Prior to the New Year, the Pulaski County High School girls basketball team made a successful showing in the Daytona Beach Sunshine Classic holiday basketball tournament, with a runner-up finish. However, it was the Lady Maroons' beach volleyball play that made a lasting impression on two young vacationers from North Carolina.
Just one day after the Lady Maroons arrived back in Somerset, an email was sent to Pulaski County High School girls basketball coach Chris Adkins from Christy Cordell of Rockwell, NC. Here is the contents of that email:
To the Pulaski County basketball coach,
My family was staying in a hotel near your team's hotel. My 8-yr-old son and 7-year-old daughter, my husband and myself really enjoyed meeting some of your team when we watched them play volleyball outside our hotel.
Molli (Nelson) is my daughter's favorite as she cheered loudly for her throughout their volleyball efforts. Molli has a killer jump serve. I could tell she had definitely played volleyball competitively. (Molli Nelson made the Commonwealth Journal's Volleyball All-County Team)
I wanted to tell you how impressed my husband and I were with how polite, well mannered and well behaved your team was. Though they are a basketball team they still played together passing the volleyball to each other. They still looked like a team. The boys they were playing against were less organized, ball hogging, attempting to return every hit, and not playing together. I didn't overhear any profanity from your girls and even overheard one of them correcting another one when she thought she heard something.
My daughter hugged Molli each time we left the volleyball court. Being more of a mother than an athlete, currently, I really enjoyed watching the girls work together and communicating to achieve a common goal. Congrats on the runner-up finish!
Please tell Molli (Nelson), Heidi (Thompson), Dawn (Wilson), Caroline (Oakes), and Kinsie (Pinkston) thank you and it was a pleasure meeting them and cheering for them.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Christy Cordell, Rockwell, NC
P.S. - My daughter said she already misses Molli (Nelson).
The message served as a nice gesture about the local girls basketball team, but it didn't come as a surprise to their head coach.
"We talk about this all the time to the girls that you never know who is watching you, and your positive actions are always being viewed from the outside world," Adkins stated. "You don't know what child might idolize you, and talks about you after they meet you. So they have a big responsibility. It is real gratifying that they had such an impact on two young children. We really do have a special group of girls here at Pulaski County High School."
"Even during the regular season, they realize that kids from the Youth League come to their varsity games to watch them play," Adkins continued. "These young kids call our players by name, and we sometimes don't have a clue who they are. But that is just part of the responsibility of being a high school ball player."
The silver Sunshine Classic runner-up trophy will probably be placed on a shelf and will soon be forgotten about. However, the small positive impact the Pulaski County High School girls basketball team had on two impressionable youths from North Carolina will be remembered forever.
STEVE CORNELIUS is the CJ Sports Editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @CJSportseditor.