ADVERTISEMENT

City Honors coach has alums’ support

I write in support of Deborah Matos after hearing about her suspension. I was a member of City Honors volleyball from 2003 to 2007. I was initially recruited because I was tall. That was my skill. Coach saw potential and pushed me to meet it.

Matos expects the best, which aligns perfectly with the City Honors mentality. I learned how to be a sister, a friend, a teammate and a captain. I made friendships that’ll last forever, and connections with powerful women who are leaving their marks on the world today. Matos instilled these values into the very core of City Honors volleyball.

It’s not a team. It’s a family. We respect one another, from the seniors to the managers who carried the ball bags and kept statistics. She was our toughest critic and our biggest fan. When we were successful, which was often, she would be the first excited face we saw. When we were unsuccessful, she pushed us harder to succeed the next time. Mediocre was never enough. Mediocre meant there was potential for more.

If her record isn’t enough to prove her value as a coach, ask her alums. During any given game, look into the bleachers, along the sides of the gym, in the doorways; we’re there. Our family transcends the immediate connection with current teammates. It includes every woman who graduated from the program, and every woman yet to join. This spirit wouldn’t be present if these claims of abuses and mistreatment were truths.

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of Matos in my life. I only hope that future City Honors volleyball players have the good fortune to experience playing under her. It wouldn’t be City Honors volleyball without its heart, Deborah Matos.

Allyson Blair

Buffalo