Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Andrews High School’s volleyball team has seven seniors and whole bunch of young players, and head coach Kathy Stewart is excited going into the season.
“They’re coming along,” Stewart said. “Their energy level is up. They look like they play well together. I’m looking forward to a good season. I’ve got some really good leadership.”
Team captains this year are seniors Brooks Cribb, Shemeika McCray and Whitney Garrett.
Cribb has the most volleyball experience of the three, she’s been playing for six years. McCray and Garrett have been playing for three.
Cribb said everybody is “all in” this year, even in practice.
“We have a lot of youth that’s willing to step up and do it big. Some of our youngest players are the ones who are starting and we have a lot of players on this team who are willing to step up and be a leader. Everybody’s willing to be a leader this year.”
“We look good,” Garrett said. “It’s most of our first time playing together as a team so we have to adjust with different people in different positions. But I think we’re ready.”
McCray said she and the other captains have to be the “biggest person on the team” and help the younger players learn from their mistakes and have the right attitude.
“We just have to stay focused and play as a team like how hard we play in practice,” McCray said. “We’ve just got to bring it to each game. Every game be ready to win. Have that mindset that we can beat anybody that we play.”
Stewart said she is “looking for some big leadership” from her captains.
Last year the Lady Yellow Jackets finished third in the region and made the playoffs, but had to travel to Dillon where they lost.
“We did not play up to what we should have played. I was real disappointed,” Stewart said. “I feel like we should have given Dillon more of a game than what we did.”
This year Lake City has left the region and was replaced by Johnsonville, which has won several state titles.
“That’s always going to be a challenge,” Stewart said. “It’s a tough region … [but] I think we’ll make top four.”
McCrary is confident.
“We’re taking [a state title] home this year,” she said.
While Stewart has her mind on this season, she is always coaching and building toward the future.
“We’re hitting harder than we’ve ever hit the ball since I’ve been at Andrews High School,” she said. “That’s showing me something. We’re getting there. You’ll see a lot in the future.”