By MARINA WATERS
The crowd in the David Crockett High School library saw Breanna O’Shields commit to playing volleyball at Brevard College in North Carolina on Thursday, March 7, but for the high school senior, it was more like she was seeing her dream become a reality.
“It was amazing,” O’Shields said, thinking back to her signing day. “It was like everything I worked for my whole life was finally coming into reality. It’s not just like a dream anymore. I finally got there.”
O’Shields also considered The University of the Cumberlands, Emory & Henry College and Carson-Newman. However, the David Crockett volleyball captain felt an excitement she couldn’t quite let go of after her first visit at Brevard.
“When I went and visited, I got to have lunch with the coaches and a couple of the players,” She said. “I felt like that’s what really kind of made me chose there because everyone was just so welcoming and they were so excited about their school.
“They were all just so happy and enthusiastic and I just wanted to be where they were.”
Though choosing the right college for her athletic and academic career was at the top of the list (O’Shields said she plans to become an accountant), the Crockett senior has always dreamed of pursuing the sport that has helped her grow as an athlete and as a person since the very beginning.
“I feel like volleyball is not just a sport,” O’Shields said. “I’ve been really athletic and in middle school I played three different sports, but I feel like volleyball helps me throughout life as well. I feel like it helps me come out of my shell and talk to more people. Especially being the captain this year, it’s helped me learn leadership.
“I want to be an accountant and hopefully I’ll be in a big position where I’ll have to work with a lot of other people and I feel like volleyball really helps prepare me for those areas in my life.”
In looking back on the outside hitter’s high school career, O’Shields said the group of girls she bonded with throughout her senior year made her final season as a Pioneer one she’ll never forget.
“This was the best team I’ve ever had,” She said. “We had a bond on and off the court. I think that’s what kept me going, especially this year.
“Senior year you’re just kind of over it and you kind of just want a break from everything, but I really think my team is what really kept me going. I’m definitely going to miss this group of girls I had this season.”