Crossroads All Stars play one final game (w/video, gallery)
Dec. 4, 2013 at 6:04 a.m.
Updated Dec. 5, 2013 at 6:05 a.m.
Faith Academy senior Gabby Torres found out she was chosen to play in the Victoria College & Chick-fil-A Area All Stars volleyball game via text message.
"They got in touch with my coach and she texted me that day," Torres, the only Faith player chosen, said. "I said, 'Yes, of course!'"
Though high school volleyball in the Crossroads is officially done for the season, more than 20 of the area's top volleyball players were chosen for the fifth annual All-Star game.
Regardless of classification or records, the girls were divided into two teams of 12: Maroon and White.
Players were chosen from a pool of talent from across the area, including all four Victoria schools (East, Faith, St. Joseph, West), Goliad, Bloomington, Louise, Cuero, Palacios, Yoakum, Industrial, Shiner St. Paul, Edna, Ganado, El Campo and Calhoun.
White won in three sets 34-32, 27-25, 25-13.
The girls gathered a few hours before the game for a tour of Victoria College and a scavenger hunt on campus before a two-hour practice.
Josh Moore, Victoria College women's volleyball coach, has seen limitless talent from around the Crossroads through this game and also as a high school volleyball official.
"It's always been good volleyball around here," Moore said. "I try to support the teams as much as I can."
Seven out of 10 of Moore's current players have played in past All Star games. But it is a chance for Moore to get to know the players he has watched play during the season.
"It's a good opportunity for them to see how I coach, and it's a good learning experience," he said.
Moore, who has been involved with Victoria College athletics since 2005, loves volleyball and thinks the game is a good way to celebrate local talent.
"It's good for the end of the year to bring all the area players together for one last hurrah," he said. "This is probably the last game for most of the players unless they play in college. We want to make it special for them."
Destani Villarreal, a senior from Victoria East, said the game was a fantastic experience.
"Not only do you get to work with new people, but they are so friendly even though you have played against them," Villarreal, who was one of the Maroon team's leader in kills, said. "We all love the sport, and it's just one big loving game."
This experience was Villarreal's last time playing high school volleyball.
"Missing (volleyball) is an understatement," she said. "It's part of my life, it's a passion and I don't know what I'm going to do without it."
With both teams being made up of the area's finest, the sets went long and competition was strong.
Three St. Joseph seniors, Lauren Kurtz, Peyton Cuellar and Natalie Bales, played in the game. The Lady Flyers went to the state tournament for TAPPS 4A in early November.
"It was good competition; that first set was fun," Moore said.
Now that volleyball is over, Victoria West senior Kate Klimist is gearing up for two upcoming musicals and college next year.
"I'm trying to get through senior year," Klimist said. "I'm going to school for musical theater. I'm hoping for New York, but I don't know yet. There are a bunch of different options."
Playing for West coach Sandra Longoria taught Klimist responsibility.
"I'm never late to anything, I'm always 15 minutes early," Klimist said. "She taught us a lot of life lessons."
Many of Wednesday's players have already started basketball season, including Calhoun's Jordan Edison, who recently committed to Western Texas College to play volleyball.
Faith Academy's Torres will take a short break before preparing for softball and track season. She hopes to go back to the state tournament for shot-put and discus again next spring.
"Even though you come from a small school, if you work hard you can play with all the bigger schools," Torres said.