Athlete Showcase: Dowagiac’s Grace Clark

Grace Clark is a senior on the Dowagiac volleyball team.

What has been one of your greatest accomplishments as an athlete?

GC: In my opinion, my greatest accomplishment as an athlete has been taking the position as libero on my team this year, for after many years of playing I have always been a front row player.

Grace Clark

What has been one of your biggest disappointments as an athlete?

GC: One of my biggest disappointments as an athlete has been when I moved schools my junior year and was not able to play volleyball and I had to sit half of my basketball season.

Who is a “hero” in your life and why?

GC: My mom would defiantly be a hero in my life, because of her hard work and her never ending trust in me in everything I do. She has always been there to help me with anything, and always thrives to help me be successful. I would not be who I am or where I am without her.

When are you the most nervous while you are competing?

GC: I always get the most nervous when we have to serve receive the first game, and I am always in the back row, and since the back row passing is the first touch to start the game. I always want to get the first pass perfect and playable, but sometime it can be hard to accomplish; depending on the serve. Volleyball is very much a mental game. You must have confidence in your pass or you won’t be as successful as you could be.

Describe an embarrassing athletic moment.

GC: One embarrassing athletic moment was when I don’t remember what game it was or who it was, but someone shanked the ball and I tried to save it from way off the court and I hit it too hard and it hit that school’s speakers that were on the ceiling. And I just remember one of the coaches; from the other team saying “Hey, we paid a lot of money for those.” I felt so bad, but nothing was damaged in the end.

How do you tend to workout/train when by yourself?

GC: During the summer before the volleyball season, I would run at least 2 miles a few days out of the week. In the past summers, I would participate in summer volleyball camps at some colleges to start preparing for the season. I would also go to as many open gyms for volleyball as I could during the summer.

What other sport would you like to compete in if you were not playing yours?

GC: If I were not playing volleyball, I would just be at dance. I have been dancing for 15 years and I am apart of the Miss Michele and Company competition team, and this is an all-around year sport.

Why are sports an important part of a high school experience?

GC: To me, I think playing sports in high school is important because it gets you more involved with the school, and you always make a ton of great friends and meet new people.

How would you give away $50,000?

GC: I would give some to charities around the area, and I would also give some to my parents who have done nothing but support and help me throughout my life. I would also give some to states and towns that have recently been affected by the hurricanes.

If you could be the head coach of a team for a year, what team would you choose?

GC: I would choose to be a head volleyball couch for a junior varsity or even varsity team because at that level they know the basics and fundamentals; so, you can just put everything together and push them to were they can become a successful team.

If I did not play sports, I would…?

GC: If I did not play sports I would probably be more involved with the arts. I love dancing, and singing but with volleyball, and school you can’t be involved with everything, so that’s what I would choose.

What is the most challenging thing for you to do in your sport?

GC: The most challenging thing for me to do in my sport is when I’m in back row and I am trying to read the other teams hitter, because a lot of the time a hitter is all over the place, and it can be very hard to read and get to the correct place in time to where they are hitting and keep the ball in play.

If you could change one rule about your sport, what would it be?

GC: If I could change one rule I would say that we should have four touches instead of three to get it over, because a lot of the time a hitter hits the ball into the net but another teammate gets the ball out of the net, and it could still be played.

What is the best compliment you have ever received?

GC: When my coach pulled me aside at practice and said that my hard work has been showing and that he wanted me to be the libero, and that I earned it.

What was the scariest thing you have had to do? Are you glad you did it?

GC: The scariest thing I had to do was my first game playing libero. I never really played back row before; let alone libero, and I was scared that I would mess up bad. I am glad I did it the because I have really grown from it and I really enjoy it and I did not think I would.

What was the last thing you saw someone do that really impressed you?

GC: The last thing that I remember that someone did and really impressed me was when one of our players got the ball back into play after it being out on the other side of the net.

What is your favorite hobby? Why?

GC: My favorite hobby is traveling. I always love to travel and see new places and try new things. My dream is to one day spend a year traveling the world.

Choose one word to describe yourself:

GC: Hardworking.

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