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Double-duty cheerleaders

Darrell and Camille Smith have a problem. The Sacred Heart couple enjoy watching their granddaughters play for the Yellow Medicine East and Renville County West volleyball teams. But now the teams square off in the quartrerfinals of Section 3AA-N...

Darrell and Camille Smith have a problem. The Sacred Heart couple enjoy watching their granddaughters play for the Yellow Medicine East and Renville County West volleyball teams. But now the teams square off in the quartrerfinals of Section 3AA-North at 7:15 p.m. today in Bird Island.

One other granddaughter is an assistant coach for RCW.

"We either cheer a lot for both teams or we sit on our hands," laughed Camille. "We hated when we saw they had to play each other in the first round."

Two of Darrell and Camille's daughters have players on the YME team. Emily Balfany, a sophomore middle hitter, is the daughter of Lucy and Todd Balfany. And Amanda and Mitch McKay have three daughters starting on the team -- Mallory, a senior setter; Megan, a sopohomore libero; and Macy, a freshman right-side hitter.

Darrel and Camille's son, Phil, and his wife, Robin (Schuler) Smith, have two daughters involved with the RCW team. Sally is a junior setter and Heather (Smith) Bigler, a two-time All-Area setter for RCW, is now an assistant coach.

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YME and RCW played each other in a non-conference match to cap the regular season on Oct. 20. RCW (12-14) prevailed in four games in that match over YME (14-8-1).

RCW is seeded third to YME's sixth based on a tougher schedule that included a five-game victory over Class AAA defending state champion Marshall earlier in the year.

"We're proud of them as athletes," said Camille. "But we're equally proud of them in the classroom, too. They're all good students."

The granddaughters all come from athletic backgrounds.

Mitch McKay was a 1983 Hengstler-Ranweiler nominee from Clara City. Amanda was a starter on the 1984-85 Renville-Sacred Heart volleyball team and a three-sport athlete. Lucy Balfany started on the Sacred Heart volleyball team in 1979-80 and was also a three-sport athlte. Todd Balfany was a member of the 1977 state champion Granite Falls football team.

Phil Smith was a three-sport athlete at Sacred Heart, graduating in 1979, and Robin was a three-sport athlete at Granite Falls, where she graduated in 1980.

The Smith have been frequent guests at the Tribune's Hengstler-Ranweiler banquest with three daughters having been nominees -- Heather in 2001, Heidi in 2005 and Sarah in 2003.

"It's been a great family rivalry," said Mitch McKay. "It's all in fun and we are proud of each and every one of them."

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