GILFORD — Members of the undefeated Gilford High School volleyball team will be treated to a free breakfast at McDonald's on Union Ave. in Laconia this Saturday morning.
The volleyball team finished with a 20-0 mark, marking its 15th Division II state title in the last 21 years under coach Joan Forge.
"The team is very excited about being treated. We feel like celebrities," said Forge, who says that the team will arrive at the restaurant at 8:30 a.m. wearing their championship shirts and jackets.
Radio station WEMJ will be on hand to broadcast its weekend sports program starting at 9 a.m. and will interview Forge and players on the team.
Forge, who has been coaching at Gilford since 1984, said it was the first time that Gilford has ever had to go five sets to win a championship game and credited a core group of seniors, including Capt. Jordan Dean, Maddie Harris and Brooke Beaudet with providing the focus and determination Gilford needed to win.
''We came really close last year and the team put in a lot of off-season training to prepare for this season,'' said Forge.
She said it was good battle against Somersworth and the team proved its true mettle after the Hilltoppers tied the match at two sets apiece.
''We had to play a lot of defense, but we were perfect in serving, going 115 for 115 in five games,'' said Forge, whose team won the fifth set 15-8 as Maddie Currier served up six straight points.
Gilford volleyball won nine straight state championships from 1999 to 2007.
Forge was selected as Division II coach of the year and Jordan Dean was named Division II player of the year.
McDonald's spokesman Larry Johnston said that the restaurant is pleased to to be able to honor the Gilford girls and is inviting people from the community to take pictures with the team and give them their personal congratulations.
Forge said that on Sunday, January 24 she will be running the 5th Annual Amy Annis Volleyball Tournament. Annis was a member of the 1995 state championship team and died four years ago at the age of 32 to breast cancer.
"I have organized this tournament each year as a promise to Amy and her family. Amy attended the first tournament five years ago. All proceeds go to the Amy Annis Scholarship, which awards $1,000 to a Gilford graduating senior every year, and also to the American Cancer Society," said Forge.
She said 16 teams enter the tournament each year and each pay a $100 entry fee in the event which is a co-ed recreational tournament for players high school age and adults and is played on four courts in the Gilford Middle School and High School gymnasiums.
She said that many alumni come home for the weekend to play in the tournament and that Saturday's breakfast is a good way to kick off the weekend.
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