Every team has an impact player. Since her freshman season, Sierra Burris has been just that for the Bay High volleyball program, providing inspiration not only on the court, but in the classroom as well.
"It's been a lot of fun to see how much I have grown and how much the team has grown along with that," she said. "It's been a lot of fun being able to compare."
It's also a lot of fun to watch the middle blocker play- as last season she racked up almost a third of the total blocks for the Lady Tornadoes, tallied over 180 kills, and served up 59 aces- the second most in all of Bay County.
"She works hard in practice," said head coach Mike Izumi. "She's always one of the first ones here and one of the last to leave. She doesn't just sit around and do nothing, she gets on the court, and helps out the JV a lot. In terms of her impact on the program, it's all about the program."
"When you're on this court, you're giving your all," Sierra said. "When you commit to this team, you commit this season, your coach, your teammates, everything. You leave nothing out. You go all out."
Sierra's taken that intensity into the classroom, as she is in Bay High's AICE Program, and is a Cambridge Scholar sitting at the top of her class with a 4.52 GPA. So, how does she balance it all?
"Getting my stuff done before practice, after practice, any extra time you have during class, you get that stuff done. I have that system down," she laughed.
"We tell players hey, if you need any help here go ahead and ask," said coach Izumi. "We have plenty of people that can help- Sierra is one of them. That's one of the things we try to push in the program. She's taken everything we've worked on with my philosophy to heart in what we do here."
"If you're going to do anything, you're wasting your time if you don't do it 100%," said Sierra.
Wise words from the awkward freshman turned experienced leader. Sierra said she wants to play in college, and does have a few offers. She said wherever she ends up, she wants to study to become a doctor, and minor in business.