ADDISON, Ala. — In this interview, I talked to former Addison volleyball and basketball player, Bracie Rodgers, who graduated as this year’s salutatorian at Addison High School.
Bracie spent a lot of her time at Addison making memories with her friends on and off the court.
“Winning state is definitely an unforgettable moment. Being a part of a team and a program that’s so close is definitely a true blessing,” Rodgers said. “Another favorite memory would be watching the boys under the Friday night lights, ending with the alma mater with my classmates. Homecoming was always a busy, but exciting week. One of my favorite high school memories would definitely have to be the “Fields of Faith” hosted on our football field. It was completely student-led and so many people allowed Jesus to come into their heart that night. It was truly amazing!”
Rodgers learned an awful lot during her time at Addison and is very blessed to go to a school that will always hold a special place in her heart.
“Addison is a very close-knit school. I personally wouldn’t have it any other way,” Rodgers said. “Addison has given me so many lifelong friendships and connections. Being such a small school allows you to connect on a deeper level with so many people. Addison was everything I could ever ask for and more. The teachers and staff always pushed us to be the best possible students and loved us no matter how annoying we may have been. Addison will forever hold a very special place in my heart.”
Bracie feels fortunate to have played for a lot of great coaches in volleyball and basketball and was able to learn so much from them.
“I feel extremely blessed to have played under all the coaches at Addison. They all truly impacted my life for the better,” Rodgers said. “Coach Bailey West came into my life my ninth-grade year and then ended up having to leave after that year. She later returned for my 11th and 12th grade year, and we made it to Wallace this year, so that was very exciting! Playing for coach West was such a fun time. She definitely made me a better player on and off the court as well. Since she was also a point guard, she helped me out so much. She led us to Wallace this year, which hadn’t happened for Addison girls’ basketball for a while. Her and her husband, along with all of her family, supported us constantly and always showed us love. I am so thankful she was brought to Addison.”
Rodgers added, “I have had so many amazing volleyball coaches throughout the years. Coach Kaydi Woodward came my 11th grade year. She truly helped me to gain my confidence and made me a better person all while coaching us to a state championship win my 11th and 12th grade year. Coach Woody Smothers was a huge part of my athletic career at Addison though. Honestly, he probably frustrated me more than any coach, but only because he cared. He doubled as our workout/speed coach and track coach. He always pushed me to be the absolute best I could be. I’m not going to lie, there were days when I didn’t think I could go anymore. He always uplifted me to in every way possible and truly made a big impact on my athletic career. Addison coaches are hands down the best.”
Bracie will miss her time at Addison and talked about some of her funniest memories.
“When I think of Addison, I will remember the people- teachers, staff, fellow classmates, other students- and how no matter what, they were always there for me. They always showed me love, and all the great memories Addison gave me. That’s what I will miss the most,” Rodgers said. “One of the funniest memories would definitely have to be this little stuffed animal our senior class named Lenny. The juniors would hide him, and we would find him every day, so it kind of just became a joke. Another funny memory was when one of our classmates, Mac Cagle, told our English teacher God told him it was okay to not write his paper. We all got a good laugh out of that one.”
Rodgers’ faith is important to her, and she gave some advice to those students that are fixing to start high school this upcoming year.
“My advice would be to cherish every single moment. Never take anything for granted. Treasure your time in high school with your friends because when it’s over, it’s over,” Rodgers said. “I personally loved high school and would go back tomorrow if I could. Above all though, seek God first. Philippians 4:13 tells us that ALL things are possible through Him. So, to all upcoming high schoolers, let your mom take those pictures because you will be thankful one day. Never give up no matter how hard it gets, and always put God first!”
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