Cinderella is alive and well and playing volleyball in Parker County.
Led by the Millsap Lady Bulldogs advancing to their first postseason appearance in a decade and half, five of the six teams in the Weatherford Star-Telegram have reached the playoffs in their respective classifications, Another narrowly missed, but still ha d their best season in years.
Among the group are three new coaches, all of whom reached the postseason, the No. 1 team in Texas in 3A, and a coach who reached a milestone victory.
All of the teams were competing in bi-district matches at press time.
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The Lady Bulldogs ended a drought of 15 years by qualifying for the postseason in Denise Lee’s first season as head coach.
Lee took over a Millsap team that won just one district game in 2014. They finished fourth in tough District 11-3A this season.
Millsap entered the playoffs with a 23-14 overall record.
"I am extremely proud of this group of athletes and the coaching staff," said Lee. "It’s an honor to represent Millsap in the playoffs."
Ladycats coach Kathy Goings joined an elite group this season when she won her 600th match as a coach. It came at Cleburne on Oct. 13.
"I have been very blessed with great kids who have worked hard for those 600 wins," said a humble Goings, whose career total victories was 604 going into the playoffs.
The Ladycats (37-10), ranked ninth in the state entering the postseason, are in the playoffs for a 20th consecutive season under Goings. This is the 19th time her team has won or shared a district championship.
The Lady Greyhounds were not only tops in District 11-3A, but are also tops in the state in Class 2A, according to the Texas Girls Coaches Association.
Peaster has been nothing short of fominant, entering the postseason with a 41-1 record. The Lady Greyhounds have not lost since the third week of August to Class 5A Denton.
"We’ve had this No. 1 target on our backs since late August. As a coach, of course, it makes me nervous," said Peaster coach Autumn Threatt.
"I’m trying to keep everyone’s head level and take it one game at a time. I know anyone can beat you on any given day, so we play and practice with a purpose.
"It’s exciting times in Peaster, America for sure, but we’re trying not to get ahead of ourselves."
The Lady Eagles are seeking a fourth consecutive trip to the state tournament. Of course, they’ll likely have to go through Peaster to get there.
The Lady Eagles won state in 2012, reached the semifinals in 2013, and were state runners-up last season.
First-year coach Mallory Daniel’s team, though not state-ranked for the first time in a while, ended the regular season with a 31-10 record.
Yet another first-year coach, Kendal Bracy, has taken the Lady Monarchs to the Class 2A playoffs after a one-year absence.
Poolville finished third in District 9-2A. The Lady Monarchs ended the regular season with a 26-12 record.
It is Poolville’s fifth playoff appearance in six seasons.
The Lady Kangaroos came oh so close to reaching the postseason for the first time since 2009. For much of the district season they were holding onto the fourth and final playoff from tough District 4-6A, only to see it slip away late and settle for a fifth-place finish.
Still, their 24-13 overall record and 7-7 league record are the best in head coach Natalie Gonzales’ four seasons.