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Athlete of the Week: Emma Barclay (American Falls)
A Beaver volleyball team hasn't won the district tournament in more than a decade. Emma Barclay is out to change that
Published: 10/14/2020 11:29:30 AM

Name: Emma Barclay
School: American Falls
Grade: Senior
Sport: Volleyball
Position: Outside Hitter
Jersey #: 5

How did you first get interested in your sport?

 I first got interested in the sport when I was in seventh grade. I played basketball and ran track, but my mom thought I should try volleyball. I never played volleyball until seventh-grade volleyball tryouts. I just went for it and made the team, and volleyball has stuck with me ever since.

If you play other sports, which is your favorite and why?

Other than volleyball, I play basketball and run track. I would have to say volleyball is my favorite sport because I look forward to practicing everyday. I fell in love with it the second I got on the court, everything about it makes it amazing. 

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from high school sports?

The most valuable lesson I've learned is losing. I think this is one of the toughest parts of highschool sports.You're not going to win every game, because of this it teaches you humility, and strengthens your ability to handle adversities. Then in the end, you can take the loss to make you a better athlete and in the long run, a better person.  

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

The best advice I've ever received is from my basketball coach Stephen Grigg. Over the years, he's told me this at least once every single season. He says ” Emma, an athlete never loses, they either win or learn.” This piece of advice has helped me get through many adversities along the way.

What has been your favorite high school memory so far?

My favorite high school memory by far would be being able to play with my sisters. I have a twin sister named Grace who is our team's libero. Then my little sister who is a sophomore, (Ally) is our team's right side hitter. The past few games, Ally has gotten a chance to play up to varsity with grace and I. There is one rotation where we have all three of us playing in the back row together.

What coaches or teachers have made the biggest impact on your athletic career?

The coaches that made the biggest impact on my athletic career have been Stephen Grigg, Marshall Jensen, Tana Homer and Jami Adair. Stephen (head coach) and Marshall (assistant coach) are the girls basketball coaches. They have been coaching since my freshman year. Ever since they started, they have spent hours on end helping our program and dedicating their time to better their players on and off the court, to make sure we are not only better players but better people.

Tana Homer is my private volleyball coach, I started working with her my freshman year. When I was a freshman, Tana helped me see the potential I had as an athlete. She has helped me become the hitter and volleyball player I am today.

Finally, Jami Adair is the head volleyball coach. Jami has also been coaching since my freshman year, she is very passionate about coaching and cares about each and every one of the players. Thanks to her our volleyball team is a family, and most importantly thanks to Jami our volleyball team is in the running for winning districts this year for the first time in over a decade.

Which teammates have you really connected with during high school?

The teammates I have really connected with over the years would be my sister Grace. She is an outstanding libero. She always gives 100% of her effort into everything. I know whenever I need help during a game or off the court she has my back. I enjoy competing with her because she is just as competitive as I am. Over the years we’ve gotten close with each other because of our love of volleyball. 

Is there anyone in your family who has helped you get to where you are today?

This is an easy answer, my parents. My dad is one of the biggest influences in my life. He is also the volleyball team's strength and conditioning coach. He started training me when I was in seventh grade. From vertical training, to speed, agility and yoga, he has taught me that my mind is my biggest challenger when it comes to sports. He has taught me how to overcome adversity and those mental challenges associated with sports. He always pushes me to be the best person and athlete that I can be. My mom has always been there for me when I need help. She's always at my games and during club season she's always there to my tournaments. I don't think she's missed one of my games from freshman year until now. She has taught me patience and that I may not see the results I am wanting now but in the future it will pay off.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

Other than volleyball I enjoy being outdoors. I enjoy hiking, fly fishing, hunting and skiing. There is nowhere else I’d rather be than to be in the mountains and outside. 

What are you most looking forward to this season?

This season the thing I'm looking forward to most is districts. For more than a decade an American Falls volleyball team hasn’t won districts. This year we have a lot of things going for us in our favor. I've been waiting for a season like this for the past three years. I'm excited to see what my team and I can do,  hopefully we can bring home a district title. In the end I'm proud to be from American Falls.


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