2012 Literary/Art Entries

2012 Starlings Art Contest EntryThe Starlings Literary/Art Contest debuted at the 2000 National Championship and has proven to be the highlight of each season since. All girls in a Starlings program are invited to submit artistic and literary works in a variety of categories.

The 2012 theme is “Title IX: How has it changed my world?”.

Below, inspiring art, essays and poems created by members of the Starlings community have been shared. To view the essays and poems, click on the links below. Art created by players in the Nashville club have been shared throughout the page.

Featured entries:
• Essay: Happy Birthday Title IX, By Kayla Conley, Starlings C.O.L.A U14

• Essay: Thoughts on Title IX, By JC Little, 6th grade, Shonto Starlings 12u

• Essay: “Title IX: How has it changed my world?”, By David Cordes – Director/Coach Ridgecrest Starlings

• Poem: Title IX → #16, By Amecia Young, Starlings Oakland Alum & Coach

• Poem: Title IX:  Generations, By Darlene A. Hall, Ph.D., Starlings Oakland, Mental Skills Coach, 16s & 18s

• Poem: On Title IX’s Wings, By Deirdre Perlini, Coach, Toledo Starlings – 16’s

Essay: Happy Birthday Title IX
By Kayla Conley, Starlings C.O.L.A U14, Coach Trent

2012 Starlings Art Contest EntryThe best story I have about Title IX is the one my Mom told me because before now I did not know what Title IX was, so I asked my Mom and she said that it was one of the best things that’s could happen to women since we were allowed to vote. At the time because I’m only  10 I had no idea what she was talking about. She then explained to me that when she was just a little younger than me that she had to go to dance class every Saturday when it was basketball season and when it was football season while her brother was playing she had to cheerlead and she hated both and cried at every session. I then asked well why were you doing it. Her answer was I didn’t have a choice they did not allow girls to play normal sports but as soon as Title IX passed she immediately signed up for every possible sport. She grew to dominate in Volleyball, basketball, softball , track and any other possible she could  and until this day she has always pushed my older sister and I to play whatever sports that we’ve to because she believes that girls/women sports  will build confidence and self-esteem as well as give us a opportunity to further our education as well.

Essay: Thoughts on Title IX
By JC Little, 6th grade, Shonto Starlings 12u

2012 Starlings Art Contest EntryHello my name is JC Little, I’m a sixth grader from Navajo Mountain, Utah. I’d like to express my thoughts on title 9.

First I would like to thank the person behind this title. It has been a conflicting issue but, it has opened many opportunities for female athletes.

I have watched movies or read articles on this particular sport issue. Well I have a friend which I call karla she attends Monument Valley High School.

She has pushed to be on the boys wrestling team, she kept it all, til she and a couple of her friends are on the team now, you go karla pin them boys, title 9 rocks!

Poem: Title IX → #16
To view the poem as a PDF, click here.
By Amecia Young, Starlings Oakland Alum & Coach
Dedicated to the Memory of Cathey Scotlan

2012 Starlings Art Contest EntryI have to tell you a story About a number and a sign. The number is 16 And the sign says Title IX

Title IX started us on our way To equal education and sports, To opportunities and choices And we’ll call it T9 for short.

Number 16 was Cathey Scotlan A local Oakland girl Who took the T9 and ran with it All around the world.

Because of T9 she was able To play sports at Holy Names High, Then get a scholarship to UOP Where she set her limits for the sky.

With her education & volleyball skills She was off to the Swiss to play pro Until a disease struck her down in her prime And T9 couldn’t direct her flow.

Her achievements now serve As an inspiration For young Starlings girls Across the nation

So T9 is a reflection of number 16 And number 16 is a reflection of T9 Showing that courage and commitment Still stands the test of time.

Essay: “Title IX: How has it changed my world?”
By David Cordes – Director/Coach Ridgecrest Starlings

2012 Starlings Art Contest EntryI was a junior year in college in 1979 when I was invited to come play volleyball one night by a friend and his older sister, who played on the University of Wyoming volleyball team.  Being young and stupid, I jumped at the chance to go play a sport I knew nothing about with an attractive older woman.  Turns out, she just wanted hitting targets that would try to block and were a little more aggressive than the other kids she played with on Sundays.  But that didn’t matter – I got hooked – on the game, not the girl. Well, OK, maybe a little on the girl – we became friends, and still are today.

Three years later I was playing on a mixed recreation league in Amarillo, TX with a couple other girls who also played in college.  They weren’t our captains, but they bossed us guys around like they were.  I was stronger and faster than these girls were, I could out hit, out jump and out hustle them, but they could make me look like a complete fool on the court, any time they wanted to.  I was just starting to outgrow being young and stupid, so when I realized how much more they knew about volleyball than I did, I actually tried to absorb some of what they tried to teach me.  The main thing I learned from them was to love playing volleyball.

From my introduction to volleyball in 1979, over the next 18 years I played every chance I got – men’s leagues, mixed leagues and pick-up games in the park.  (Have you ever played a game of side-out volleyball to 100?  Twelve guys, no subs.  We started at noon and finished at 11PM, my team lost 93-100).  As the years went by I discovered that I always seemed to have more fun – playing with the girls than the boys.  I like watching girls play better than the boys.  I prefer the pace and style of the play of the women’s game.  I have always assumed this was because I was introduced to the game by girls.  I had learned to play the game from girls.  I had learned to love the game – from girls.

When first introduced to volleyball I was trying to turn myself into a soccer player.  Eventually I needed surgery to repair multiple torn ligaments in my left knee.  When the ligaments didn’t heal well, and I wasn’t able to return to soccer, I threw everything I had into trying to be a volleyball player for the next 15 years.

In 1997, 18 years after I first walked onto a volleyball court at the Baptist Church in Cheyenne WY, the jumping, twisting and pounding had taken its toll on my knees and ankles.  I found myself on the stairs into the gym at our local Community College massaging my knees because they still hurting from playing the week before.  Suddenly I realized that this would be my last night ever as a volleyball player.  I didn’t say anything to my friends about my decision that night.  But three hours later, I limped out of the gym and completely away from volleyball for almost six years.

During those 6 years the game changed – a lot!  Rally scoring, liberos, let serves, and Europe decided they were too uppity to play a game, and started playing sets instead.

Then one day in 2003 I came home from work, settled into my chair, grabbed the paper, and was ambushed by the following conversation with my oldest daughter, who had just finished her first day of middle school at the small parochial school she attended.

Mandy: “I want to join the volleyball team at school.”
Me:  “OK.  What do I have to sign?”
Mandy: “Mommy already signed it.”
Me:  “Good.”
Mandy: “Ummmmmm” (while pulling on the paper), “They need a coach, will you do it?”
Me:  “No.”
Mandy: (pulling harder on the paper) “Why Not?”
Me:  (putting down the paper) “I don’t know how to coach.”
Mandy: “Uncle Dave says you used to be a good player, so you could coach.”
Me:  “Knowing how to play doesn’t mean that you can, or should, coach. Besides, haven’t you learned yet not to believe everything your Uncle Dave tells you?”
Mandy: (giggling) “That’s funny, cause he says the same thing about you.”
Me:  “Well, maybe he’s right, about listening to me.  But not about me coaching.”
Mandy: “PPPPllllleeeeeeaaaaasssssseeeee?????”
Me:  (reaching again for the paper) “No.”
Mandy: “Why not?”
Me:  “My bad knees forced me to give up playing when you were four. I haven’t seen or  touched a volleyball since then.  I’m certainly not going to start standing around now and watching a bunch of little girls try to play.”
Mandy: “PPPPllllleeeeeeaaaaasssssseeeee?????”
Me:  “NO!  I – Do – Not – Know – How – To – Be – A – Coach!”

This conversation was followed by several hours of begging, pleading, cajoling, hugging, batting eyelashes, kissing, pouting, crying and all the other tricks little girls use to get their daddies to do things they don’t want to do.  Eventually I did what most daddies do when faced with this childish assault by their daughters – I caved.

I spent the next two years proving to my daughter and her teammates that – Indeed, I did not know how to coach.  Then the other coach at the middle school left and I inherited the entire program.  Since I didn’t have the other coach around to blame anymore I threw myself into learning how to be the best coach I could for the next two years.

Then I discovered club volleyball.  A club started up in our little town and I talked them into letting my barely 14 year old high school freshman daughter play on to their one u16s team.  I followed her around, just being a volleyball Dad.  She had a lot of fun, learned a lot, made some good friends and improved enough to make the high school varsity team her sophomore year.  But I was hooked.  Club volleyball was the most incredible thing I had ever been a part of.  (a year later a parent of a very young 6th grade player was staring at the sea of EZ-ups outside the American Sports Center and the young volleyball players swarming around them and he asked me – “What kind of weird sub-culture have you dragged us into?”)  Well, I was in love with that “weird sub-culture”.

I went back to my middle school team that next fall, and every anecdote I related throughout the season was about the teams and players I had met during that first club season.  By the time the middle school season ended I had 6 or 7 girls absolutely convinced that, even though they had never even seen a club volleyball team or tournament that they needed to be club volleyball players.  The local club had expanded out to two teams (one u16s and one u18).  They didn’t want me as a coach and they didn’t have roster space for, nor want a bunch of young twelve to fourteen year old players.  When it became clear that these girls were not going to get to play, one of their mothers looked at me and asked “You sold them on this idea, now what are you going to do about it?”  A week later I started the Ridgecrest Starlings Volleyball Club.

We had one u14s team – eight girls ranging from 11 to 13, and two 10 year olds that practiced but did not travel with us, all being run by a first time club coach/director whose daughter was playing on the other club’s 18s team.  It was a toss-up who had the most fun that season, the players or me.  We finished ranked 180/280 in the SCVA u14 division.  And we managed to tie for 5th in the U14s division at Starlings Nationals.

Now four years later, the other club has been gone for 3 years, and our club is 38 girls, four teams, and we have achieved a 2nd at Nationals, a U14s Championship at Nationals.  We have placed teams in the top 50% of the age groups in the SCVA region.  We have girls coming from up to 50 miles away to play for us.  We have girls from even smaller towns that are 70 and 140 miles away showing up for tryouts to see if they can endure the travel needed to play here because we are the closest club to where they live.  Last fall every girl on the local high school varsity team started out as, or currently were, Ridgecrest Starlings.  Overall, 28 out of 37 girls in the high school program played for our volleyball club.

So what does all this have to do with Title IX?  I’m a guy, title IX had nothing to do with me.  Title IX is all about girl’s sports.  Except…

I was introduced to volleyball by a University of Wyoming college player in 1979.  Prior to 1972 (and title IX) UW did not have a women’s volleyball program.

From 1982-1985 I learned how to play, and to love volleyball, from two other girls who also attended schools that prior to 1972 did not have volleyball programs for girls.

Title IX resulted in the wide spread popularity of high school and college women’s volleyball programs.  Those programs led to middle schools having volleyball teams instead of just volleyball lessons during PE classes.  Without those junior high school programs my daughter never would have browbeaten me into becoming a coach.

Before USAV hosted their first junior’s championship in 1980, junior’s club volleyball was almost unknown.  Without the enormously popular club volleyball system we have now, I certainly would never have been pressured into starting a volleyball club here in our small remote desert community. And I would never have gotten to hear the two most common statements I hear from mothers watching their daughter’s practice and play:

“Why doesn’t my daughter get more play time?”

– and –

“I wish I would have had the chance to do something like this when I was her age.”

I ignore the first question.  I love hearing the second statement.  And I hope that their daughters never have to say the same thing to someone else when they are older.

How has title IX changed my world?  There is a very simple 129 word answer to that question.  The answer is simple, but it is also very complex, beautiful, often confusing, powerful, frustrating, sometimes awe-inspiring, happy, occasionally heart-breaking and always a wonderfully life-affirming answer.

Title IX changed my world by allowing me to share some small part of it with:  Mandy, Lexy, Ashley, Lauren, Katie, Phoebe, Stephanie, Kristin, Kelly, Jenny, Grace, Sammi, Gloria, Amanda, Laura, Maggie, Britney, Ashley, Nicole, Amanda, Alexis, Becca, Kat, Kate, Bridget, Brooke, Jazmine, Karinna, Leah, Michaela, Sarah, Athena, Sorena, Allie, Alexis, Samantha, Alyssa, Rebecca, Grace, Stevian, Michelle, Shyanne, Monica, Sarah, Joanna, Candace, Savannah, Allie, Emma, Lindsey, Haley, Colleen, Alex, Hanna, Madelyn, Morgan, Lisa, Caitlin, Chrystle, Maddie, Terah, Kendal, Jamauri, Michelle, Tiffany, Roselyn, Jordyn, Cielo, Victoria, Adison, Katie, Aryn, Susana, Marisela, Jasmine, Marisa, Amanda, Nicole, Lexi, Ashley, Victoria, Jasmine, Becca, Markelle, Naomi, Kaitlin, Lindsey, Jessica, Kristiana, Metzli, Bailey, Brianna, Megan, Macey, Lauren, Zoe’, Cora, Nivia, Kristel, Emma, Micah, Lillie, Annie, Madelyn, Vanessa, Cassandra, Katherine, Brooke, Beka, Giselle, Katie, Elizabeth, Hannah, Mariah, Rebecca, Abbie, Brittany, Brittney, Leanna, Briannah, Rachel, Laurie, Marjorie, Elise, Evelynne, Ma’aka and Ellyse.

Poem: Title IX:  Generations
To view the poem as a PDF, click here.
By Darlene A. Hall, Ph.D., Starlings Oakland, Mental Skills Coach, 16s & 18s

My mother
Born 1930
My sister
Born 1956
My self
Born 1965
Title IX
Born 1972
My mother
Single Black woman
Raised 5 children
4 of whom – girls
2 of whom – athletes
My sister
My self

My mother
Recreational runner turned walker
Surviving childhood schools
Self-sustaining in college
My sister
Junior high and high school athlete
Opportunity to play exists
Title IX born
Two years before
her high school graduation
No competitive play in college
My self
1st track meet
4th grade
Title IX –- 2 years old
Opportunity to sprint
In equality
No competitive sports in college
For personal reasons
Not opportunity ones

Starlings Oakland
Born 1998
Title IX — 26 years old
My self
Journal session leader
For girls and young women
Who don’t all know
What Title IX is
Never heard of it before
A bittersweet conundrum
Too young to know
The pre-law days
Of sports unfairness
Taking for granted
Sports exist for them
Living the expectation
Sports are there for them
Title IX — 40 years later
Progress made
Athletes born
Dreams realized
My mother
My sister
My self
My Starlings
Giving all girls
A chance to fly

Poem: On Title IX’s Wings
To view the poem as a PDF, click here.
By Deirdre Perlini, Coach, Toledo Starlings – 16’s

an idea enacted

forty years have passed

equality for girls

its impact will last

one result is a team

strong shoulder to shoulder

playing smart and tough

together now bolder

exercising my rights

while competing, I sweat

going hard to the ball

with each dig, hit and set

as I look to the stands

in the match’s last mile

silent wishes echo

through my grandmother’s smile

her tears drip with pride

a moving surprise

born of choices I have

reflecting in my eyes

choices she never had

when she’d wanted to play

as there weren’t any sports

for girls in her day

now my moves on the court

light potential’s flame

dedication’s effort

winning more than a game

freedom to be me

and express my strength

pursuing my goals

past tomorrow’s arm length

no one to deny

or discriminate

no privileged exclusion

just participate

hope swells with the promise

open horizon brings

dreams rise with the stars

on Title IX’s wings

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