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CHAMPION MCCOOL SEAHAWKS GET 19 STRAIGHT WINS

Repeating as 2014 IIAAG boys middle school volleyball champions is a big accomplishment for the McCool Seahawks but two undefeated seasons and a 19-game winning streak made it that much more special for head coach Junior O’Brien.

By Robert Balajadia

Repeating as 2014 IIAAG boys middle school volleyball champions is a big accomplishment for the McCool Seahawks but two undefeated seasons and a 19-game winning streak made it that much more special for head coach Junior O’Brien.

The Seahawks defeated the Santa Barbara Spartans in the season finale Monday evening in two sets 25-18, 25-15 at the Spartans gym.

Leading the way for the Seahawks was Holden Barcinas, who had big kills in each set. Barcinas played a big part in the team’s winning streak and he explained that his coach has helped bring out the best of the boys in all aspects.

“[O’Brien] helps us express our mental talents. He makes sure that we’re always mentally ready so we don’t get discouraged regardless if we are down 10-0, he makes us feel we still have a chance,” stated Barcinas on how the team has been able to be so successful.

 

Seahawks Anthony McGuire blocks a spike with one-hand to get the point. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Seahawks Anthony McGuire blocks a spike with one-hand to get the point. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

“It’s all about the players,” said O’Brien. “The boys really took in my coaching and Ive had great coaches too so I’m just passing on the knowledge. These guys work well, communicate, and just play their best.”

O’Brien was often seen in on the sideline celebrating with the team after every successful play. Seeing the enthusiasm from coach O’Brien has helped players like Barcinas gain confidence not just in the game, but in his ability to succeed as well.

“Knowing that he doesn’t get excited about much, it makes me feel good  knowing that he got excited on some of my plays. He was a national player and he’s seen some great things so seeing him celebrate some of my plays makes me feel like I’ve done something great,” admitted Barcinas.

“Whether my team is doing good or in a slump I try to see what’s going on. I try and keep my composure because that’s the role of the coach, but this season has been interesting for me and I was all in,” said O’Brien on his excitement during the game.

The Seahawks had a big 7-0 lead in the second set after a great display of serving from Thighman Payne. The Spartans responded with a late run to trim the lead 20-15.

A kill by Barcinas and Anthony McGuire sparked the game closing run as the Seahawks would score the final five points of the game completing their 19-game win streak.

Seahawks head coach Junior O'Brien tells his team "one point." (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Seahawks head coach Junior O’Brien tells his team “one point.” (photo by Robert Balajadia)

During the game, O’Brien was often yelling out to his team “One point.” O’Brien later explained that “One point” is often something teams forget and he’s simply just reminding his boys volleyball is played one point at a time.

“Volleyball is a very focused sport. When you’re on the court there’s a million things going through your mind and sometimes it’s hard to figure out what to do. That’s been our focus all season, the next point. If you don’t know how to add but at the score at the end of the game shows 25 then you did a good job.”

PHOTO GALLERY:

Seahawks coach Junior O'Brien is all smiles after the win knowing that his boys are back-to-back champs. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Seahawks coach Junior O’Brien is all smiles after the win knowing that his boys are back-to-back champs. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Fan favorite Leo Valdez of the Seahawks gives his teammates a nice set. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Fan favorite Leo Valdez of the Seahawks gives his teammates a nice set. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Seahawks head coach Junior O'Brien gives a thumbs up to the Spartan players after making a great play. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Seahawks head coach Junior O’Brien gives a thumbs up to the Spartan players after making a great play. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

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