VOLLEYBALL SPOTLIGHT: THARPTOWN WILDCATS
Tharptown volleyball is coming off one the school’s best seasons in recent memory. This past year the Wildcats won 14 games and went undefeated on their home court until the last game of the season, and the program had its first college signee.
All that success is typically the result of senior leadership. That was the case for Tharptown. Now, with those seniors gone, Coach Kamri Fleming is looking to rebuild her program.
“We are returning one starter from last year’s team, Karrah Nichols, an eighth-grader,” said Fleming. “We return two more players, Kyndall Morgan and Grace Beard, who received a great amount of minutes as well.
“Karrah plays way beyond her age,” Fleming added. “She’s a great passer and has a super hard serve.”
Despite her team’s youth and inexperience, Fleming said she has been impressed by their ability to adjust and learn quickly.
“The biggest thing that has impressed me this summer is my younger girls’ ability to adapt to the varsity level of play so quickly,” said Fleming. “Nine of my 12 girls were either on junior high or JV last year and came up to varsity with not a ton of varsity experience, but they have adapted really well to the change.”
One thing that gives Fleming confidence is her team’s defensive ability. “This is probably the best defensive group that I have had,” she said.
Fleming has no illusions that the rebuilding process is going to take some time, but she said she feels her team is up to the challenge.
“This is definitely going to be a rebuilding year after losing six seniors,” she said, “especially with five of those six seniors playing significant minutes. The girls are aware that we are going to face a lot of different challenges this year. I know they are capable of facing those challenges head on and learning from, and overcoming, every setback.”
Tharptown competes in Class 2A in an area with Sheffield, Hatton, Mars Hill and Lexington.
Aug. 18 Phil Campbell, Away
Aug. 22 Mars Hill*/Colbert Heights, Home
Aug. 23 Hatton,*Away
Aug. 25 Belgreen, Away
Aug. 27 Colbert Heights Tournament, Away
Sept. 1 Phil Campbell/Cherokee, Home
Sept. 6 Lexington,* Away
Sept. 8 Sheffield,* Away
Sept. 10 Belgreen Tournament, Away
Sept. 13 Shoals Christian, Away
Sept. 15 Sheffield*/St. Joseph’s, Home
Sept. 19 Hatton*/Red Bay, Home
Sept. 22 Lexington,* Home
Sept. 27 Red Bay, Away
Oct. 1 Franklin County Tournament, Away
Oct. 3 Mars Hill,* Away
Oct. 4 Colbert Heights/Waterloo, Away
Oct. 6 Shoals Christian (Senior Night), Home