By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The game of volleyball means a lot to the Ramsey family.
Brian and Sally Ramsey recently celebrated their daughter Haley’s signing to Shorter University to also join the Hawks Volleyball program. Since the age of 12, Haley has been grooming her game toward becoming an all-around standout for the Tipton-Rosemark Academy Lady Rebels.
All their days of traveling to watch Haley play competitive volleyball, attending every Lady Rebel game and investing in her talent paid off with Haley inking her letter of intent Nov. 29 in the TRA Lobby among teammates, friends, faculty and family members brother Eli and grandparents Scrubby and Jeanette Rast and JD and Susan Ramsey.
The day of celebration for Haley’s accomplishment was all made possible because of volleyball. Not just her taking an interest in the game, but before their was a Haley her parents met on a volleyball court.
“It’s always been cool to me how they met at a volleyball game,” Haley said. “It means a lot to our family. We’ve got a chance to travel a lot through the game. It’s been my passion since I was little.”
Sally, who played prep volleyball at Millington, met her future husband while playing. Brian who grew up playing the game became an official to continue to be around volleyball.
Their union produced maybe the best volleyball player in TRA history. Lady Rebel Head Coach Wendy Porter was in attendance for the signing and read off some of Haley’s stats.
She has led the team in kills the past three seasons winning Best Offensive Player each season. In her senior campaign, Ramsey led TRA in digs winning Best Defensive Player. Her numerous awards and superior stats place Haley firmly in the conversation for best of all-time at TRA.
“Stat-wise I would say she’s the best player who has ever come through our program,” Porter said. “I hate to put that in the paper because I’ve had some very talented players. So I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings.
“But the numbers on paper just as an all-around player, most people specialize in one area,” she added. “She has been at the top of her game in just about every single area on the court. Which is not common.”
Brian said all the praise his daughter earned was refreshing to hear on her signing day.
“I so proud of her, not just for the accolades that’s she has received, for when people say I wish I had her on my team,” he said. “For the way she plays, she gives it her all. She works for hard. Her character and work ethic is what impresses people the most.
“I’m humbled too,” he continued. “I get excited. It’s humbling and exciting all at the same time. It’s nice to know her hard work has paid off.”
Haley spent hours under several coaches sharpening her all-around game. One of those instructors Carla Anderton made the trip to Rosemark to celebrate Haley’s day.
“She’s a great kid,” she said. “She’s a great teammate. She’s always happy. She’s team first and has a great attitude. She’s just a blessing to whoever she plays for.
“She’s very versatile,” Anderton added. “She can play any position. She can set. She can hit. She has developed a really good back-row attack in games that is very valuable to a team. For a coach, she’s just an asset because you can move her around anywhere. If you need a point or you need a slide-out, Haley is the one you can call on.”
Porter had no problems calling on Ramsey during her tenure with TRA.
“Haley has never come off the court in four years,” Porter said. “So obviously she has over the years developed all her skills. She’s become a go-to player on the front row and the back row. She has led our team offensively and defensively. Which is not the most common thing. She’s an all-around player.”
Her all-around skills guided the Lady Rebels to back-to-back Sectional appearance, hosting the game this past season.
“My time here has been amazing,” Haley said. “We’ve made history here at Rosemark. We hosted Sub-State this year for the first time in a long time. Rosemark Volleyball has a very special place in my heart. We’ve worked really hard and I hope it has more success when I’m gone.”
Haley next volleyball chapter will be written on the squad of Head Coach John Moseley and play for the Hawks. Shorter University is located in Rome, Ga., and the Hawks play in the Gulf South Conference.
Ramsey was recruited by the likes of CBU, Union, Austin Peay and North Alabama. But the All-Region standout set her heart on playing at a smaller, Christian based institution to continue her playing and education.
“We’ve tried to let God take control of it,” Brian said. “And it was hard sometimes. We were looking at other schools. Distance played a factor but God open some doors and closed other doors. We trust that and it’s a small Christian school. And that played a big role. She decided a long time ago to attend a small Christian school.”
Haley said the Higher Power that used volleyball to start her family has guided her through the game to Shorter University.
“Probably my relationship with Christ overall just helped me to be humble,” Haley concluded. “I couldn’t do anything without Him.”
By Thomas Sellers Jr.