Evans High School volleyball player Mary Mangum
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Evans High School volleyball coach CeCe Armstrong admits that she has a tendency to brag about her players, but when it comes to Lady Knights captain Mary Mangum, there's no need to search for superlatives.
"She's awesome on and off the court," Armstrong said of the senior. "When given the opportunity to take a leadership position, she came through."
Mangum takes her role as team captain seriously, and in addition to leading by example with solid play at her outside-hitter position, she commands respect with her fiery demeanor on the court.
"In one of our matches this year, she was talking to the team and I looked back at them and it was such a pretty sight," Armstrong said. "They were all looking up to her so attentively, like they were children waiting for orders from their mom."
When the captain talks, the troops listen, and Mangum's message in on the mark.
"I consider myself one of the most competitive players out there," she said. "I yell a lot and get very aggressive. If we lose, that's OK, because the important thing is to keep improving our technique and to use teamwork on the court."
Mangum also plays on the tennis team at Evans, and although she just took up volleyball as a sophomore, she has quickly developed her skills through dedication and hard work.
"I'm an overachiever. If I'm not at least in the top 10, I'll work hard to get there," said Mangum, who ranks fourth academically in the senior class at Evans.
"School comes first," she explains, "but I do think a lot about volleyball - rotations we can use, or how we could improve our game. My mind is on volleyball. I think we'll do well in our region this season."
Mangum plans to study pre-law in college, but for now, she is busy laying down the law with her strong play at the net.
"She doesn't have the appearance of being overly aggressive and boisterous, but she surprises the other team every time," Armstrong said. "If the other team doesn't know her, they don't realize the fire that she has."
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