Horizon High School has only been in existence for two years. But the Hawks volleyball team already looks like it's been a powerhouse for a long time.
"It's an interesting challenge that I sorta looked forward to," said Head Coach Ernest Rittenhouse. "Coming to the brand new school when it first opens, because you get to create the culture from scratch. Fortunately, we had players in each position, not tons of players and not incredible depth, especially the first year, but bit by bit, more kids coming to the school, we get more depth."
Coach Rittenhouse built the culture, but the team also had to buy in. To his concepts, and to each other.
"Honestly, I think it's just our team chemistry," said Senior Captain Hannah Pridgeon. "Like we have a lot of really good players at all different positions. And I think it worked out really well that way. And we all like each other. And we all have really fun playing together. So I think that's helped us."
This is a team that did not lose a five-set match all season long, which really shows one of their most important characteristics: grit.
"We are a gritty team. Dancing wise too," said Junior Camryn Teasley. "We, we have came close to five sets, but we never lost in a five-set because we always have that time to push at the end. We are a closing team. So we're very good at closing when we need to be. But that's one thing that we are proud to brag about is that we never lost in a five-set game."
The players that I talked to say they've thought about what winning the first state championship in school history in any sport would mean, and how it would leave a legacy at horizon forever. It's driving them as they start their playoff run this week.