IHS volleyball players sign with Wallace Selma

Published 10:06 am Tuesday, March 20, 2018

By J.R. Tidwell / Editor

Two athletes from Isabella High School have made their next move official.

IHS volleyball players Synia Chattman and Kaitlin Lockhart signed with Wallace Community College Selma during a ceremony in the school’s auditorium March 19.

“It’s always exciting when we have our tryouts and see these little scared sixth graders show up,” said Isabella head coach Glen Graham during the ceremony. “They are scared to death and don’t know what’s going to happen. But I’ve been doing this a long time, and as a coach you can see the potential they have.

“As they grow up and spend six years in our program, as Kaitlin and Synia have done, you can see them change and grow. Synia was a four-year starter. Kaitlin was a two-year starter. They have had a great career here.”

Graham was one of a handful of speakers who said a few words about Chattman and Lockhart before they put pen to paper.

“Both these girls were outstanding players,” he said. “They played wherever we needed them to. These girls have probably missed less than two practices in six years. They are dedicated, they are going to work their rear ends off and they are respectful.

“All I ever hear out of them is ‘yes, sir’ and ‘no, sir.’ That’s all I ever heard out of them. I didn’t hear complaints or gripes. I cannot wait to see them play in college. They have had a heck of a career.”

Also on hand was Wallace Selma head coach April Harper.

“The recruitment here at Isabella has been absolutely fantastic,” she said. “Coach [Graham] is a good friend of mine. He has been consistent.

“This is one of the strongest programs in the county. I’m ecstatic to have these two athletes. Both of them are ladies to be reckoned with.”

Both Chattman and Lockhart said they have been playing volleyball since the seventh grade.

“I love that all my teammates are dedicated to the game, and they have always pushed me to do my best,” Lockhart said. “We have a great program, and Coach Graham is the best coach. I love how he always pushes me to do my best also. [Volleyball] is a great sport.”

“I like every bit of [volleyball],” Chattman said. “I like the intensity level, the excitement and the high pace.”

Chattman said getting the opportunity to play in college has been a goal of hers since she picked up the sport.

“It feels good,” she said. “This is something I always wanted to do since I started playing. I’m glad I’ve got this opportunity.”

Lockhart said she is looking forward to the challenge the next level brings with it.

“It’s a good opportunity to experience a harder level of competition,” she said. “I feel like I am going to be there playing as hard as I can.”

Both girls said they will remember their fellow players from their time as Mustangs as well as the success the program had during their tenure.

“I will definitely remember having the girls become like my family, playing for such a great team with good records and making the state tournaments,” Chattman said.

“I am going to remember all my teammates and making it as far as we did,” Lockhart said. “We put in some really hard work over the years.”