SNEADS, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - It's as sure a bet as anything in sports.
The Pirates swept Baker in the 1A semifinals.
The players roll over every four years.The coach changed after five years. Still, the Sneads volleyball dynasty is nearing a seventh straight state championship.
A straight set victory over Baker in the 1A semifinals Saturday sends the Pirates to Fort Myers with more history in sight.
They've already tied the class record for most consecutive titles. A win against Newberry Friday afternoon at 2:30 eastern would tie the record for most in any class.
The streak dates back to 2013...This particular team's success can be traced back summer.
"Our training at the beginning of the year, even in summer, is crucial," senior Michaela Edenfield said. "That's when we become a family. Our summer workouts are meant to be hard, because if you do something hard, it makes everything else seem easier. Doing that and pushing us to the edge, it brings us closer and I feel like a lot of people don't see that as summer workouts. They just see it as grueling workouts where we sweat for no reason but it's a lot more than that."
Any team on the cusp of a championship needs a motto. They've found fitting one, with a nod to head coach Heather Edge.
"The whole "edge of seven," it came out just because this is our goal," Edenfield explained with a smile. "We're going for seven state titles and we're almost there. We're getting to the point of winning it. And besides that, it's her last name! She just loves it, using her last name, the fact that she's, one married, and two, she has a successful volleyball team."
Edge is in her second season at the helm. Last year, she went by her maiden name, Brinkmeier, and the team rallied around the phrase "Brink of Six."
She's the successor to legendary coach Sheila Roberts, winner of five state crowns. Roberts left huge shoes to fill, but the more things change, the more they stay the same.
"It's different playing for both of them, but their goal, their mindset is still the same," senior Jordyn Riano said. "They want the same thing. They want to come out here and coach us, make us better as players and athletes. Their goal is still the same: win state, play volleyball, make us better."
The team leaves for Fort Myers Thursday morning.
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