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East County Athlete of the Week: Courtney Kawcak

The Braden River High senior is an impact setter on the volleyball team.

Courtney Kawcak (Photo by Ryan Kohn)
Courtney Kawcak (Photo by Ryan Kohn)
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Courtney Kawcak is a senior setter on the Braden River High volleyball team. Kawcak had 48 assists, 19 digs, 16 service points and three aces over the Pirates' first two games (1-1) of the 2022 season and in 2021 helped the Pirates win their first district title since 2010. 

When did you start playing volleyball?

When I was 11 years old. My older sister (Ashley Hagood) played volleyball and I wanted to try it for myself. 

What is the appeal to you? 

I love the energy of volleyball. Everybody gets excited. Everybody has fun. If you're not having fun (playing a sport) then it's not worth it. 

What is your best skill?

I mean, it's probably my position, setting. Outside of that, it's keeping the team alive. Everybody gets in their own head at some point. You need to get them out of it. If you don't, your team won't (mentally) be there. 

What have you been working to improve?

Honestly, it's been my health. As soon as fall practices started, I got sick. I had three different types of strep. I was completely out for a week and a half. I had to focus on the mental side of the sport and stay in the game. I'm back playing now but I'm still trying to get my body used to things. I'm a bit weak and have to get my volleyball muscles back, especially in my shoulder. It'll take a little while, but I'll get there. 

What is your favorite memory?

Funny story, it was actually Thursday night (Aug. 25). We played Cardinal Mooney High at home. We actually lost 3-2, but it was a great match. Everybody had fun and our student section was amazing. We played our hearts out and it was a blast. I don't want to speak for the rest of the team, but that match gave me a ton of confidence in us. Everything feels better than last year already. I think we're going to go into every match with that confidence now. 

What are your goals this season?

Obviously we'd like to win a state championship. Ultimately though, we want to always get better and bond with each other. 

What is your favorite food?

I love any type of pasta. I'll eat it any time. 

What is your favorite TV show or movie?

Right now my favorite show is 'Stranger Things.' My favorite movie is 'The Princess Bride.'

Which super power would you pick?

I would want to read people's minds. I love knowing people's mindsets.

What is your favorite subject?

Definitely math. I like having a solid answer to things. 

What is the best advice you have received?

Stay positive. When negatives happen, they can either impact your life for a long time or you can just let them go. 

Finish this sentence: "Courtney Kawcak is …"

Crazy, definitely. I'm not afraid to go up to people and ask things like, 'Hey, do you like turtles?' In volleyball, I'm all over the place, too. 



Ryan Kohn

Ryan Kohn is the sports editor for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. He was born and raised in Olney, Maryland. His biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. His strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.

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