OJH historic volleyball win
For the first time in 50 years, the Orland Junior High School girls 6th and 7th grade volleyball team were named SWIC Conference Champions. Under the direction of first-year coach and teacher Brian Cragg, the team finished their regular season 18-1.
About the SWIC Conference, Coach Cragg said, “The girls lost the first game of both the semifinals and finals. They battled back to win a very close 2nd and 3rd game against Evergreen Park in the semifinals, and then followed suit in the finals against Palos South. Palos South has always had a very strong volleyball program, winning the SWIC 6th-7th grade girls volleyball tournament 18 times since the tournament was started in 1975.”
Dr. Ed Boswell, Principal of Orland Junior High, said “In his first year of teaching and coaching, he has shown what a coach and teacher should be: patient, kind, encouraging, positive, and insisting the student-athletes have fun. I am so very proud of Brian and the young ladies of Orland Junior High School.”
According to Cragg, the team was made up of many 7th grade students who had played on the team last year. “Their experience and leadership really showed and they were all a great example for our 6th graders on the team. We won a lot of close matches that went to 3 games, but we were able to use our experience to stay calm and persevere. It was a surreal season and I am grateful that I got to coach this group of girls. They are a bunch of terrific volleyball players and better people,” said Cragg.
Orland School District 135 is incredibly proud of the teamwork, passion, and dedication that was shown throughout the volleyball season this year.