PREP SPORTS: ‘Set a good example for everyone on the team’: Vinemont’s Mabry Thompson recaps junior year

Vinemont’s Mabry Thompson. (Courtesy of Mabry Thompson)

VINEMONT, Ala. — The Vinemont Lady Eagles had a solid volleyball season and junior Mabry Thompson learned so much about that year. She got to play alongside some great players and seniors and learned some things from them as well.

“We had a great team and I think the season went pretty well. Even though we had some tough losses, we fought hard throughout the season and gave it our all. I learned that we need to have each other’s back, no matter what, and we always need to play as a team. We had to leave the last game on the court and show up to every game not knowing what to expect. The outcome is always different depending on how hard you play,” Thompson said. “I loved last year’s team. I’m really going to miss our seniors and how they contributed to our team. Whenever we played together, we were amazing.”

She added,

“I loved our seniors. I got really close to Emilie Hoffman throughout the years of playing with her and I’m going to miss all of them. They were good teammates and each of them gave it their all when they stepped on the court. They set really good examples and showed me how to be a good leader.”

Mabry soaked up as much as she could from head coach Lance Lay and she talked about her experience playing on varsity so far.

“He’s a good coach. He was really dedicated to our team. I learned how to play as a teammate and not for yourself,” Thompson said. “Varsity is so much more fast-paced than JV. I have learned that if you so much as blink during a play, you can miss the ball. You have to be able to move your feet much faster on varsity than on JV or even middle school. You have to commit to the sport to be able to keep up with your opponents.”

She will continue to work on her game as she prepares for next season, and she talked about her goals for herself and for the team. She hopes this upcoming season will be a very special one for Vinemont.

“I will work on moving my feet, playing for the team and not myself, and not dwelling on my mistakes,” she said. “Individually, I want to enjoy my last season playing volleyball. Team goals are to make it farther than we ever have in Regionals, and maybe take home the trophy. I think this year’s team is going to be good. We have a lot of underclassmen that got moved up, so I think it will be exciting to watch how we all play together.”

Mabry saw some good growth from the younger players in the spring and on the softball field as well and took away some good things from that season. She feels blessed to play with some young, talented girls.

“This past season was definitely a tough one. We had some seventh graders that got moved up to varsity. Even with the adversity, we improved so much over the course of the season, and I was so proud of all my little babies. We might not have had the best record, but I think this year we are going to be amazing. I learned to be patient, to overcome your mistakes, keep playing the next play, and not dwell on it,” she said. “It was amazing. I’m the youngest sibling in my family and these girls felt like my little sisters. I loved seeing them improve over the span of the season.”

Mabry will deeply miss playing with seniors Berkley Gable and Angela Harris; she learned so much from them. She also learned some things from her coaches as well and she has seen her game improve during her time playing on varsity so far.

“I loved being on the team with them and I’m going to miss them so much. I learned how to encourage the younger players and how to set a good example for everyone on the team,” she said. “Our coaches all really cared about us and made sure we played our hearts out. They all taught me to not give up and not to dwell on mistakes. My hitting improved a ton over the season. My fielding improved a good bit as well.”

Mabry will work on a very important thing in the offseason as she prepares for next season. She talked about her goals for the upcoming season and what will make this team special to watch.

“I will definitely work on my fielding,” she said. “Team goals are to have a good season and make it further in area. Individually, I want to enjoy every moment of my senior year. Personally, if I was sitting in the stands and learned that we had such a young team, I would be very impressed.”

Mabry talked about a very special role model that she looked up to in both sports and the best advice that someone ever gave her.

“I looked up to Emilie Hoffman. She played softball up until last year. She was amazing at both sports and gave it her all,” she said. “The best advice that someone ever gave me was to enjoy every moment of it, because it flies by in a heartbeat.”

Copyright 2023 Humble Roots, LLC. All Rights Reserved.