PREP SPORTS: ‘We play for each other’: West Point’s Laklin Shadix recaps 8th grade seasons

West Point’s Laklin Shadix. (Martha Needham/The Cullman Tribune)

WEST POINT, Ala. – In this interview, I talked to West Point freshman Laklin Shadix about last year’s volleyball and basketball seasons. She learned a lot playing alongside some great teammates and coaches.

“I feel last season was tough, considering we were a young team and had a new coach. I learned how to place my hits and I have also learned how important it is to be a positive teammate,” Shadix said. “It was so much fun. I have great teammates, who are very talented. They make me want to improve every day. All my teammates have a good attitude and I learned that attitudes can determine the outcome of the game.”

Laklin has taken away some things from head coach Kate Kent and from last year’s senior, Brooklynn Wells. She has seen her game improve so much from her first season on varsity until now, but still sees room for improvement.

“She is very determined and expects a lot from her players. She pushes us to be the absolute best we can be. I’ve learned to always push myself and that there is always room for improvement,” Shadix said. “I learned from Brooklynn that you can still have fun and be serious. I feel like I have definitely matured, and I’ve had to learn many new skills. I feel I have improved since my first year. I will work on placing my hits and pressing on a block.”

Laklin talked about the goals for this upcoming season and what will make this team special to watch.

“My individual goals are to win All-County and All-Area. My team goals are to get better throughout the season, win county, and make it to state,” she said. “We have great chemistry and are really good friends on and off the field, so it makes us play that much better. We also don’t play just for ourselves; we play for each other.”

The Lady Warriors had another successful basketball season as they won yet another area championship and made another trip to Sub-Regionals. Laklin saw a lot of improvement from last year’s team and learned some things from that year. She looks up to a lot of the players on the team and they have helped her a lot along the way and learned a very important thing from head coach John Welborn.

“I think we definitely improved a lot last season. I learned to push through adversity and it’s not about how you start a season; it’s how you finish,” she said. “I am the youngest, but I have a lot of players on the team that I look up to and they have always encouraged me to play my best. Coach Welborn has high expectations for his players and pushes us to be our best, because he knows our potential as a team and individually. I have learned that you should never have an off day on defense, because defense is all about effort.”

Laklin has seen so much improvement from her first year on varsity until now, but she will continue to work on her game in the offseason as she gets ready for next season. She has some goals set for herself and for the team this upcoming season.

“I think I have improved a lot, in all different aspects. I have improved in my confidence in the ways I see the court and in shooting. I will continue to work on my ball-handling, shooting, and becoming a more efficient player,” she said. “My individual goals are to get All-County, All-Area, get on the All-State team, and to grow stronger as a player. My team goals are to communicate more, win area, and make it to Wallace this year.”

West Point will bring everyone back from last year’s team and Laklin thinks that this season will be a very special one for the Lady Warriors. She talked about a role model she has looked up to growing up and the best advice that someone ever gave her.

“We didn’t have any seniors last year, so we have the exact same team. We all have improved tremendously since last year, so we should have a really good season,” she said. “My role model has always been Dennis Shadix, my poppa. He is the most positive person I know, and always makes the best out of any situation. Someone once told me, ‘Dreams remain dreams until you take action. Without action, a dream is just an idea’.

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