A season of triumph and tears

The Lions Boys Volleyball team fought hard and formed a lasting bond while qualifying for the playoffs this season.


“Volleyball is one of the most interactive games going. It is a game of intuition, imagination, improvisation – but most of all, of reciprocity – of teamwork. There is no way to play free-lance volleyball.”  – Marv Dunphy

For most people, volleyball is just a sport.  But at Newcomers, the Boys Volleyball team is a family; a setting where players discover true friendship and passion. There are seventeen players and six managers on the Newcomers team, along with the coach, Mr. Naranjo. 

The team practiced every day since early March, when the season began.  Its members laughed over funny moments, and supported each other through difficult ones.  They learned how to work as a team, communicate more effectively, and respect and be responsible for each other.

Many of their fans lost their voices regularly.  Their relentless cheers thundered throughout all high schools where the lions played, either at home or away. 

Lions players had to provide their own uniforms for their first two games.   They decided to use school t-shirts and write their last names and team numbers on the back of them with sharpie markers.

They formed close bonds with each other.   They constantly huddled to encourage each other and discuss how to improve their play during games.  They showed grit and perseverance just to get to the games, as they often traveled long distances to do so, and then played their hearts out on the court.  On every trip, they all arrived and left together.

The Boys Volleyball team huddles together.

After six wins and four losses, the team made it to the playoffs. In the first round, Newcomers defeated Lafayette Educational Campus. 

Team captain, Juan Miranda, has been on the volleyball team since 2020.  “My experience as captain has been quite enriching since during this season I was able to learn a little about leadership, teamwork and the importance of communication,” Miranda said. “On the other hand, being team captain also put a little pressure on me since I felt that it was my responsibility to always be the best in the team. However, over time I realized that more than being the best on the team, my job was to lead and help improve each of the team members.”

Miranda received important support from the managers and the coach.  They “maintain the spirit of the team and motivated us in each of the games,” he said.

“I am proud of the effort my team made and is making during this season,” Miranda added. “For me, being captain of the volleyball team has been a privilege and pride.”

Juan Jaramillo, is the team’s co-captain.  “Being a captain in any sport is a privilege but also a hard job,” Jaramillo said.  “But at the end of the day, the team is like a family, where we help each other.”

The season ended on May 19, 2022.   The lions lost a match in the playoff quarterfinals against Bayard Rustin Educational Complex. The players all broke down in tears, but were happy with how far they had made it.  They had made tremendous improvements.