Orlando Christian Prep was established in 1960, however its sports program did not begin until the year 1998. Fielding soccer and basketball teams initially, the school adopted the Warriors mascot and donned royal, gold and white. In 2000, the program joined the FHSAA and began competing against fellow member schools. In most recent years ,the program has been blessed with tremendous success. Winning 8 state championships in basketball as well as two additional final four basketball appearances and one final four baseball appearance. The warriors athletic program has demonstrated it's ability to develop student athletes into champions. In 2014 the program was named Class 2A FACA sports program of the year as well as the FHSAA Floyd E. Lay Sunshine Cup Class 2A boys program of the year.
It is now easier than ever to support your OCP athletic department. OCP families and business owners can purchase advertising space in our gymnasium, football field and now on our athletic website. Please contact the Orlando Christian Prep athletic director Treig Burke via email with your inquiries.
ORLANDO -- October 18, 2021
Trailing 23-22 in the 4th set and facing the end of their season down two sets to one against International Community School (ICS), the Lady Warriors came out a timeout determined not to let the season end on their home court as they won their first district volleyball match since 2017 in an epic 5-set battle 22-25, 25-23, 22-25, 25-23, and 15-8.
In the midst of a rally that dripped with exhaustion from the anticipation and magnitude of what was at stake, junior Aalyssa Gunn found herself at the net and made the gutsy decision to tip the ball over the net into the middle of an empty area of the Comets defense to tie the game at 23.
With the score tied in another back and forth rally, the ball found its way to junior Carlee Cruz who geared up for the biggest shot of night. From the left side of the net, she spiked the ball cross-court just inside of the line catching ICS, the crowd and herself by surprise when the corner official lowered his flag to signal the ball was in, giving OCP a 24-23 lead.
Junior Lydia Mascari served up the set-winning Ace as ICS was unable to cleanly receive her serve. As the Lady Warriors on the court and bench screamed with joy as they jumped and hugged each other following the point, you could sense that the momentum had shifted over to the Warriors.
In the 5th and final set of the evening, it didn't take much for OCP to jump out to a 7 point lead and win the game on an ICS serving error. As the ball drifted out of bounds on the final serve tears of joy mixed with the overall excitement of what had just been accomplished soaked over players, coaches and spectators.
Reflecting back on that final huddle of the 4th set facing elimination, Coach Omar Soto emphasized the basics to his team before sending them back on the court.
"I believe the girls think I sound like a broken record when I keep repeating we need to control the first touch! Once we get control of the first pass everything else flows in our favor," said Soto.
"I also emphasize the attention to the details on everything we do including our setters and hitters, from communication on the court, to reading what the opposite team is doing in order for us to be in the right place for the right response."
His final words could not have been more well received.
"My last take is for them not to give up even when we are down. They need to be resilient and fight for every point until the game ends to our advantage"
OCP (13-10) advanced to the district semifinals to play No.1 seed and host, Orangewood Christian School. The Rams are considered one of the favorites to win the 2A State Championships. Regardless of the outcome in that contest, the Lady Warriors have won already won the most games in a season since 2012 and have so much room to grow following Monday night's victory.
"Without a doubt, districts have been a challenge for us the past 3 years. I still remember my first season with the team in the Fall of 2019. We were so close to winning that quarterfinal round, but we couldn't pull it through, said Soto. "The season of 2020 was a devastating 0-8! But as I said at the beginning of the 2021 season, this is a time to harvest what we sowed in tears."
He continued, "The fact that we hold a record of 13-10, is something that this program has not been able to recapture since the fall of 2012, where the team held a record of 17-9... Needless to say that each one of our girls that have stepped into the court have given 100%, if not more, of their effort. We have come this far thanks to the team effort we have all played including players, coaching staff and supporting parents of our team!"
DISTRICT AWARDS ANNOUCED
The 2021 Class 2A District 10 Awards were announced with each member of the 7-team district placing two players on the team.
The All-Stars for the OCP were:
FORT PIERCE, FL -- October 15
In a matchup between two teams ranked in the Top 10 of the MaxPreps.com Class 2A rankings, OCP held off John Carroll Catholic in the closing seconds of the ballgame for a 21-19 victory, their 5th consecutive win of the season, all of which have been on the road.
John Carroll scored a pair of late touchdowns with the last being on a jump ball pass into the corner of the endzone with 0:03 seconds left in the contest to cut an 8-pt OCP lead to two. But, the defense held the Rams on the 2-pt attempt and the Warriors (5-1) packed up and headed home with a solid victory.
In the 2nd quarter, sophomore Stanley Ihekwoaba forced a fumble on the Rams 1 yard line, then recovered it in the endzone for the first six points of the game. Quarterback Vilay Nakkoun converted the 2-pt PAT with a rush and the Warriors had an 8-0 lead.
After surrendering the first of three touchdown passes in the game to John Carroll with 6:58 remaining in the 3rd quarter, OCP scored their first offensive touchdown in the 4th quarter on a 19-yard pass play from Nakkoun to junior Jayden Alberty to extend the lead to 15-6. Sophomore Demarion Jenkins added another six points to the scoreboard on an 11-yard run with 7:14 remaining in the game to give OCP a 21-6 lead.
The Warriors defense had five total sacks, 12.5 tackles-for-loss, and one interception against a Rams offense that passed the ball 35 times for 272 passing yards. Ihekwoaba led the defense with seven solo tackles, four tackles for loss (TFL), three sacks, a forced fumble/recovery and touchdown. Junior Jeremy Miller had six tackles (five solo) with one TFL, and junior Evan Sierra had five solo tackles, two TFL and one INT.
NEXT UP: The Warriors will play their first home game at Warrior Field for Homecoming on Friday October 22 against West Oaks Academy (3-4). Kickoff is scheduled for 7pm. Admission is $7 and tickets will be sold on GOFan ticket app.
The OCP Volleyball Senior Class ('22) have certainly had to overcome some adversity and challenges over their playing years in the volleyball program. From a new coach that brought a new style in their early high school years, to a global pandemic that affected not just one season, but the start of a second season, to a winless season. Yet, Psymbie-Kalei Bailey Morgan, Brianna Cooper and Aaliyah Gunn are in the midst of their best season in the program, on the verge of finishing the season above .500 and playing towards the programs first district win since 2017. The hard work is paying off.
On Monday October 11th, head coach Omar Soto, assistant coaches Tim Thomas, Brittany Gunn and Kelly McIntyre, along with their teammates, honored their seniors during the annual Dig Pink Match against Forest Lake Academy.
All three players had been in the program for over 8+ years since they were elementary students. They all expressed their thanks and appreciation to Coaches Gunn and McIntyre, who were the coaches that introduced them to the sport and helped mold them into the players they are today.
ABOUT PSYMBIE-KALEI BAILEY MORGAN
Psymbie’s Athletic Achievements include playing Volleyball at OCP for 9 years, and being on the Track team since 6th grade. She qualified for Regionals in Shot Put and Discus in 11th grade
Psymbie’s Academic Achievements include being part of the National Honors Society and International Thespian Society, and receiving A Honor Roll and A/B Honor Roll throughout her middle school and high school years.
Psymbie’s Plans for the Future include taking the steps to meet the requirement for becoming a dermatologist physician's assistant, and living debt free and making six figures.
"I would like to thank my mom for the support she’s given throughout the past 9 years that I've been playing. I would like to thank Coach Gunn and Coach Kelly for introducing me to volleyball, and helping me grow in the sport. And a special thanks to God for allowing me to have good health through the years so I can play, and allowing all these special people to become my mentors throughout high school."
ABOUT BRIANNA COOPER
Brianna’s Athletic Achievements include playing OCP volleyball for 8 years. She recently received an All-Tournament Player selection at the Lake Mary Prep Tournament this year. Running Track & Field for 6 years where she was recognized as TRACK RUNNER OF THE YEAR. And this winter, she will be playing soccer for a second year.
Brianna's Academic Achievements include A/B Honor Roll for all 4 years of high school, induction into the National Society for High School Scholars, and future induction into the National Honor Society.
Brianna's Plans for the Future include attending Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), where she will study to become a veterinarian, or study criminal justice.
"I would like to thank God first for allowing me to stay healthy and continue to play the sport I love... My mom for all the time and money she’s invested in me and for always being my biggest supporter and hardest coach… My little brother Jayden for being at all my games, and always being my #1 fan in the stands… Last, but not least, I'd like to thank the rest of my family and friends for always showing up for me."
ABOUT AALIYAH GUNN
Aaliyah's Athletic Achievements include playing volleyball for 9 years and being named captain of the 2021 team, running Track for 4 years where she qualified for the Regionals in the 800-meter dash, playing basketball for 2 seasons and playing softball for one year.
Aaliyah's Academic Achievements include being an A/B Honor Roll student all throughout high school, and being inducted into the Junior National Honors Society
Aaliyah's Plans for the Future include joining the United States Air Force.
“I would like to give thanks to my parents for the time and money they have put into this sport, and for believing in me. I would like to thank my first volleyball coach, Coach Kelly for introducing me to the game. I want to thank my school coaches and club coaches for their time spent. Special thanks to my sister Aalyssa for being my best friend on and off the court. Thanks to my mom for everything she’s done and for being my coach throughout the years. Last, but not least, a HUGE thanks to God for keeping me healthy with no injuries throughout my volleyball career.”
FINISHING THE REGULAR SEASON
The Warriors were unable to win the match against Forest Lake, dropping 3 sets 25-15, 25-15 and 25-19. The team went on the road and defeated CFCA to snap a 3-game losing streak the next night in 3 sets, 25-14, 25-19, 25-20.
Unfortunately, the Lady Warriors were unable to finish the regular season with a win as they lost to Mt. Dora Christian Academy in three sets, 25-17, 25-16, and 25-17.
On the positive side, OCP finished with a 12-10 record, which was the best win percentage since 2017. And 12 wins was the most since 2012 when OCP finished the season 17-9.
The Lady Warriors host Regional Quarterfinals against the ICS Comets.