Winning a championship is one of the hardest things to accomplish in athletics, but the Palm Springs Indians have made it look easy. In a two-week span, the girls volleyball team and football squad earned CIF Southern Section titles, the first time a desert school has done both in the same year, and only the fifth school in the past 15 years in the CIF-SS to achieve the feat.
“For us win, and for football to also win with us, it was like unbelievable. Like one-in-a-million chance,” said volleyball setter Ashtyn Lyneis. The city took notice, rewarding the feat with a festive parade down Palm Canyon Drive. City officials led the charge through four city blocks, with student athletes feeling the love from everyone who came out to properly show them a “job well done”.
“It was just unreal,” said Palm Springs football coach Dan Murphy. “You know, the support we’ve had from the city, the community, the mayor’s office. To see everyone out here today celebrating the volleyball and football (teams) was just exciting. It means a lot. I’m born and raised in this town, so I saw a lot of people I haven’t seen in 10 years and to see that they’re out here supporting the programs, it means a lot to me personally and I know it does to the kids.”
The kids had a blast riding on the backs of vehicles and soaked it all up, from watching people take pictures, to waving at them, and even just looking at the smiles from hundreds of Indian supporters who lined the streets. Palm Springs receiver Riley Hagar got a kick out of it. “Yeah, it was cool in seeing all the people,” Hagar said. “How happy they were, congratulating us and stuff. It was pretty tight seeing everyone waving and stuff.”
And when the parade balloons eventually pop, the reality will remain that these student athletes are a part of history and they’ll remember this day and what they did to get there for the rest of their lives.