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PECS junior varsity shines in first year

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Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School’s Leilani Burton is ready to hit the ball as Tammy Martinez rushes to help during a junior varsity volleyball match at West Glades Middle School.

BRIGHTON — Most of the points in the junior varsity match went the way of Pemayetv Emahakv, but even those won by visiting Clewiston didn’t dampen the spirits of the young Lady Seminoles who had a blast in their 2-0 win Oct. 6.

“Whether they win or lose, they always smile and they’re always happy,” PECS JV coach Jordan Maynard said.

The JV squad had plenty of reasons to smile this season. They lost only one match, and they avenged that setback by knocking off West Glades in the rematch.

“They’ve improved a whole bunch,” Maynard said. “This is my first year out here and I thought it was going to be kind of rough, but they did really good. They’ve all learned a lot this season.”

LaShae King served about 10 consecutive aces in game 2 to seal the victory against Clewiston.

The JV squad was created for the first time this year because there were enough players to fill JV and varsity rosters.

“Instead of doing one big team, they decided to split into two teams. It’s worked out really well,” Maynard said.

Ten sixth-graders and two eighth-graders comprised the team. The eighth-graders – Justina Martinez and Araya Youngblood – were honored with their families before the season finale against Clewiston. They won’t be back next season, but the rest of the players will vie to fill the numerous holes on varsity, which will only have three returning players.

Also, additional depth is expected to enter the program behind the sixth-graders.

“We have quite a few fifth-graders who play club and that I’ve seen play in [physical education class],” varsity coach Kim Jackson said. “I think we’ll have some good, young girls coming up next year.”

The JV players were: Allianna Brady, Leilani Burton, Alyssa Gonzalez, Kalyn Hammil, Tafv Harris, LaShae King, Justina Martinez, Tammy Martinez, Angelie Melton, Alice Osceola, Morgan Yates and Araya Youngblood.

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