Families encourage student athletes to strive to be the best
By Russ Edem 530News –
Through the Community Mentor Family Program, families can show support for the Panther Volleyball team by encouraging student athletes to be the best they can be on and off the court.
This Great Bend High School program provides each player with a supportive family from the community during the course of the season. Community mentor families play a positive role in promoting players, families and school to members of the community.
“This is a very important program,” head volleyball coach Kelsey Perry said.
“These families provide so much to the players. It is just a great way for these students to connect to other people and a great way for them to socialize. Any time they see their mentor families, they make it a point to chat with them and just tell them about their day.”
According to Perry, the goals and expectations of a mentor family are to serve as a positive role model for their assigned player, attend mentor family/team activities during the season and attend at least one home match or tournament. Mentor families will be recognized at a home match.
Player expectations are to be respectful and courteous to their mentor family at all times. The athletes must also get to know the family and keep the mentors updated on events and match results. In addition, they are expected to be a role-models themselves and worthy of community pride.
“We have had nothing but great praise about this program,” Perry said. “Our goal is to have a great connection between the players and their families and this is exactly what we have accomplished.”
According to Perry, the impact of this program has significantly increased attendance at home matches and players are excited to have a supportive fan base. And, the relationships the students have made continued to grow after the season as friendships develop, garnering positive feedback from all those involved.
Promoting the program through social media haa attracted more interest and support to the volleyball program.
Furthermore, families that were not involved with the program also felt its impact. Several other community members have asked to be part of the program in the future and coaches from several towns across the state have inquired about how to start a mentoring program in their community.
For more information about the mentoring program or to become a mentor family contact Perry at 620-793-0537.
Mike and Jan Keeley are GBHS volleyball alumni parents. Their daughters Cindy and Beth both played for GBHS. Jan works for USD 428 at the DEC office.
Mike and Jan Keeley: “The memories we have are numerous, having four children participate in GBHS athletics from 1996-2006. We were able to share the thrills of many victories along with the agony of a few defeats with some wonderful parents and athletes who we still consider good friends. One of our favorite memories would be our daughter and teammates finishing 3rd at state in 2001!”
Camryn Dunekack: “I love the extra support that they give me and the whole team. It’s the little things that make a big deal that they do for us!”
Mentee: Jenna Mauler – jreshmen – S/OH
Kip and Kelly Spray’s daughters Kaitlee and Kylee both played volleyball at GBHS.
Kip and Kelly Spray: “We love being connected, once again, with the Great Bend volleyball program and getting to know the players and families. Also, it gives us an incentive to attend games and watch the team improve throughout the season!”
Jenna Mauler : “I like how they are so supportive and when they text me every game day “good luck” it makes my day and gets me ready to play!”