Young Wildcats looking to build off area championship
by Jordan Smith
Oct 24, 2013 | 1722 views |  0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Saks volleyball coach Randy Law talks to his players during practice Thursday. (Photo by Bill Wilson)
Saks volleyball coach Randy Law talks to his players during practice Thursday. (Photo by Bill Wilson)
Randy Law entered this volleyball season knowing his Saks Wildcats had their work cut out for them.

Saks entered the 2013 season having lost six seniors from the 2012 team that advanced to the Class 3A North Super Regional tournament as the Area 10 runner-up.

Despite being littered with youth, the 2013 Wildcats have accomplished something the 2012 team did not. They clinched the Class 3A, Area 10 championship on Monday.

“We’ve got some really good athletes,” Law said. “When we went to Gadsden this summer, that’s what Gadsden State’s coach was talking about, how athletic we are. You put that together with their drive and desire. They don’t like to lose.”

Taylor West is one of the six seniors Saks had to replace. Law referred to her as “such a strong leader.”

“A lot of these girls, they looked up to her,” Law said. “They modeled themselves after her and her work ethic. Even though she’s not here anymore she still has a big part on this team.”

West’s departure left a void in the leadership area. It was the perfect opportunity for new leaders to rise and carry the Wildcats. Jordan Briskey, Tiffany Springer and Taylor Teague took advantage of it. All three found themselves on the Class 3A, Area 10 all-tournament Team, but it was Briskey who took home most valuable player honors.

“I’m glad I’m MVP,” Briskey said. “I’m really just shocked at the fact that I’m MVP and I’m just a 10th grader. But, it’s all because of my team helping me.”

Briskey brings the most experience to the table. The outside hitter is spending her second season as a starter after starting as a freshman on a team loaded with seniors in 2012.

“She started with five seniors,” Law said. “It was hard for her to step up. She didn’t want to step over those boundaries, but this year she’s really just blossomed as a ball player.”

Springer took over as the vocal leader of the team. The junior libero is “full of energy” according to coach Law.

“I feel like if I’m not vocal and loud and talking to people in the game, they just get down on themselves,” Springer said. “I feel like I need to be an inspirational leader and help them.”

Teague does not feel the same way. The sophomore outside hitter leads by example.

“She’s quiet,” coach Law said. “You don’t hear her say a whole lot. I guess you can say she does her talking on the court.”

“I like to be very determined,” Teague said. “But, I like to stay relaxed when I play. I don’t want to be overwhelmed.”

In a year or two, these young Wildcats will be experienced seniors. Until then, they will focus on competing for a state championship. They take on Good Hope at 9 a.m. Friday in the first round of the North Super Regionals in Huntsville.
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