When Champion’s QUEST first opened the doors to youth athletes, the focus was all geared to helping the local Seal Beach Volleyball Club. Now we have been open for over fifteen years and have been able to help athletes in all sports with their athleticism. We have continued to provide the training for many young volleyball athletes in the Los Alamitos-Long Beach area and we are now working with a phenomenal athlete that is on the 14-1’s team for Seal Beach by the name of Grace Abdoo.
Grace started back in 2011 with our Summer Volleyball Camps and continued doing the camps for the next couple of years. She joined our program as a full-time athlete in the Spring of 2014, which was a little less than a year after her older sister started the program. After doing three years of the Summer Camps along with seeing all the improvements her older sister was able to gain, her mother wanted to give Grace the same advantage her sister was gaining since she competes in a sport where height is an advantage. From her first evaluation back in the Spring of 2014, up to her most recent in the month of August, Grace has been able to increase not only her athletic ability but her confidence on the court.
Her Mother had told me “If you could have seen how she served in a game back when she was 12, and how she serves now, it’s night and day. Also, she doesn’t get nervous in big games, even if she knows a lot of people are watching. For example, when they made the finals at Junior Nationals early this year.”
CVBA Santa Monica Women’s B Tournament Winners
Earlier this month, Grace was able to win the California Beach Volleyball Association Women’s B Doubles Tournament. She started playing in unrated and B women’s tournaments this just year, just to get some experience playing against adults since she has been playing Beach Volleyball for just about three years now. Grace is currently a Freshman in the Pace program at Long Beach Poly High School and is a starter on their girls JV Volleyball team.
Grace has gained a lot over these past couple of years and she continues to grow in her athletic ability. She may not have the height most Volleyball coaches look for in their athletes but she makes up with tons of talent and ability on the court. Her game knowledge is a level above her peers and she will continue to grow in her sport from her coaches at LB Poly, Seal Beach VC and her Beach Volleyball Coach Misty May-Treanor.
Being a freshmen in high school comes with different struggles and I am very confident that Grace will have that mental strength to push herself beyond any situation that may be presented to her within the next four years. We at Champion’s QUEST will continue to provide her with a strong direction and guidance in her sport and life!
Article By: Coach Derrick Campbell, USTF-L1
Natalia is a 14 year old exceptional athlete that has been at Champion’s Quest for only 4 short months. Her performance is moving at record pace on land and in the pool. Natalia is an outstanding swimmer, student and person. She exhibits confidence, gives respect to all coaches, fellow athletes and friends at Champion’s Quest.
I asked her Dad what is Natalia’s strongest quality and he responded with a smile and an answer that I had never heard before during my coaching my experience. He replied her ability to have very strong time management skills. This time management quality is an invaluable asset especially at such a young age.
Natalia applies this skill at The Oxford Academy in Cerritos. This school provides a highly competitive academic environment where she is challenged each and everyday. She takes multiple high level courses, studies for hours daily, while still making time to do her dry land training and complete chores at home. You would think,she has no extra time at all for anything else. But, she takes a deep breadth, smiles and then she does what she loves to do, and that is, getting in the swimming pool.
Natalia’s hard work is truly paying off and it was on full display at the Junior Olympics Competition in Arizona. She posted personal best in all of her swimming events:
– 200 meter freestyle: seed time 2:16.76 (dropped 0:03.39) final time 2:13.37
– 400 meter freestyle: seed time 4:44.63 (dropped 0:01.13) final time 4:43.50
– 100 meter butterfly: seed time 1:07.3 (dropped 0:01.34) final time 105.96 1st place
– 200 meter butterfly: seed time 2:29.74 (dropped 0:03.38) final time 2:26.36
– 200 meter individual medley: seed time 2:33.58 (dropped 0:02.70) final time 2:30.88
– 400 meter individual medley: seed time 5:23.87 (dropped 0:07.13) final time 5:16.74. Keep up the great work in school, keep training and pursuing greatness in the pool.
Congratulations and we are proud of you at Champion’s Quest!!!
Coach Reggie Ward
Assistant Athletic Director
Champion’s Quest Athlete Academy
We have a phenomenal athlete named is Tessa Hurley who has a strong sports career in Softball ahead of her. She is a member of the Firecrackers 10U Softball team. It was back in January of 2014 that Tessa started our program here at Champion’s QUEST and she followed in the foot steps of her two older sisters that were also members of our program as well. She did have a couple of set backs due to injuries at her start but what 9-10 year old can go a full year without getting injured. Within this Summer quarter she was able to have big gains yet in our program. Her improvements have helped her team to a number of tournament first places and runner-ups, with this being her first full year on a travel team they were able to finish in the top 10 for PGF (Premier Girls Fastpitch) for their age group.
This year, her team had a very solid run and Tessa was a big part of their success with a 0.397 batting average and 57 runs batted in for the year. In PGF play she was able to again out perform most of her teammates with a 0.444 batting average and 3 runs batted in. Tessa is a full year younger than anyone on her team and will playing up a year with the same girls next year as she will move up to 12U softball as an eligible 10U player.
Everything that I have seen out of Tessa has nothing short of amazing. She has a strong solid arm that helps on the field getting that out on first. Her quickness is above any athlete her age and she is very focused when in competition. There is a bright and solid future for her in Softball at the high school and collegiate levels. I wish Tessa and her other siblings the best in all that they do and will continue to work with her throughout her high school career.
Coach Derrick Campbell, USTF-L1