With the Government Secondary School Sports Association (GSSSA) volleyball season set to begin on Monday, October 7, D.W. Davis Junior High School’s physical education department was presented with some much-needed volleyball items to take it further this season, at the school’s Wilton Street campus yesterday morning.
The donation was made by the Defenders and the Panthers, formerly the Lady Defenders, the New Providence Volleyball Association’s (NPVA) 2018-2019 men’s and women’s champions.
The teams donated balls, tote bags and a net to the school’s principal, Nicolette Brown. They also have plans to donate their time, effort and monies.
“As a partner in volleyball with the New Providence Volleyball Association and with D.W. Davis, we just thought that it would be fitting since we have been blessed to have gotten [an] education through the sport of volleyball… We thought it was fitting that we would give back to D.W. Davis that portion that was given to us,” said Jason Saunders, head coach of the champions.
Saunders added that all of the players on his team have either been to college, are in college or will be going to college.
Brown, who thanked the NPVA, said; “I see this gesture as helping to build and mold the lives and character of our students. It will also help to promote student-athletes. This is one of our major thrusts here at D.W. Davis while we have vibrant sporting teams, we also promote our students’ athleticism… We hope that it will serve our students well and they will go far as a result of this contribution here today.”
She hopes that the contribution will help the team to win and, ultimately, help the athletes to possibly go to college or university on a scholarship.
Hector Rolle, head of D.W. Davis’ physical education department and head coach of the D.W. Davis girls team, said that both the girls and boys team will benefit from the donation. Mark Hanna is the boys team head coach.
“We hope to at least make the playoffs. We haven’t made the playoffs for the past two years. We are trying to get the skills up to a level so we can really compete in the GSSSA. We hope to be more successful than last year,” Rolle said.
The girls and the boys team finished fifth last year. According to Rolle, there are about five returning players on the girls team and he has to mix the seventh-graders and eighth-graders together to get their skills up. On the boys’ side, there are seven players returning.
The Defenders and Panthers have been around for 10 years and the NPVA has been using the D.W. Davis gym for over 40 years, according to Saunders. He stated how important it is for his team to give back to the young people.
“That is what we are here for. As adults we have a priority to the young, because at the end of the day they are the ones, when we are no longer seen, they are the ones that are going to carry on. We must leave a legacy and a name. When we are no longer here they can have something to look back on and reflect and say there once was these groups of persons that would have helped us,” Saunders said.
Also on hand at the presentation were vice principals of D.W. Davis, Dr. Sterling McPhee and Monique Miller. Je’Vaughn and Je’Nae Saunders, Defenders and Panthers’ captains respectively were also in attendance. Delbert Ingraham, the first vice-president of the NPVA, represented the NPVA.
Both the Defenders and Panthers teams opened up the 2019-2020 NPVA campaign on a winning note this past Sunday.
The Defenders defeated the National Fence Intruders in three straight sets in the last season’s men’s championship rematch.
The Panthers had a tougher game as they won 3-2 over the Scottsdale Vixens in a close five-set game in last season’s women’s division championship rematch.
NPVA action continues tonight with the Twin Brothers Lady Warhawks taking on the University of The Bahamas Mingoes in the early game at 7:30 p.m. The Warhawks and the Rebels battle at 9 p.m.