Keywords: has been.
This year, the Lady Trailblazers are off to a 4-1 start in league play, good enough for second place behind front-running Dobyns-Bennett. And Boone pushed D-B to five games before losing a tough one earlier this season.
Head coach Chelsea Spivey said the key element to early success was what happened before the season started.
“Our team worked extremely hard during the offseason to get to where it is,” said Spivey, whose squad is 11-2 overall. “They have a lot of heart for the game.”
Spivey, a former Gate City, Virginia, standout, is in her fourth season leading the Boone program. That means she started with this year’s group of seniors.
“These seniors were my first group of freshmen,” said Spivey. “We went from trying to compete to win a single game to having a winning season so far. Our team is being led by some great girls who have really stepped up into the leadership role.”
Spivey has just nine players on the varsity, and she said they each have their place and role.
Leading the way are seniors Mackenzie Carrier (outside hitter) Makayla Ledford (setter), Lindsey Laughrun (middle hitter), Sara Humphrey (middle hitter) and Jada Bledsoe (defensive specialist).
Laughrun missed last year with a torn Achilles, but Spivey said she’s back to form. Also, Spivey said Humphrey has stepped up her game, and Bledsoe has become a top-notch passer on the back row.
The juniors are Kaylee Rabun, Kaitlin Harville, Whitney Sams and Victoria Barnett.
“We run a 6-2, and with Kaylee and Makayla that has worked great for us,” said Spivey. “They are both phenomenal setters, and they can both hit as well. So we are always ready to set our hitters even when our setters are taken out by defense. They have both worked extremely hard, and it shows.”
Spivey said she believes Boone can make this a special season.
“I think our team is definitely capable of being on top this season,” she said. “Our conference is extremely tough. We’re all neck and neck right now. Any game any night can be a five-gamer. There have been so many games where a team is up two games, and the other team comes back to win the next three. So it’s definitely a fun year for everyone.”
Fun, with a dash of competitiveness, that is.
“I think our team is in competition for the title,” said Spivey.