CRANBERRY TWP — One good turn deserves another.
In Coleman McDonough's case, one good tournament deserves a few others — and that's what the Seneca Valley High School boys volleyball player is planning.
McDonough will be a junior next year. He lost his sophomore season to the COVID-19 pandemic. He's never lost his enthusiasm for the sport.
“I've been in the volleyball world since second grade,” he said.
With no high school season this spring, he and some friends had been honing their skills practically daily on the sand volleyball courts at Victory Church in Cranberry Township.
“Church people saw us out there and would bring us popsicles, water, ice cream ... they are a very gracious community there,” McDonough said.
So he decided to pay it forward.
McDonough organized a coed volleyball tournament on the sand courts last Tuesday to raise money for the Victory Church food bank. He charged a $5 donation per player and raised $130 for the food bank.
“All of the money went to them,” McDonough said of the food bank. “People have been getting laid off. People are hurting. This is a way to help.
“We limited the size of the tournament because of the pandemic. We didn't want too many people there.”
There were 12 two-person teams comprising the event.
“It was a lot of fun and helped a good cause,” McDonough said. “I started going over there because it was a good way to keep my hands on a volleyball and keep my skills sharp.
“The fact we're able to help others only adds to it.”
McDonough is planning to stage one or two more coed tournaments each month through the summer. That money will also go to the church's food bank.
And the donation total may increase.
McDonough is considering getting use of other sand courts in Cranberry and expanding the next few tournaments to 20 teams or more.
Most of the players were from Seneca Valley and North Allegheny high school teams, along with some junior varsity and freshman players.
“He's always been serious about volleyball,” Karen McDonough said of her son. “He turned that dedication of working out and staying sharp into a positive thing for the church.”
McDonough has been playing club volleyball since age 11. He now plays for the Vanguard club team in Columbus, Ohio. He attended an Ohio State volleyball camp last year.
McDonough spends every weekend in Columbus from late October through February, playing weekend tournaments for Vanguard.
“We'd drive him over there after school each Friday,” Mrs. McDonough said. “This is what he wants to do and we support him.”
A number of Division I collegiate programs are interested in McDonough. Schools may start to contact him June 15.
“I expect I'll hear from a few,” he said.
In the meantime, he'll continue to enjoy the game in the sand outdoors, helping the food bank at the same time.
“I've played tournaments in St. Louis, Anaheim, Chicago, Harrisburg, all over,” McDonough said. “I'm planning to play in college someday.
“For now, it feels good helping people who need it.”