The East County Observer and Bogey’s Restaurant and Sports Pub have teamed up to showcase the East County’s top athletes. Each recipient’s article will be featured on the restaurant’s wall.
Braden River High School libero Kelley Shiels has been averaging 24 digs this season while helping lead the Lady Pirates to an 18-2 record. The senior captain holds the school record for digs, and coach Steven Haugh describes Shiels as the best libero in the area. “She holds the team together and she’s the most consistent passer I’ve ever coached,” Haugh said. Here is an inside look at this week’s Athlete of the Week.
What’s the toughest part about being a libero?
The toughest part is reading where the hitters are going to hit and making sure that you’re there ahead of time, especially the middle hitters. I basically have (to watch) the whole backcourt.
What do you enjoy the most about volleyball?
The competition and the intensity of the game. It’s the most amazing feeling when (it’s close). I don’t really get nervous. I get excited.
What do you like to do when you aren’t playing volleyball?
I like photography. I want to be a photographer. I also like shopping and hanging out with my friends.
Who is your biggest role model?
My brother, Kyle. He’s proven that if you work hard enough, you can accomplish anything you want.
What are your plans for next year?
I’m looking at schools in Oklahoma because that’s where my dad lives. I want to play volleyball and major in math or English.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
Teleportation. If I could teleport everywhere I think it would give me a good three extra hours during the day.
What is your favorite book?
“For One More Day” by Mitch Albom and “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien.
What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve been given?
When I started playing volleyball, my dad told me that I’m tough enough to take criticism and that I shouldn’t be upset by it because that’s the best thing about me.
What’s your favorite subject?
English and math. I like English because I get to read really good books — the classics — and analyze the characters.
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Food and fun
The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance and its Young Leaders Alliance have something to talk about: the organizations collected 764 pounds of nonperishable food and $1,295 cash to benefit The Food Bank of Manatee/Meals on Wheels PLUS.
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A little “Ho! Ho! Ho!” can go a long way this holiday season.