It may not occur very often, but once in a while, all of the leadership qualities that a coach looks for is embodied in one student-athlete on the roster.
Well, that’s just what’s happening with the Chester Academy girls volleyball program this year.
Trinity Delgado, a junior, is the team captain and is living up to high standards on and off the court.
“Trinity is a vocal leader who has a desire to make the players around her better,’’ Chester head coach Mike Doucette said. “She constantly communicates with her entire team and is always looking for ways to improve team play as well as team chemistry. Trinity cares deeply for her teammates and is always leading by example. It was clear from day one that she had the ability to command respect and took a leadership role naturally.
“Trinity leads the team in blocks this season at nearly five blocks per match. She is a defensive presence in the middle in every match we play. Trinity also helps push our offense. She is currently second on the team in kills. Julie Malone has been our number one setter all season. She is the reason why Trinity and a few of our other players have thrived offensively.’’
Encouraging her teammates to communicate on the floor during matches
Doucette is pleased with the improvements that Delgado has consistently made as a volleyball player.
“Without question, her communication has greatly improved,’’ Doucette said. “Trinity is learning how to encourage her teammates to speak up during practice as well as communicate on the floor during matches. She also has learned to be the go-between for me with the team as a whole.
An assistant coach of sorts
“I do not have an assistant coach. Trinity partially fills that role by helping facilitate parts of practice while I am working with other girls in the gym. Trinity is also working with me to create a culture of positivity amongst the team.’’
What’s very important to recognize is the fact that Delgado is a standout where it counts the most - in the classroom.
“Trinity was a NYS Scholar Athlete for her grades as a volleyball and basketball player last season,’’ Doucette said. “She is an excellent student. Trinity also took a leadership role with a local first grader who was struggling academically due to remote learning during the pandemic. Trinity took time to help the student learn to read.’’
Delgado interacts quite well with her teammates and is there to offer advice and encouragement.
“Trinity knows how to communicate with the team,’’ Doucette said. “She can speak to the girls without making them feel threatened. She expects a lot from her teammates, but she is fiercely loyal and the girls play hard around her because of it.
“They also see how hard she works in practice and that sets an example for others to follow. Trinity’s dedication has pushed the rest of the team to work hard and play better. She does all of this with a smile on her face when needed, but can also bring some tough love when needed.’’
Chester has already accomplished some noteworthy goals this season.
The development - and growth - of the Chester Academy program
“Our young program turns seven this season,’’ Doucette said. “With the help of leaders like Trinity, we have developed ourselves into a consistent playoff team. We have made the playoffs three of our last four seasons and if we make it this year, that will be three straight. We are coming off a loss in the Section IX finals to a very good Millbrook team.
“We are just now having our first groups come up that played volleyball starting in the seventh and eighth grade. We look forward to our development as a program now that we have levels fully established at the modified, JV and varsity levels. We are 5-5 overall and 4-2 in the OCIAA this season.’’
Editor’s note: Statistics mentioned above were from matches through the first week of October.