Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.
Candice Reynoso accomplished a rare feat making the St. Francis volleyball team for the first time this year. It was unique in that most would still not be trying, let alone make the varsity, as a first-time player as a senior.
“Ever since freshmen year it has been my goal to make the St. Francis volleyball team,” said Reynoso, who is a product of St. Ignatius. “Because I have not made it, it made me more determined to prove that I can do it.”
Reynoso was 0 for 3 at the volleyball tryouts since coming to St. Francis but that did not keep her from trying again.
“I trained every summer, did club season and improved my skills,” said Reynoso, who played for Force Performance in Elk Grove. “I did what the coaches asked me do to. They would give me pointers at the end of tryouts and I would work on those and bring it for the next tryout. I am a really determined person. If I really want something I can work towards it. This has been my goal.”
Her dream came true this year. Head Coach Alynn Wright and assistant Bill Hanrahan meet with each player at the conclusion of tryouts and this year they gave Reynoso the happy news.
“What an amazing life skill to be that determined and persistent,” said Wright. “That is going to take her far in life. What Candice did is that she listened at each meeting and worked on the skills we told her to. She is stronger and fitter than she has ever been. She loves the game and her dream was to put on that jersey…and she earned it.”
After a strong tryout in August, Reynoso was confident but still nervous about her chances.
“They asked me how I thought tryouts went and I told them I thought it went really good this year and that I felt confident,” recalled Reynoso about her meeting in August. “They said I proved my skill set. Coach Wright said congratulations. I started crying because I was so happy that it had happened.”
Wright, too, who has coached at St. Francis for 26 years, was touched by the moment.
“It was probably the most rewarding meeting I have ever had,” said Wright. “I can only imagine her walking in. She was probably anticipating the same news. All three of us had tears in our eyes. She was so excited she could not remember what time practice was because all she could think about was that she had achieved her goal.”
The West Sacramento native has cherished every moment with the team this season, starting with the issuing of her uniform.
“I do not think I have any words to explain it,” said Reynoso. “I was really honored to wear it and be part of the team. I could not believe it was happening.”
She made her first appearance on the court in the season-opening tournament in Reno.
“It was really nerve-wracking,” said Reynoso. “The team was really supportive and they were all cheering each other on. It made me feel more comfortable to be on the team and represent St. Francis. It was a lot of excitement in that moment.”
Reynoso said she was helped at the tryouts by the relationships she built with several teammates on the service trip to San Francisco last summer.
“I did not have a bond with them entering the trip but it helped make feel it like we were friends and it helped me get through tryouts,” said Reynoso. “I was able to relax knowing they accepted me. The trip was really fun.”
Reynoso accomplished another first on Tuesday when she made her first appearance on the home court against Sheldon
“She has been doing great,” said Wright. “She works hard every day in practice and she is helping us get better and she is getting better. She is an inspiration to all the kids on the team and me. She is a wonderful young lady.”
A wonderful young lady whose dream came true.