Greenbrier High School volleyball coach Debbie Born subscribes to the theory that a prep squad's success hinges on its seniors.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
That holds true for the 2002 Lady Wolfpack, which is paced on the court by senior leaders Laura Schmidt, Melissa Fleming, Rachel Osborne and Ashley Bailey.
"Coach Born relies on us to keep the team together, because we're the ones with experience," Fleming said. "We help the team relax and shake off mistakes. We try to have fun, but be serious, too."
Greenbrier has been pretty serious this season, and is on course to capture a third consecutive Area (Region) 2-AAAA championship.
Each of the four seniors has a particular area of expertise: Schmidt is a power-packed outside hitter; Fleming is an unsung hero at the setter position; Osborne is a defensive specialist; and, Bailey is the team's most consistent server.
The Lady Pack has reached the 30-win plateau the past two seasons, led by Area 2 Players of the Year Sara Smith and Lindsey Sutherland. Although those stars moved on to college ball, the returning players want to keep the tradition building.
"I'm filling someone else's shoes, but I want to do an even better job," Bailey said. "The underclassmen are going to have to fill our shoes. If they keep working hard, they'll be able to."
Simply put, success has become standard at the Brierpatch.
"We are starting to make a name for ourselves," Schmidt said. "We're getting more people out for the team, more players are coming to our middle school camps. The volleyball program here at Greenbrier, and throughout the county, is definitely growing."
The seeds of hard work were planted, and the Lady Pack has tilled the fertile ground. Now the Greenbrier seniors expect to enjoy the fruit during the season's stretch run.
"This is our senior year, and I hope we can go to state and do well," Osborne said. "Even if we don't, playing for Greenbrier is awesome. I wouldn't want to be on any other team, no matter how good they are."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.