Six members of the 1983-84 Douglas High School volleyball team that won the AAA state title pose for a photo after being inducted into the Tigers’ first Hall of Fame. Pictured from left to right are, Shelley Gardner, Christy Canatsey, Julie Ament, Teya Edwards, Julie Aldax and co-captain Beckie Cattani.
Photo by Ron Harpin.
The 1983 Douglas High volleyball team accomplished something uncommon.
After losing the first two matches of the season, the Tigers went undefeated the rest of the way to win the program’s then-third state title.
The first two came in 1976 and 1979 and Douglas has won two more state championships since in 1998 and 2010.
Thursday night on the gymnasium floor, the entire 1983 team – all 12 players and coach Josie Graham – were inducted into the program’s first Hall of Fame class.
“Taking state for me was one of the best experiences of my life,” said Teya Edwards. “Tonight brings it full circle with us all being able to get together.”
Members of the 1983-84 team knew it was the 40-year anniversary of their title.
Initially, they had made plans to get together to celebrate.
Then, they found out about the Hall of Fame interest.
“It really just snowballed from there,” said Edwards.
Thursday, Graham and the entire team was cemented into Douglas lore.
The 12 players inducted were Edwards, co-captain Beckie Cattani, co-captain Coco Graham, Shelley Gardner, Kim Wartgow, Dawn Fowler, Christy Canatsey, Micki McGrath, Julie Ament, Julie Aldax and Robyn Webb.
There were several members of the team that couldn’t attend Thursday’s ceremony, but had friends or family receive their personalized plaques in their honor.
“We just grew up together,” said Aldax. “We haven’t seen some of these ladies in years and it just picks up right where it left off.”
The state title game finished with a sweep of Chaparral. Cattani made the last kill.
“I feel very proud knowing that the school has finally come to the point where they recognize the Hall of Fame, the importance to it,” said Cattani. “Losing in preseason was definitely the fire to propel us through the season.”
For Cattani, it was her third volleyball Hall of Fame induction. She is in San Francisco State’s Hall of Fame after walking on to the team originally as well as West Hills Community College, located outside Fresno.
Even 40 years later, the players remembered whom those two losses came too in the Carson Senators.
They also remember the star player for Chaparral they had to get past in CJ Jones.
“When we beat them, it was toward the end,” said Edwards. “When we beat her and that team, we just knew.”
To this day, they still remember the Tiger fans that traveled alongside the team.
“We were just friends. Even after volleyball season we were still friends,” said Aldax.