Volleyball tourney raises money in honor of Cancer Awareness

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Left to right; Cierra Kellom, Veronica Woods, Madison Fountain, Denicia Murphy, Jordin Hadley, Cheyenne Buchanan, Cashmere Brown, Beyonce Paige, Jaeda Brown, Antoniya Johnson, Shatonia Baity, Iyana Burton, Tierra Kellon and Center Coach Markeysha Coleman. (Photo by Betty Fountain)

By Carmen M. Woodson-Wray, Gary Crusader

There were two very important people in the life of 21st Century Charter School Varsity Volleyball Coach Markeysha Coleman. They were so important to Coach Coleman that for the past several years she has dedicated a volleyball tournament to Gwendolyn Dumas, her mother-in-law and Latanya Williams, who was the wife of the school’s head coach Rodney Williams.

Each year they continue to encourage her to raise money for cancer awareness by hosting a “Williams-Dumas Blocking For A Cure Volleyball Tournament” against 21st Century, West Side High School’s volleyball team and Roosevelt High School’s volleyball team.

Coleman said her mother-in-law passed away in 2012 from pancreatic cancer. She met Williams, who was an inspiration to her through her husband being a coach at the high schools. She passed in 2014. She said, “I chose to do a volleyball tournament in their honor.”

The tournament was held Saturday, October 15 at 21st Century Charter School. Taking 1st place in the tournament was 21st Century, West Side High School came in 2nd place and Roosevelt took 3rd place.

21st Century Charter School’s team has a winning streak going this season with a score of 12 wins and 5 losses. The team is scheduled to play in the second round of the sectional tournament this week against Knox High School of Knox, Indiana.

The team is very much supported by parents, school administration and its coaching staff. The assistant coaches are Hadiya Pugh and Farah Hill.

Coach Coleman said, “I am really proud of the girls this season. They have worked hard and stayed humble. I also want to thank all of the parents, staff and fans of the team for their support this season. A special thanks to the Athletic Director Rick Haskins, Principal Anthony Cherry at 21st Century, Bishop Dwayne Coleman and Betty Fountain for all the support they have been giving the team.”

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