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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

Macho Volleyball brings together the upperclassmen as a kickoff to Winterfest week

Alex Smith
The junior and senior boys come together in a match of volleyball to kickoff Winterfest week

The sound of shoes squeaking against the gym floor, the whistles blowing, and the flags flying. Students gather in the stands of the gym, and the once-silent walls are now filled with ear-piercing cheers. Friends are pinned against each other as the juniors stand facing the seniors separated by a net in a giant brawl of one thing: Macho Volleyball. 

It is that time of year when the junior and senior boys sign up to play each other in a game of volleyball under the gym lights. Coached by the junior and senior girls of the varsity volleyball team, Macho Volleyball has become a traditional occurrence during Winterfest week. 

This has become a special spirit event for FHC students, as it is not as popular of a tradition at other schools. Macho Volleyball has been going on at our school for quite some time now, and Winterfest week coordinator Kristi O’Brien has been around for quite a bit of them. 

“I’ve been here for 19 years, and we’ve done [Macho Volleyball] every year and then some, so it’s been around for a long time,”  Mrs. O’Brien said. “We’ve always tried to do it at the beginning of the week, kind of like a kickoff, like Powderpuff. Powderpuff is usually early in the week of Homecoming, so it’s just another one of those little events that you can throw in there to get more kids to participate.”  

This year, Macho Volleyball has been a way to bring together classmates, teammates, and friends on one court and all under—mostly—friendly competition. Despite the natural competitiveness of teenage boys, the classes have connected during their time spent practicing, both with their fellow teammates and coaches and learned to believe in themselves and each other. Junior coach Ella O’Connor has full faith in her team. 

“they don’t believe in us, but I do.”

— Ella O'Connor

“I’m really excited for some bonding with my teammates and my fellow coaches,” Ella said. “I am ready to beat the seniors because they don’t believe in us, but I do.”  

Although it is a typical thing for the seniors to think that they are bound to win and to view the juniors as little to no competition, the seniors this year are walking into this game with a whole other level of confidence. 

The senior team brings a tough roster to the court, and with them pulling off an unimaginable win the previous year as juniors, they aren’t too worried about this faceoff, and senior coach Elana Kavanagh is expecting to claim a back-to-back win. 

“I think it’s going to be an easy two-set sweep,” Elana said. “I don’t think the juniors stand a chance against us because we won against the seniors last year, so I think that the class of 2024 is going to remain undefeated.” 

On paper, it may be clear that the juniors are put at a slight disadvantage for this game, but, despite that, there is no lost hope for an outcome in their favor. The juniors may not bring the same factors to the court that the seniors do, but their overall dedication and drive are what junior player Micah Meadow is hoping will carry them to a win. 

“People shouldn’t even show up,” Micah said. “It’s going to be a blowout. It’s about chemistry, not about skill, and we have that chemistry. We work as a team, there’s no negativity, and communication is key.” 

Although they are confident that they do not need it, and at times have been butting heads with their coaches about it, the junior boys have been working hard during the weekends, putting in time to practice in order to take down the seniors. Despite the contrary, junior Seder Middaugh believes that they have the ability to pull off an unexpected win. 

“I think that the juniors are going to take a clean sweep,” junior starter Seder Middaugh said. “The seniors are always saying to us, ‘Oh man, you guys suck, we’re going to beat you,’ [but] no. They’re [underestimating] us, and they’re [losing].” 

Aside from the teams themselves, some new factors to this year’s game may put both teams at a slight disadvantage. After having the girl’s Powderpuff game held during an all-school assembly in the fall, the overall decision was made to do the same with the boy’s Macho Volleyball game. The game is being held during the morning of the school day, and there is one factor that may affect the game: time. 

Originally, the game was supposed to be played best two out of three sets, playing to 25 points with the possibility of a third just for fun. With the teams racing against the clock during this game, the structure of it has slightly changed. 

“We are going to do best two out of three,” O’Brien said. “We might have to do the first [set] to 15 or 20  just in case so that we have enough time. We’re going to limit it a little bit.” 

Volleyball is a game that ends when the first team reaches 25 points. Cutting down on the maximum number of points the team may be able to score leaves the boys with less room for errors, ultimately changing the team’s game plans. 

Having the Macho Volleyball game as an all-school assembly may be a struggle with time, but ultimately, it brings the school together and allows everyone to enjoy the game just as it is intended to be. 

“[Macho Volleyball] is a very fun tradition for Winterfest week,” Elana said. “It builds a sense of community amongst the upperclassmen, and this year it being at a school assembly, I think it allows the whole school to really see what community is about.”

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About the Contributor
Luccini Rodriguez, Staff Writer
Luccini is a junior entering her first year writing for The Central Trend. She has enjoyed writing from a young age and finds comfort in turning her thoughts into stories. When she is not writing, you will find her on the volleyball court. She has been playing for six years and is a part of the varsity volleyball team here at FHC. Aside from writing and playing volleyball, she enjoys watching the sunset, traveling and seeing new things, and spending time with friends. Luccini is thrilled to be a part of writing for The Central Trend this year. Favorite season: 100% fall Favorite music artist: Zach Bryan Dream vacation: Hawaii and Santorini, Greece Lucky number: 3

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