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‘Mommy Duck’ provides framework for THS volleyball

Just call coach Lindsay Garbacz the Lady Warriors “Mommy Duck.”

As the Tonawanda volleyball banquet was wrapping up, the varsity players took one last opportunity to thank Garbacz for all her hard work this year. At that time, senior Abby Moore told those in attendance how Garbacz became their “Mommy Duck.”

From Day One, Garbacz never doubted the heart, hustle and desire of every single one of her players. But midway through the year, Garbacz was concerned that the girls were putting too much pressure on themselves.

She believed every player wanted to do so much for the team that they were all falling victim to trying to shoulder too much of the pressure and expectations.

That’s when Garbacz told her team the duck story. She told them the reason ducks can make the journey of hundreds and hundreds of miles because they all share the load evenly.

She told the story of how the lead duck takes the brunt of the head wind, making the journey easier for the rest of the flock, and how, when the lead duck gets tired, he drops back and another takes his place.

When that second duck gets tired, another takes his place and the process is repeated over and over again until they reach their destination.

As Moore told the story to the room, she said Garbacz’s message of the speech hit home, and they said, “well then, you must be our mommy duck.” It got a nice laugh from the room. Jokes aside, Garbacz has in fact taught her girls to fly.

In her third season as head coach for the program, Garbacz and junior varsity coach Renee Lettow are slowly but surely building up the program to where they can compete at a high level.

The Warriors don’t have the year-round club players that make the consistently successful programs around WNY so good. The Lady Warriors are comprised of hard working, athletic players that give it their all every time they hit the court.

With younger girls starting to focus on playing club, the seeds of a brighter future have been planted, but the foundation of hard work and dedication were set in place by the nine seniors the Warriors are saying goodbye to this year.

They are Danielle Palladino, Ashley Kowalcyk, Joanna McCarthy, Julie Gagliardo, Juliana Tirone, Whitney Owens, Sarah Sankey, Samantha Rodriguez and Moore.

Tonawanda will return Alyssa LoGrasso, Carly Morris, Christina Rodriguez, and sophomore Haley Snyder, who was called up late in the season.


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