Large crowd gathers to belatedly honor Lady Shorthorn volleyball alumni

Members from the Lady Shorthorns volleyball team 1980-81 were belatedly honored by MISD Athletics this past Friday for their accomplishment of coming in second place in state volleyball championships. From left: Linda Lassiter, Cynthia Madrid, Linda Webb, Gina Salgado and Minerva Dominguez. Staff photo by Mary Cantrell.

MARFA — The stands of the Shorthorn Gym were full last Friday afternoon as the community gathered before the evening’s sports games to belatedly honor the 1980-81 Lady Shorthorn volleyball team for their participation in the state championship. 

Linda Ojeda, MISD athletic director, addressed the purple-clad crowd, explaining that the honorary ceremony was part of a new school initiative called “The Great Comeback,” which will seek to formally recognize overlooked achievements of the school’s alumni. 

“Within the last 50 years, the history of outstanding Shorthorn accomplishment has gone unnoticed,” said Ojeda, listing various achievements of past students. “There was no proof of these storied accomplishments within the walls of our gymnasium, nor our fields.” 

Ojeda then introduced a handful of members of the 1980-81 volleyball team, one of the most successful volleyball teams in the history of the school, who walked out onto the gym floor to rounds of applause and whistles from the stands. In addition to putting their names up on a board on the gymnasium walls, school administrators re-presented their UIL State Runner Up trophy as well as a sports championship banner. 

“Although the journey and the sisterhood can only be known for yourselves because you actually lived it and went through it, [we can imagine] the pride you must have felt, not only to play in the Texas State Championship, but furthermore to carry all of Marfa High School and Marfa, Texas’ hope with you of winning and bringing home the championship game,” said Ojeda.

Concluding the ceremony, Ojeda instructed the current JV and varsity volleyball team members to stand up in the audience and imparted to them the importance of looking back on the past and appreciating those that came before them. To the 1980-81 team members who were present — who had shared with Ojeda before the event that they had to host garage sales to raise money for food and travel for games — she thanked them for the many strides they made. 

“Without individuals like you and everything that you went through, I don’t think we’d be here right now,” said Ojeda. “Your struggles, I promise you, now will not go unnoticed. We’re very thankful and we’re very proud of everything that you guys did.”