With the middle of the 2019-2020 high school season approaching, members of the Sequoyah Volleyball team have proven themselves as a promising force so far. With the introduction of the ninth-grade athletes into the program, the Chiefs have a lot to look forward to in the upcoming years.
Freshman libero, Skylar Martin, has entered her first year as a Chief. Martin has high expectations for the Chiefs’ progression throughout the next few seasons.
“There is a lot of talent this year in the program,” Martin said. “And it is expected that the talent will continue for the years to come.”
Martin believes that she, along with the other three freshmen on the varsity squad, has a lot to offer to the program in their ninth-grade year.
“All four freshman bring a high volleyball IQ to the table with a lot of experience playing at the top level,” Martin said. “We all play four distinct positions which should add a lot of consistency to the court.”
Martin, throughout her four-year volleyball career, has found much success on the court. As a highly experienced, decorated athlete, Martin brings a winning mindset to the program.
“The past two years, I have won back to back USAV beach volleyball national championships,” Martin said. “Three years ago, I won the ROX beach national championship with one of my freshman teammates, Taylor Pecht.”
With all the young talent in the program this year, Coach John Edwards, the head volleyball coach for the varsity squad, believes that there is still room to improve. Edwards believes that there are always more ways to contribute to the team’s success.
“This year’s freshman class is talented, but it will take a hard-working mindset in order to realize their talent’s full potential,” Edwards said. “Everyone has to find how they can contribute to the team, whether it is on the court or off, and each player can always improve themselves as players and teammates.”
Edwards believes that the older, more experienced players within the program play a vital role in the development of the younger athletes. So far, according to Edwards, they have filled that role successfully.
“Our upperclassmen have done a fine job of bringing in the freshman and working with them on how we do things as a program,” Edwards said. “The continued leadership is essential in what we will get to do as a program moving forward.”
Paige Powers, a junior outside hitter for the Chiefs, has emerged as one of the leaders of the team going into her third year in the program. So far, she has taken a more vocal, optimistic approach to developing her younger teammates.
“This season I have been working on staying positive and making sure I am constantly talking on the court hoping they will catch on,” Powers said.
Powers, who has been to the playoffs twice already in her brief high school career, knows what it takes for a team to be successful. She hopes that the freshmen will continue to make contributions towards the team’s success.
“I hope throughout the season they learn to keep high energy and stay consistent,” Powers said. “They have had a huge impact on our team which I think is the reason why we’ve been successful so far. I expect us to improve and get better throughout the season.”
As the 2019-2020 season progresses, the Chiefs are working to make it a year to remember. Many key pieces within the program, including the coaching staff and the upperclassmen, are playing their role in developing the highly touted freshmen group of athletes.