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Volleyball Pioneer at Cartersville High School, Georgia

As told by Robert Benowitz
Cartersville, Georgia

Story Narrative:

"My family moved to Cartersville, Georgia July of 1996. My oldest daughter Shayne was entering the 10th grade at Cartersville High School. Shayne and her sister Kristy and brother Brett were born in Newport Beach, California. I am from Nashville, Tennessee and my wife Judy is from Monroe, Georgia. Shayne played volleyball growing up in Newport Beach and in the other towns we lived in Franklin, Tennessee and Montgomery, Alabama prior to moving to Cartersville. Upon registering Shayne at the start of school we were dismayed to learn Cartersville High did not have a girl's volleyball team while other surrounding high schools in Bartow County did.

Judy, my wife, who was All State in basketball at Monroe Area High School in 1967 took this as a personal challenge and single handedly lobbied the City of Cartersville School Board and the Cartersville High School athletic administration to start a team. Judy was persuasive in her argument that a volleyball team was a great outlet for high school girls combining physical fitness, teamwork, and competition. The administration agreed and before the second week of school started tryouts were held for the first Cartersville High Purple Hurricanes Girl's Volleyball Team. When Shayne was a senior in 1999 and captain of the volleyball team she played with her sister Kristy who was a freshmen.

Together they led the Lady Purple Hurricanes to the Bartow County championship. Kristy was named Player of the Year from a 3A school her senior year and received a volleyball scholarship to play at the University of West Georgia. Girl's volleyball at Cartersville High School has been a major sport for over 21 years with numerous top ranked players, teams, and state tournament appearances thanks to the determination, tenacity, and foresight of my wife Judy....volleyball pioneer!"