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Red Lion sophomore plays in honor of late grandfather

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Missing Thursday’s game against Central York wasn’t an option for Red Lion sophomore Madelyn Grim.

Less than 24 hours after her grandfather passed away from cancer, Grim was in school and on the volleyball court with her team for their meeting with the Panthers.

Missing either was not in the cards for Grim.

“He told me that I had to keep up my grades no matter what, and I had to play volleyball for him,” Grim said about her grandfather, who she called ‘pappy.’ “He just wanted that, so I wanted to do what he wanted me to do.”

It has been an emotional week for Grim and it was the second time she has played through difficult circumstances. Grim played in a hard five-set victory against Spring Grove last Thursday, when her grandfather’s health began to deteriorate.

The Lions and Grim found themselves in a similar spot against Central, but again came away with a win, defeating the Panthers 3-2 (25-22, 25-17, 16-25, 21-25, 15-8).

Red Lion head coach Heather Shoemaker said Thursday’s win meant a lot for the team.

“To get this ‘W’ for her grandfather means a lot more, not just to Maddy, but to her family,” Shoemaker said. “We had a great fanbase (Thursday night) and it’s always fun to see that. This win is nice, but we have to worry about our next match too.”

Grim finished the night with a game-high 46 assists and six digs for the Lions, as she played in honor of her grandfather who was at every Lions’ game and was always the loudest fan.

“I know that’s what he wanted me to do,” Grim said. “I know he was watching over me and every mistake he was stomping his foot. Every block he was screaming. I know he wanted the win more than I did, so I wanted to do that for him.”

Red Lion’s win didn’t come easy however. The Lions quickly took the first two games, but dropped the third and fourth games forcing a fifth game. Red Lion jumped to a 3-0 lead to open the fifth game and held onto the lead long enough to grab the win.

The win was important for Red Lion, but Shoemaker took more pride in the character that Grim and the rest of team showed in an emotional time.

“For Maddy to step in and say, ‘you know what I’m gonna do this for my team,’” Shoemaker said. “’My grandfather wanted this, my pappy actually,’ she did something a lot of athletes wouldn’t necessarily do. She did something she loves to do and I think the team surrounding her and supporting her on and off the court, I think means a lot for her.”