By Kris Freeman, Sports Information Director, White House High School
WHITE HOUSE – In the last three decades, many student athletes from White House High School have earned the privilege of signing a college scholarship to continue their athletic career in various sports.
But on Monday, senior Rachel Scott made sure volleyball was on the list. Becoming the first Lady Devils volleyball player in many years to advance her career to the collegiate ranks, Scott inked with the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, KY.
Completing her career for White House, she had 52 aces, 105 kills and 189 assists her senior season. While volleyball is a fall sport in the TSSAA, she will complete her academic career at WHHS and graduate in May.
“Every year at the end of the season, Rachel came up to me and promised me that at the end of the next season, the team would be better. And every year, that has happened,” said White House volleyball coach Kassie King. “Rachel not only had a passion for her team, but she also loves her school and her community and she loves this volleyball program and wants to see it continue to grow.”
“I whole-heartedly believe this group of girls will go on to do amazing things during their high school career,” Scott said of the Lady Devils. “I am so thankful today for everyone that was a part of this process and I especially for to thank my parents for all that you did for me. Thank you for always giving me the love and the constructive criticism I needed and for letting me play the sport that I love.”
Scott plans to focus on psychology and pre-med at the University of the Cumberlands and become a child psychiatrist. She is the only child of Ken and Karen Scott of White House.
The Patriots compete in the Mid-South Conference of the NAIA. The Patriots were 14-17 in 2017 and 6-8 in conference, but received a prestigious honor in postseason.
The University of the Cumberlands was awarded the NAIA Buffalo Funds Champions of Character Team Award by the NAIA national office.
According to principal Scott Langford of White House High School, this exemplifies the goal of Rachel’s drive for success on and off the court.
“Rachel is a very talented young lady,” Langford said. “In addition to volleyball, she is a very gifted singer and an outstanding student and pushes herself to achieve at a high level in everything she does. We are very proud of her.”
Scott’s signing ceremony was joined by family, friends, teachers, coaches and community leaders in the White House High School library. It was an exciting moment to share with her teammates, as Scott broke into tears thanking the girls who stood beside her on the court.
“I would like to thank my teammates for always encouraging me, competing beside me and making me feel loved,” Scott said. “Thank you to Coach King for being part of our team for so long and thank you for stepping up when the program needed you and for believing in me and this team and White House High School.”
Coach King knows her passion for her teammates is evident in the approach Scott takes to the game.
“Rachel is one of those players who had an endless desire to learn new things,” King said. “She was always eager to learn new drills and study every aspect of the game. But it’s not all about skills. It’s about the drive to get better each day, and loving to watch other players on your team succeed.
“It’s about caring more for your team than caring about your own stats and Rachel embodies all of these qualities. She has a lot of passion for volleyball, but she gets a lot of enjoyment out of watching other succeed.”
Scott has been playing volleyball since 2012 in the White House recreational league and then all four years in high school. She also played every winter in club volleyball after high school seasons ended, and she coached for two years with the middle school team.
But her career came at a time when the school was going through coaching changes, with two previous coaches moving into administrative roles in education. That’s when things changed for her future under Kassie King.
“During a scrimmage against Station Camp my freshman year, I remember thinking how lost I felt and how much all these other girls knew more than me,” she said. “But Coach King pulled me to the side and told me how impressed she was. She told me if I kept putting in the same effort that I would do amazing things. She told me not to forget that, and I never did.
“I never imagined I would get to sign and play in college and I have never seen the White House High School volleyball team as connected and driven as they are today. I know I won’t be the last one to sign a college scholarship. I hope that when I go off to Williamsburg, Ky., that I can bring a little bit of White House, Tenn., with me.”