Anyone living around these parts has heard the phrase, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.”

Our lovely Missouri weather brings plenty of both. But that’s not the case everywhere.

In Dallas last week, it actually felt cooler than it was.

No, there was no wind chill, but the lack of humidity made it feel a little better than our weather has been here. Imagine the heat without the stickiness and you’ve got an idea of what it was like.

Of course, our Texas friends were hurting in other areas. Since it’s not humid, they haven’t gotten the rain there, either. Areas in north Texas are in water restrictions. I know folks around here who would love to send them some of our extra water, especially any extra moisture which floods playing fields.

Folks in Texas would love to have a shower like the one which washed out the Washington Post 218 Senior Legion games Saturday in Ste. Genevieve. That might settle the dust and bring some green back to the grass there.

My visit to Texas was about much more than just observing the weather though. It was very nice to visit with family and meet my new niece, Naomi Hull, who might have a great future in sports once she grows up. Of course, it’s always hard to say what’s going to happen when they’re less than a month old.

For four days, my travels took me into Downtown Dallas and the USA Volleyball Girls Junior National Championships.

At a national tournament like that, especially in the open divisions, it’s painfully obvious that any mistake is going to be amplified tenfold. I think our Show Me Volleyball Academy team learned that lesson over and over and over again.

Our SMVA 16 Rox team went 0-9 at the national tournament, including to eventual national champion ASICS Mavs 16 Blue (25-17, 25-17). SMVA 16 Rox tied for 31st in the 16 Open Division.

The team had its struggles with four of the nine matches going to three games and all four of those matches being decided by four points or less in the third game.

For a team which doesn’t leave the national event with medals draped around their necks, it’s vitally important to stress positives. And since most of the teams who went to Dallas came home without something, stressing positives becomes key.

For players who didn’t reach their ultimate dream of winning on the big court and celebrating a championship, it has to be stressed that playing at that level is a great learning experience which will help them in their next volleyball challenge, be it making the high school team this fall, getting better prepared to improve next club season or even catching the eye of a college coach.

It’s also important to stress that you live to play another day. The players are richer for the experience and playing against tough competition will prepare them for the future challenges.

I believe our SMVA kids grew tremendously through the season and you’ll be hearing about them in the near future.

Borgia’s Allie Marquart got the call up from the SMVA 16 Royal team to play with the Rox kids during the national tournament. She was joined by Paige Perego (Parkway West), Amy Kindt (Marquette), Emily Rudolph (Marquette), Amanda Noel (Lafayette), Hannah Cherry (Villa Duchesne), Allison Turner (Lafayette), Ellie Watkins (Lutheran St. Charles), Riley Stephens (Troy) and Cassie Nodiff (Marquette). The team was coached by Union High School graduate Shane Allen.

There were many locals who played in the national tournament this year. We’ve got many of them documented elsewhere in this section. And for every player documented, I know of others who have family around these parts.

It’s not often that club sports gets acknowledged in these papers. In just about every sport, there are a lot of folks who toil without recognition, but work to become better players and earn recognition (many trying to find scholarship opportunities) in their selected sport. You see this in baseball, softball, soccer, gymnastics, volleyball, etc.

Club athlete, please take this as a pat on the back for a job well done.