PREP VOLLEYBALL: ‘Help the younger ones reach their full potential’: Hanceville’s Karys Henderson recaps junior season

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Hanceville’s Karys Henderson. (Dominic Sterling)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Hanceville’s volleyball team improved a lot this season and junior Karys Henderson was one of several players that put together a solid year. She talked about this past season, what all she learned, what it was like to play with a great group of girls and what she learned from the seniors.

“This was the best year that I have experienced so far. As a team, we put in hours of practice, and I think that helped us improve so much throughout the season. I learned some new skills, discipline, and how to work with girls that I haven’t played with before,” Henderson said. “We had our ups and down this season, but ultimately, we came together and worked hard as a team to accomplish big things. I’m so thankful to have gotten the chance to become friends with all of my teammates. They taught me how to be encouraging, reliable, and confident. It was great to watch our seniors use their skills and lead our team. All in all, I have some big shoes to fill. One of the seniors, my good friend, Charity, helped me in becoming confident while playing. I’m going to miss being on the team with all of our seniors. From this year’s seniors, I learned how to make every practice and game count. They led by example in being big encouragers on our team. They have given all of us guidance on how to have determination for this upcoming season.”

Karys felt very blessed to get to play under first-year head coach Morgan Hammock and has already learned so much from her so far. She showed a lot of improvement from the past few seasons to now.

“Having Ms. Hammock as my coach this year was such a blessing. She cares about all of our girls on and off the court, while being a Godly influence in our lives. Playing for coach Hammock led to a year of much growth, and I can’t wait for our team to keep growing with her. One of the most important skills that she taught me was how to have a positive mindset throughout the game. She always encouraged us to set goals for ourselves individually and as a team,” she said. “From the past few seasons to now, I have improved the most with having confidence, whether that involves serving or passing the ball. I have my teammates and coach to thank for their support in helping me to become a better player.”

She was so happy to see the team improve so much from last season to now, and that will help them out a lot going into next year. She, along with the rest of the team, are already putting in the work in the offseason as they get ready for next season and talked about the goals for the 2024 season.

“Our team transformed this season. The growth has been tremendous, and I think it has shown through our determination to win games. I am excited for next year, and we are already practicing and putting in the work during the offseason. The goal for this time in between is to improve in many aspects. Some of these are strength training, volleyball skills, and endurance during games. Our team is going from workouts to training every day to prepare for next season,” she said. “A couple of my individual goals for my senior year are to become a leader and a well-rounded player. I want to push myself to be the best that I can for my team. Our focus for next season is to win more games and the county championship.”

Karys thinks that the Lady Bulldogs will be a team that will be special to watch next year and talked about one of her biggest role models growing up.

“Our team is going to be special to watch next season, because there will be so much growth, and it is already happening right now. The girls on the team have gone through a great deal of experiences with one another. We are all working together to succeed this upcoming year. Our dynamic will definitely be one to try and beat,” she said. “One of my biggest role models is Marley Wakefield, who is currently playing volleyball for Wallace State Community College. She has invested her time and effort into our program. She inspires me to work hard to achieve my goals. She has helped me immensely. This past year with Marley was very beneficial for me to become the player that I am right now.”

She talked about the best advice that someone ever gave her, and how important it is to be a role model for the younger girls that are watching her play.

“The best advice that I have received is from my dad. He always reminds me to put the Lord first, even in a volleyball game,” she said. “I would say that being a role model for the younger girls is among the most important things. It not only encourages them, but it builds a bond that lasts for years to come for our program. I can speak for all of us upcoming seniors and say that we are ready to be leaders and help the younger ones reach their full potential.”

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