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LOUISVILLE - North Bullitt senior Sara Schott got the best of both worlds last week when she signed to attend Midway College in Midway, Ky.
On one hand, she will get to continue playing volleyball for a program that is trying to rebuild itself under third-year head coach Cindy Cheatham. At the same time, she gets to follow her dream to major in accounting. It also didn’t hurt that Midway is not too far away from home.
The 17-year-old Schott looked into a number of smaller colleges that could fill both wants. In the end it came down to Midway as well as Brescia College and Centre College.
“Brescia and Midway were about the same distance from Shepherdsville,” Schott said after signing last Tuesday at Mid-America Sports Center in eastern Jefferson County where she works and has played her club volleyball the past four seasons in the MAVA program (Mid-American Volleyball Association).
“Then academics played a part in it,” she added. “My brother went into accounting and I just love math. My aunt does that also. I love it.
“It was down to the coaches and the players,” Schott noted. “I went down and visited the campus. I liked the coaches there and the other girls were real nice.”
At Midway, Schott will play for Cheatham who is in the process of reviving a program that was dormant for seven years before she and her husband, Richie, her assistant coach, took over three seasons ago.
Unlike some other programs and some other sports, the Cheatham’s spend more time recruiting volleyball players through the club circuit than they do the high school teams. That works out best for them since they are in the middle of their own season when the high school teams are playing.
“We recruit more through the club season than the high season,” Cheatham pointed out. “It’s our best time to get out and see them since our season runs the same as the high school season.
“We actually saw her in a few different tournaments,” the coach added. “We have been after her ever since.”
That worked out just fine for Schott who has playing in the MAVA program since the winter after her freshman season at North Bullitt. That freshman season at her school was her first taste of volleyball. It was so potent that Schott concentrated solely on it, never taking part in another sport at the school despite the fact that an older brother, Adam, had been a basketball standout at North Bullitt.
“My freshman year I really put my mind to volleyball,” Schott pointed out. “My goals were to get a scholarship to pay for college. It has always been my goal to play in college.”
At North Bullitt, Schott did quite a bit of setting, but she is not doing that now on her club team. Cheatham believes that her future is in setting for her college team.
“I would like to see her as a setter,” Cheatham pointed out. “She is not being utilized in that right now. We would like to get her hands back on the ball.”
Midway College competes in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. They are also nationally part of NAIA Division II. The team does play matches against area schools like Indiana University Southeast, but they also travel to all areas between St. Louis and West Virginia.
“She is the first player we’ve signed from this area,” Cheatham noted. “We’re trying to recruit all over.”
Midway and Cheatham have not quite put all the pieces together yet.
“We’re definitely still growing,” the coach said.
The North Bullitt senior, the daughter of Patti and David Schott, is the youngest of five children. All five of her older siblings are boys.
Schott works at Mid-America to help pay for her club play with MAVA. She wanted to thank her MAVA coaches, Matt Castello, Bill Smith, Kate Bennett and Patty Farlin for their help in getting her to this point.
“I need to get my setting back because I don’t do that with MAVA,” Schott said when asked what part of her game needed the most work before she reports to Midway in late summer. “I’ve been doing some of that now and staying after practice.
“I just want to thank everybody for helping me achieve my goals,” Schott concluded.