PREP SPORTS: ‘Remember your why’: Cold Springs’ Ella Bruer reflects on Eagle years

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Cold Springs’ Ella Bruer. (Ella Bruer)

BREMEN, Ala. — Cold Springs senior Ella Bruer had an amazing basketball career and made so many great memories during her years playing for the Eagles. She got to play with a lot of great teammates and they all enjoyed the experience together.

“My favorite memories would definitely be going to the state tournament with my team two years in a row. The car rides to Birmingham, staying in the hotels, and just the atmosphere of our team growing as a family was by far my favorite. Making it to the state tournament two years in a row was truly an experience. We knew we had to stay focused, but we also wanted to have some fun. The group of girls I got to experience that with were amazing. You couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls to have out there on the court with you. I know we came up short both years, but I loved every second of playing with those girls. They never gave up and always gave their best.”

Bruer added,

“I learned that you are never going to be handed an opportunity like that. You have to work for it. Being an athlete is hard, but you learn some very valuable life lessons during those times. I learned that everyone in my community is still going to be proud of me, even if I messed up during the game, or that we lost. I will always have a community behind me that loves me and is proud of me.”

She got an amazing opportunity to play for head coach Tammy West and soaked up so much from her during her career.

“I loved playing for coach West. Growing up, I had dreamt of playing for a state championship. When I started playing for her, I knew one day, I was going to make that happen. She is an amazing coach on and off the court, and she grew a relationship with us off the court. I will always be grateful for that relationship,” Bruer said. “I learned how to always be the best I can be. I learned how to be a better person on and off the court, and always be respectful to others. I will mostly remember the memories, but I will remember the friendships and the family that I made with the girls I played with. I will definitely miss playing with my best friends and that feeling in the locker room after we had won a game,” she said. “My 10th grade year, I wanted to quit basketball, because I hated it, then coach West told me to remember your why. I had to remember why I played basketball in the first place, and I stuck with that. I continued to play and gradually, as the year went on, it got better, and I gained my love back for the sport. That advice helped me out a lot. It helped me pushed myself, even when things got hard, and it helped me gain my confidence back. I got a tattoo in her handwriting, since she’s the one that mentioned it, and stuck with it throughout the season, making it our motto.”

She talked about some of her favorite games that she was a part of and how blessed she felt to be with her teammates.

“Some of my favorite games were the state championship my junior year, the regional championship this year, our first game playing in our new gym, and when we played West Point at their place this year. It was their Senior Night, and we just had some injuries on our team and lost to them in the county tournament. We went there and beat them,” she said. “This team was just a bundle of joy. I was close with everyone on our team. We never had drama. If we had a problem, we put it aside, because we knew we had to be close to play good together. We always had a good time on the court, goofing off in practice and just being on the court together having fun in games.”

She talked about some of her favorite high school memories and why Cold Springs will always hold a special place in her heart.

“Some of my favorite high school memories were during homecoming week, when we did our class lip sync. In 10th grade, we had parties every Friday in one of our classes, so those were always fun,” she said. “The people really have had an effect on this place. Cold Springs just feels like home. Everyone knows everyone, and we’re all just like a big family. Just knowing that I had a whole community supporting me in everything I did make it the best part of being an Eagle. I will always remember the friendships and family I’ve made at CSH, and I will definitely miss playing basketball the most,” she said. “My role models in basketball were definitely Mrs. West and Mrs. Adams, and then growing up, I wanted to be like Camryn Crider, who graduated a few years ago from Cold Springs. In school, my role model would have to be my older sister, Madison.”

Off the court, Ella was in a few clubs at Cold Springs and enjoyed every second of that experience. She also received a couple of scholarships and felt blessed that her hard work paid off.

“I was the president of the Student Council. I was also in the National Honor Society, and the 1936 Club. It was an honor to be a part of those clubs. Just being a part of something at Cold Springs outside of sports was just a fun experience being with friends and doing community service,” she said. “I received the Applied Technology Future Foundation Scholarship, and The Cullman Savings Bank scholarship. It felt good receiving those scholarships. I was truly honored to receive them.”

She learned so much about herself during her time at Cold Springs and gave some advice to those students that will be starting high school in August.

“I’ve learned that I can be a leader and impact people’s lives just by doing the little things. I have learned mostly that I personally love to help others more than I do myself,” she said. “I would say, don’t try to please everyone else. Find your group and stick with them. Don’t focus on what other people think about you and be yourself. My advice to them is to always push through. It will get hard, but you have to keep working. Every chance you get, you have to prove you want to be there. Always give your best, even when you want to give up, and keep a positive attitude. You’re a family, so you have to prove you can work together with them to be great. What I want people to remember about me is that I always tried my best. Even when we were down, I was doing whatever it took to keep my team up and to not get down.”

Ella played alongside her younger sister, Hollyn, during her last two seasons and made so many great memories with her in the process.

“Getting to make those experiences and memories was amazing, but getting to do it with my sister was even better,” Bruer said. “Getting to be a part of one of my sister’s biggest dreams just makes it feel so much more special to me. Knowing that I got to make an impact in her life by being a part of those dreams will always hold a very special place in my heart. I’m so grateful I got to experience it with her.”

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