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  • Writer's pictureTatiana Chen

Final Four 2023 Volleyball & Futsal Season Comes to an End

This athletic season’s national championship, Final Four, has come to an end with two third-place trophies, but three victorious fights. The Hawks faced many avoidable obstacles which leaves them to yet come to terms with their losses. The closing ceremony, however, brought all the teams to applaud each other for their good sportsmanship and perseverance.

EARJ’s host and organizer started off the ceremony by giving thanks to the heads of school, the administration, the coaches, booster clubs, the parent-teacher association, and the athletes for working together to make the event such a big success. After a few minutes of the ceremony dedicated to giving thanks, the Our Lady of Mercy Lancer cheer team was introduced, where they once again performed their well-known stunts and chants. With the crowd clapping along, the cheerleaders wow-ed the crowd of proud parents. Right after, the EARJ Panthers brought out their own cheer team to perform more stunts and choreography which was initially interrupted when the speakers had technical difficulties. Once their music was back on, the crowd clapped along the medley playing, bringing the mood back up.

After more clapping and celebrating, the organizer moved on to announce the awards, where athletes and coaches were given a medal and a trophy for their respective achievements. The trophies varied by size with gold being biggest, silver being half gold’s size, and bronze also being half silver’s size. Introducing the places of this Final Four, the EABH Lady Hawks volleyball athletes were first to be announced in fourth place. The audience clapped respectively as they looked back to see the team seated applauding their own hard work. Next, Our Lady of Mercy walked down to receive their trophy and medals and posed for pictures with their coaches. In the second place, the EARJ Panthers had roars of applause from their school and parents in the audience as they chanted and sang together in a huddle. Lastly, the Sant’Anna Wolves ran to the middle of the court where the ceremony was being held waving their mascot’s flag and singing together in victory.

Next up was boys volleyball that followed the same order, last to first with the Lancers being applauded, followed by the EABH Hawks walking down to lightly laugh together and cheer for each other’s accomplishment. Team captain, Lucas Chen, held up the trophy in the middle as the entire team jumped and pushed to enjoy the moment. Sant’Anna followed their female peers when called to be rewarded with silver medals, and went to the center with their flag to chant together. Finally, the Panthers sang “We are champions” in Portuguese with the entire stadium cheering and the Angry Birds theme song playing in the background.

For girls' futsal, fourth place went to Nations’ Cougars who were applauded despite their absence due to their early flight back to Brasília. Pridefully, the Hawks were ready to stand up and walked straight to the middle where they shared an extremely heartwarming moment with their Coach Sandro, smiling, laughing, and showing overall contentment. Second place went to the Graded Eagles, who happily received their awards. Continuing their trend, the Wolves went back up for first place having every teammate hold the banner and pose for pictures before jumping in a huddle, chanting the same “we are champions” chant.

Although EABH did not qualify for the boys' futsal in the Final Four, the Hawks still showed their support for those playing by watching the games, congratulating, and cheering for the boys. Fourth place went to St.Paul’s Lions who played throughout the entire championship with the minimum amount of players allowed in the sport. Third place was awarded to Chapel’s Trojans who lined up for a happy picture with their shiny medals and smiles. The Cougars were awarded second place but got another round of applause despite their absence. To conclude the awards, EARJ was given first place, and the entirety of the team and those who made their team possible came up to appreciate the work of all athletes and coaches that got them there.

The EABH Community congratulates the work of all the coaches, administrators, and athletes themselves for working hard to get to the national championship, Final Four. Qualifying for it by placing first in the International Schools Sports League (ISSL) competition earlier this year, brought an emotional and athletic bond between the teams that can’t easily be broken with the occurrences of the Final Four. Without the efforts of Coach Laura, Ms.Jill, Coach Sandro, and Mr.Jaison, and the challenges the team went through, the perseverance and sportsmanship of the EABH Hawks would not have been seen the same as it is now.

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