It has been three weeks since Kingsburg High claimed girls section titles in tennis and water polo, and the excitement hasn’t died down for either group of players.
The girls tennis title was the first in school history as the Vikings knocked off host Firebaugh 6-3 on Nov. 7.
“The girls are pretty excited,” Kingsburg coach Tom Gramza said. “They were introduced at the football game and received a round of applause. It was fun for them to get that kind of support from the school."
Firebaugh is about an hour away from Kingsburg and it had been a long day of tennis, but the girls found the energy to stop at a Fresno In ‘N’ Out burger and sample the fare.
“The girls wanted to go to In ‘N’ Out, so that’s what we did,” Gramza said. “We sat and ate and talked about how the day went. They enjoyed it.”
The Vikings have not had their awards banquet, but will eventually and that’s when trophies will be dispensed. Of course, the Vikings are also tickled about eventually getting their section championship rings and, as of Nov. 20, had an appointment with an athletic awards company.
“We’ll meet with a ring salesman and they’ll get the rings customized and the girls will let them know what they want and how much they should be for and they’ll place the order," Gramza said.
The week after Kingsburg won the section title, the players and coaches met for a relaxed hit-around and Viking assistant coach Luke Gramza (son of Tom) made good on a wager he had placed. Seems Luke promised he would let the girls shave his beard if they won the section.
“He had no idea the girls would make such a (championship) run and they made him look ridiculous, giving him an Abe Lincoln beard and a ridiculous mustache," Tom said. "I don’t think his wife (Emily) was too thrilled.”
The Kingsburg boys tennis program has won five section titles, including championships all four years Luke Gramza was playing.
The future of Kingsburg girls tennis looks bright, as the team only had two significant seniors, Skylar Mattos and Emma Stahl.
“We had a fun time and as proud as I am for the girls winning, they’re just a great bunch of girls period," Tom said. "And the parents were thrilled. We had a lot of support.”
Two days after the Viking girls tennis team won it all, there was a huge sports day on the Kingsburg High campus. The Viking water polo team played Sierra Pacific for a section title, the Kingsburg girls volleyball team met Immanuel in the section semifinals and the Viking football team played Chowchilla in an opening round playoff game.
The water polo won by two goals to capture its title; the volleyball team lost a close match, 3-1; and the football team prevailed 20-14.
The water polo players were on Cloud 9 by the time they showed up in the gymnasium to support the volleyball team.
“It was a great honor,” Kingsburg girls water polo coach Emily Dewey said. “The girls went to the volleyball match because the volleyball players had supported them. Then they went to the football game and were announced as the section champs to our community. It was pretty cool – the first time our girls’ team had ever won Valley."
The water polo players will meet with a ring salesman on Dec. 30 to make their selection," Dewey said. Moreover, things also look bright for the future of the water polo program.
“We lost some great girls,” Dewey said, “but there’s still a good nucleus left behind.”