PREP VOLLEYBALL: ‘It has been a life-changing experience’: Hanceville’s Bentley Childers talks sophomore season

Hanceville’s Bentley Childers. (Courtesy of Bentley Childers)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. — Hanceville sophomore volleyball player Bentley Childers just completed her second season on the JV team and has enjoyed the experience so far. She has learned a lot of important things from a great group of teammates.

“It has been a wonderful experience playing and being a part of the Hanceville volleyball program. All of my coaches were very encouraging and believed in my skills and my potential to be the best athlete I can be,” Childers said. “It has been a life-changing experience playing with a talented group of girls. Each and every one of them I have played with have all taught me something valuable about the game of volleyball or life in general. I have learned that you can’t be a good team without good team chemistry and love for the game.”

Bentley feels so blessed to be playing under coaches Candice Grochowalski and Morgan Hammock and has soaked up as much as she can from both of them so far.

“They are both great coaches. What I have learned from coach Grochowalski is that no matter what obstacles are in your way, if you want it bad enough, you’ll work hard to get to what you want. What I’ve learned from coach Hammock is that you can’t have a bad attitude after a bad play, or you’ll continue to make bad plays. You have to learn from it and do better on the next play.”

Bentley got to play with some great upperclassmen on the JV team and took away so much from them.

“Destiny Warren, Jasmine McDonald, Kaitlyn Hurter, and Kimberly Chavez were really sweet girls and very encouraging. What I learned from Destiny is that no matter how long you’ve been away from the game, you can work hard and be one of the best players on the team. Jasmine taught me to always have fun and have a good laugh. What I learned from Kaitlyn is how being encouraging can take you a very long way in life. Kimberly taught me that you can be a great player at more than one position and be just as good at those positions.”

She has seen so much improvement in her performance ever since she started playing in the eighth grade. She will continue to work on her game in the offseason in preparation for next season. She talked about her goals and the team goals for the 2024 season.

“I have seen so much improvement in my performance since the eighth grade. I think I have improved the most on my defensive skills. I will continue to work on my hitting and digging skills, so I can be used as a utility athlete, if needed, to get ready for next season,” she said. “My goals are to be the best athlete I can and the most positive on the court at all times. The team goals are to make a good reputation for the Hanceville volleyball program and to not have negative attitudes.”

Bentley talked about what made this team special to be around, the best advice that someone has ever given her, her role models in volleyball, and how important it is to be a role model for the younger girls.

“What made this team special to be around is the all-around love and bond we have for each other. It was like one big family,” she said. “My dad has always told me, ever since I was little, while playing sports, ‘Look good, feel good, play good.’ This advice has stuck with me since I was around the age of four, and that’s one thing I believe I will always live by. My role models in volleyball are Kayley Kahler and Alivia White. They were both really sweet and encouraging to me my freshman year. They are both wonderful volleyball players and wonderful girls overall.”

She added,

“To me, it’s very important, because the younger girls watching us all play are all looking up to us and are wanting to be like us. They are watching how we react to certain situations, how we play, and how we treat other players and people on the court.”

Bentley learned a lot about herself and this team that will help them out next year.

“I have learned that some of the girls I play with look up to me, and my attitude can affect how the whole team’s attitude will be and how we will play. Now that I know my attitude on the court matters to how good we all play, I will continue to have a good attitude, and this will help our team’s attitude and performance be better as a whole.”

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