Saturday was an emotional afternoon in the La Cueva High School gym as the volleyball team honored four seniors who played their last home game for the Bears and the team presented longtime local volleyball coach Fred Ader with a check for the money the program raised to help aid in his fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Ader, who has been involved in the Albuquerque volleyball community for nearly three decades, was diagnosed with ALS, a terminal degenerative disease of the nervous system that affects muscles and the body’s ability to function, this summer. Earlier this month, La Cueva held a “Wear Pink or Red for Fred” fundraiser during its game against Eldorado.
Before Saturday’s game against Sandia, the volleyball team presented Ader with a check for $8,000 that was raised through raffles and bake sales.
Ader was born in Hawaii and retired in Albuquerque after a lengthy career in the Air Force. He is a father and a grandfather. Along with his wife Patty, Ader has run Albuquerque Rebels Volleyball Club for 22 years. He has coached 200- 300 La Cueva players, according to La Cueva head coach Steve Archibeque, including senior Ella Sanders, who had Ader walk out with her and her parents during the senior day ceremony.
“I know that the La Cueva club as well as the Albuquerque volleyball community has been very helpful and very supportive,” Ader said. “And I know that by spending so much time on the court with these student-athletes that they’re going to do wonderful things in their lives and become really good people.”