PREP SPORTS: ‘Leave everything on the court’: Fairview’s Laci Segrest recaps junior year

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Fairview’s Laci Segrest. (Courtesy of Laci Segrest)

FAIRVIEW, Ala. – In this interview I talked to Fairview junior Laci Segrest about her junior season on the volleyball court and competing in track & field. Laci shared some of what she learned and talked about what it was like playing alongside some great teammates in both sports.

“Even though we still have a lot of work to do when it comes to our relationships on and off the court, I felt like we did a lot better with that aspect towards the end of the season and I intend for us to be even closer this year as our team is made up of seniors. What I learned from this past season is how to not try to fix things that are out of my control and play the game that I love. I also learned to not be so hard on myself and the only thing that can make me better as an athlete is my mental game, which is the most important part in my opinion,” Segrest said. “It took a while to get along with a lot of these girls and be the best teammate I can be. Even though we don’t have the closest relationship off the court, I try my best to have a strong and honest relationship when it comes to the game that we all love. The chemistry has definitely gotten a little better as we’ve played on the team for three years. I’ve learned to create a different bond with each and every one of these girls and I hope to achieve great things with them during my last high school season.”

Laci has learned so much during her time on varsity so far and from head coach Katie Ball.

“I learned that varsity volleyball is very different than JV volleyball in many different ways. When it comes to varsity, I think you have to hold yourself to a higher standard than others. You are representing yourself, your coaches, and your school as a whole. And in my last few years, I have learned to cherish every moment I can when it comes to the world of volleyball and so much more. Not many people get the opportunity to further their athletic career in college. I have learned, in order to make that dream happen, I have to work on my skills mentally and athletically. It has been hard saying goodbye to the past seniors that I have made a strong bond with. With this being my final year, I am the one to say goodbye, so I will cherish this year and work my hardest.”

She added,

“Coach Ball has taught me so much. She mostly taught me how to deal with the game mentally. She would also help me with my problems off the court if needed. She also taught me to leave everything on the court. She stresses that there are many people who are willing to work harder than you to earn that top spot. That is what pushes me every game/practice. I have learned to be the person that works the hardest on my team, no matter what. She has a very friendly relationship with us, but when it’s crunch time, she is just as focused as us, if not more. She pushes the team to the limit and teaches us that we have so much talent within our team, and we just have to learn what to do with it. I love coach Ball and I am super excited for my last season.”

Laci had a blast playing with some great seniors in the past and soaked up as much as she could from them, including Jaycee Aleman.

“As I watched them play, I learned how hard they worked to get to where they are. The person I looked up to the most was Daisy Manasco. No matter where she was playing volleyball, whether it was in practice or in an important game, she always worked her hardest and was the best teammate. But not just her, the whole senior class of 2021. They taught me a lot and I held myself at a higher expectation, because I wanted to be like them when it came time for my senior year,” Segrest said. “Jaycee had many mental challenges and the whole team tried to keep her up through the time she was on the court. She definitely got a lot better throughout the season and brought something different to the table. What I learned from her is to cherish my moment as a senior.”

Laci will work on some things to get ready for next season. She talked about her goals and the team goals, plus what will make this team special to watch.

“I will continue to work on my mental game and my relationships with my teammates,” she said. “My individual goals are to put in the hard work and get a full athletic scholarship. My team goal is to make it to state this year. We have a few newcomers to the varsity team, but I think it’ll be interesting because the whole team is pretty much made up of seniors. Each and every one of us have our own special talent and we communicate on the court in very interesting ways.”

Laci achieved a lot during track-and-field season and she talked about what she learned. She was around some great people on the team and soaked up as much as she could from them, including this year’s senior, Jacob Hankins.

“I achieved many things last year. I won county, sectionals, and placed third at state for shot put. I learned that if you put in the work while you are able to, great things will come of it,” she said. “The track team is made up of people I would’ve never thought I would become friends with. I have made many great relationships with these people that I cherish. Our only senior, Jacob Hankins, worked his hardest every chance he had. He became one of my closest friends over a short period of time.”

She added,

“I learned that the last year of doing something you love can be hard, but that just means you have to work even harder than the last year to make everything worth it. Being around this team this year made me realize who is willing to work the hardest. I spend my time with the people who value these moments and are willing to work just as hard as I do to achieve great things.”

Laci took away so much from head coach Whitney Haynes and she’ll continue to work in the offseason to get ready for next season. She has some goals set for herself and the team.

“My head coach, Whitney Haynes, is the best track coach I could ask for. She pushes her kids to their limits and reassures us of our greatness. She helps us learn what to do with our talent. She never lets us slack off at practice and she is always there to help,” she said. “I will continue to push my teammates along with myself. My individual goal is to win state for shot put next season. And for the team goal, I hope to work hard enough to win county.”

Laci thinks next season will be a very special one for the track-and-field team. She talked about her role models growing up, plus the best advice that she was ever given.

“What will make us so special to watch this upcoming season is this team is filled with so much talent and we will look to achieve great things next season,” she said. “My track role model is Chasey Poosp. She is a female shot putter and she continues to set records for herself. As for volleyball, I mostly look up to Asjia O’Neal. She works hard every day, and she now plays for the USA women’s volleyball team after playing for the Texas Longhorns, who went on to win the national championship.”

She added,

“The only person that is going to put in the work is you. I get told this every day and it helped me realize that if I don’t put in the effort, I will not achieve my dreams.”