The Extra Mile
Team Recognizes Bus Driver For Special Efforts
Jim Schrader has been a full-time bus driver for Jamestown Public Schools for five years, and for the last three he has made every effort to support the volleyball program in the district. He’s not originally from Jamestown as he graduated from Lancaster Central School, but while his home has changed, his love for Volleyball is unwavered all these years later.
The Girls Volleyball team finished the season with a losing record of 3-11 and the JV team finished 7-7. While wins and losses fluctuated the last few years, Schrader’s presence hasn’t and has been along for the ride. Oftentimes Schrader would trade bus obligations with other drivers to ensure he drove the girls. Or at transportation meetings, he would make every attempt to be scheduled to drive the team to games. He even went as far as requesting off certain days from his other part-time job so that he had zero-conflicting duties.
“I don’t know if there’s a reason other than my love of volleyball,” Schrader said as to why he has supported the team at these lengths.
Additionally, Schrader knows several of the varsity and JV players’ parents.
While the varsity girls recorded a losing record, they did, however, earn their first away win during their tenure playing at JHS, and Schrader was in attendance.
“He was the most excited person in the stands because he got to see the varsity team win on the road,” said Kourtney Ames, volleyball coach, about the team win at West Seneca West.
“He was cheering for the girls and always made sure (they knew) he was proud of them.”
Schrader said the drive home from the West Seneca West game was the loudest the girls had every been throughout the three years.
After the senior night game, Schrader provided gifts to the graduating students who had been driving to games for the last three years. In return, the team honored Schrader at the sports banquet and provided him with a custom shirt signifying is role with the team.
“I just thought it was really great how invested (Jim was) and how happy that we would get from him coming and watching our tournaments all day and all of our games,” said Alexa Bloomquist, senior and co-captain.
For the seniors Schrader provided gifts for, he has been their primary driver for the last three years. While he wasn’t able to trade shifts to drive them to every game over that period of time, this year, however, he accomplished just that. He drove the girls to every away game except for one that was scheduled at Dunkirk High School. DHS was forced to forfeit for unrelated reasons, but the cancellation ensured that Schrader didn’t miss a game.
“He’s just a very kind person and we really got to know him as the season went on,” said Karleigh Haines, senior and co-captain. “I’m surprised he dealt with us for as long as he did, to be honest. We’re kind of loud and crazy sometimes.”
But according to Schrader, the girls volleyball team are “angels” compared to other sports teams. Schrader said the praise from the team was “nice to hear,” but he was quick to humble himself.
“I don’t want it to go to my head though,” said the bus driver who didn’t miss a game this year.
Now, Schrader is set to drive for winter and spring sports when they make their rounds. But for the volleyball program and players, excluding the seniors, Schrader said he’ll “see them next year.”