For Sneads volleyball player Brandy Strickland, experience is her middle name. With two Final Four appearances under her belt, one in softball, one in volleyball, the senior setter knows that it takes to go the distance.
With those two appearances, Brandy has done something every high school athlete dreams of. But each time, she's fallen short- the latest time was last year- when the Lady Pirates fell to Baker in five sets in the State Semi-Finals.
"It was actually an error on my part that was the final point of the game," she said. "I know it wasn't my fault that we lost, but it was just one of those points and it haunts me every night, it's in my memory."
Brandy's used that motivation every point of every set in her senior season, and that competitive nature surprises no one.
"She had a taste of it last year, and she knows what it was like to lose there," says Sneads head coach Sheila Roberts. "She's really pushing hard and pushing her teammates this year. She wants to get back there and have another shot at it."
"We're a small school, but we have big opportunities, and big plans, and we've got big guns, and we've got them loaded and we're ready to win at state," says Brandy.
All that motivation transfers over to the classroom, as Brandy takes three dual-enrolled classes at Chipola, all while balancing a 4.1 GPA.
"I just kept telling myself, if I want to do something give it 110%. Never just do something half-butt is what my mom always says," she says. "Just go with it all your heart, what you want to do, and do it to the best of your ability."
It's her ability to adapt that's impressed her teammates and coaches, as Brandy's played just about every position on the court this season for the Lady Pirates.
"Every time I've had to move her because I felt like that was best for the team, she no questions asked did what I asked her to do," says Coach Roberts.
"I want to be able to contribute to my team in the best way possible," says Brandy. "Any position she puts me at, even if it's on the bench, as long as we get to state and we do what we need to do, I will be happy, and I'll be cheering my teammates on. They say third times the charm right? Maybe this time we'll get down there and actually be able to do something."
That journey begins on Tuesday November 6th, as the Lady Pirates, who were 12-0 in District play this year, host Blountstown in the Regional Semis. As far as college goes, Brandy wants to be a nurse anesthetist, and says Gulf Coast State College is her dream school.