously. He'd wear official volleyball shoes. Also athletic shorts, kneepads, a cap, and gloves, all kept in the gym bag he carried. When he started dating his future bride Miss Shirley, she had to play as well. Mike gave her volleyball shoes and gloves, but I never saw her wear kneepads. Noel Turner might've courted his future bride on the volleyball court as well.

Steve Norman and David Hurt anchored the Singles team. Norman took softball and basketball seriously, but I can't remember him going overboard on volleyball. Hurt didn't either, though he excelled at the look one way / tap the other way no-look/misdirection/almost soft-spike from high above the net. John and Margaret Condra led the choir team. Their kids Stuart, Susan, and Scott all played.

My college team included roommates Jeff Yearwood and Brett Freemon, who both loved the intramural volleyball at Tech. Also roommates Wayne Smith and Don Sells. Collegians Fred O and Charles "Too Tall" Vaughn. Jimmy Light and Jerome Mathis might've been two of the more serious players. The entire Head family played for various teams: Jerry, Marcine, Don, Debra, Steve, and Stacy. Chad Eaton may have been too young, but the rest of his family played.

To me those were SPdL's glory days. The huge annual church picnic at Chastain Park. Family Fun Nights in the Fellowship Hall. Perhaps a movie would be shown, like that Don Knotts fish movie. An occasional talent show after the Sunday night service, usually starring those cute little Whitaker kids all decked out in matching outfits. Mighty Mite Basketball - much better than today's watered down Upward version. The Chapel Choir packed the choir loft for the 8:30 am service. Youth retreats and choir tours and Camp SPdL. Banquets for sports, youth, choir, etc. I wore my SPdL jacket and SPdL polo shirt and carried my SPdL gym bag for years, until they tore apart.

Reid Whitaker adds: Actually, volleyball started at FBC. It was BIG there playing on Tuesday Nights labeled SAP (Single Adult Players) Night. I went every Tuesday night no matter what. Even returned from a two week vacation early not to miss SAP night. The players were part of about 50 single adults who were mixing it up with eventual dating and marriage as a result. I walked into the gym one night in November '63 with my best friend Bill Stewart. A girl walked into the gym on the other end that I considered the best looking girl I had ever laid eyes on. I turned to Bill and asked who the girl was. He said he thought the girl was named Edith Edfeldt or something like that. I was too shy to ask her for a date, but chatted from time to time while on the court during games. She mentioned several times that we never asked her to go with us out to eat after church on Sun and Wed nights, but I didn't use that remark to my advantage. UNTIL, one Sunday night in Dec of '63 when we just happened to be standing next to each other in the foyer after church one Sunday night. A girl named Sybil Fortner came whizzing by and said "You two are invited to my house tonight for after church fellowship" !!!! You remember this story, and the rest of the story.

Edith and I both played on the choir team at Ponce, but I don't remember much about it except for what you said. I hated the rule about girls having to hit the ball. Too distracting.

MORE: see where UGA has won almost as many Olympic medals as host country Brazil?

Every week Sports Illustrated has a "hot/not" feature. This week:

HOT - the New York Yankees. Call-ups Tyler Austin, Aaron Judge, and Gary Sanchez (from Atlanta) have impressed. A-Rod must be a great instructor.

NOT - Carson Wentz. The Eagles rookie QB suffered a hairline crack in a rib during his debut. The Liberty Bell was not impressed.

Sports Illustrated also ranked five recent Olympic mascots on a strange to terrible scale. The mascots of the last three summer games were all deemed worse than Atlanta's Izzy.

Co-workers Rodney and Jonathan are traveling yesterday and today. Dialysis called in sick. New girl went home sick. So did two other ladies. Today is the day I had marked back in April to leave early.

Sports Illustrated ranked Olympic mascots on a weirdness scale. Those from the last 3 summer games were all deemed worse than Atlanta's Izzy

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