Coach Stephanie Blanda, left, encouraged McKenzie Khang to stay low in a squat for a passing drill during the first day of girls’ volleyball tryouts at North St. Paul High School. Photo: Leila Navidi * firstname.lastname@example.org
Two teams, same school, with contrasting recent results yet undeniably similar exuberance.
On the first official day of practice, the volleyball and football teams at North St. Paul were all about energy and optimism, a new season barely two weeks hence.
Their backgrounds tell opposite stories. The Polars’ volleyball team is fresh off the best season in team history, finishing third in the Class 3A tournament last fall in their first state tournament appearance. The football team, conversely, has struggled to find success, having lost 31 consecutive games dating to Sept. 30, 2016.
Monday, however, it was hope that shown in the eyes of the players and coaches of both teams, urged by myriad possibilities that lay before them.