From left to right: Madison Ward, Kamryn Madden, Kelsey Surovik, Shelby Elliott, Jaci Cauble, and Sidney Stanford were honored on Senior Night, prior to the Belton Lady Tigers final District 12-6A match of the year on Tuesday night (Oct. 23) against Harker Heights.
Photo Credit: Tony Adams, Sports Editor, The Belton Journal.
Tuesday night was a special one for the Belton Lady Tigers Volleyball program.
Six seniors took the Tiger Gym floor for the last time, as the program honored Kamryn Madden, Kelsey Surovik, Shelby Elliott, Jaci Cauble, Madison Ward, and Sidney Stanford were recognized prior to Tuesday night’s final District 12-6A matchup against Harker Heights.
This class was involved with a three-team play-in series in 2016, area playoff run in 2017, and a playoff berth in 2018.
Madden has been a mainstay in the Lady Tigers’ lineup for three seasons. She only started playing volleyball since 2014. But watching her growth, you would have thought she has played for much longer.
“Kamryn is in her third season on varsity, and she is somewhat of a newcomer to volleyball,” Belton head coach Krystal Brodbeck said. “Kamryn is an extremely quick learner, and her volleyball IQ has increased dramatically over the past seasons. She has the ability to see across the net and strategically place her hits. Kamryn’s competitiveness is fun to watch on the court, and often ignites a scoring run.”
“Kamryn Madden leads by example,” Belton assistant coach Kayla Perez said. “The girls feed off the way she plays on the court.”
“It’s hard to believe that she has only been playing volleyball for four years,” former Belton assistant coach Whitney Stout said, who is now the head coach at Aubrey. “I remember her at camp as an incoming freshmen thinking wow, this kid can be real special, considering she has never played volleyball before. She made the varsity as a sophomore and played right side for us. She had several big games for us that year, in which she led us in kills. She works extremely hard, and wants to be the best at everything that she does. She has filled many different roles on the varsity and has found a way to excel at all of them. Kamryn has a bright future no matter what she decided to do.”
Surovik, a commit to UMHB, was a key pull-up after her sophomore campaign during the 2016 play-in series. Recently moved to setter due to an injury to junior Emily Holder, she has demonstrated her flexibility to play multiple positions on the court.
“Kelsey has developed into a force to be reckoned with over her four years,” Brodbeck said. “She was shy and reserved her first years of high school, but lead the team in kills for us last year with great confidence. She is very smart with her placement and truly loves the game. She has made a huge impact on the program and has committed to UMHB for the fall of 2019.”
“Kelsey Surovik is a dependable leader,” Perez said. “The girls know they can always count on her.”
“She came in as a freshmen and we thought she would primarily be a setter for us,” Stout said. “We decided about half way through her freshman year to let her hit from the right side, since she was taller lefty. She instantly started excelling at being a great hitter. She had a great sophomore year at the junior varsity level, and it really allowed her to gain confidence in herself. She was a pull-up for the play-in games her sophomore year, and made an impact in those two games. She had a great year last year on the varsity as a junior. I remember telling her before one of the scrimmages last year; Kelsey, you are going to get blocked at times, so what keep swinging. She looked at me, and her only response was I don’t like getting blocked. I couldn’t help but laugh at her response. She will continue to do great thing at the next level playing volleyball, and I am excited that she has reached her goals to play at the level.”
Elliott is an extremely hard worker, who was extremely teachable and her bright smile always lights up the room.
“Shelby is very tough and her dedication to the program is greatly appreciated,” Brodbeck said. “She worked extremely hard in the off season to prepare for her senior season. This is Shelby’s first varsity season, but she has the ability bring a spark to the court and contribute well when she’s called upon to do so.”
“Shelby Elliott is a quiet leader,” Perez said. “All the girls know with just a look everything will be alright.”
“She has worked extremely hard to get to where she is at today,” Stout said. “It has not always been an easy road for her, but she has gained so many valuable life lessons. One being to never give up; keep working hard and it will pay off in the end. I am so proud of her. Because at times I believe she was ready to give up on herself and her goals, but she never did. We have spent countless hours talking since her freshmen year. We did not always see eye to eye, but Shelby always listened to what I had to say with an open mind. I have no doubt that Shelby will be successful in life after high school, because she will always be willing to put in the hard work that is necessary to be successful.”
Cauble is another hard worker who moved to Belton last year. She showed great promise on the junior varsity squad last season and has contributed in big ways this season.
“Jaci is also in her first varsity year of play, but we are very happy she decided to finish her high school career with us,” Brodbeck said. “She is extremely competitive, and is the type of athlete that does not want to let her teammates down. She has a genuine concern for her peers and does not like to let them down. Jaci is a force in the weight room, and her hard work pushes others.”
“Jaci Cauble is a little firecracker,” Perez said. ”She is super competitive and tells the girls how it is.”
“Jaci was a great move in her junior year,” Stout said. “She showed up at summer workouts and went right to work. She works incredibly hard and is super competitive. She is very quick on the volleyball court and that allows her to be a great defensive player. I am glad that she has had a good senior season on the court.”
Ward has been a libero on the varsity for two seasons and showed a great deal of potential in her junior varsity season in 2016.
“Madison is the type of athlete that you want on your team,” Brodbeck said. “She is relatively newer to volleyball than some of her peers, but her will to win and competitive attitude are a true driving force on the court. Off the court, she has a kind heart and would give the shirt off of her back for anyone. This is the third season that Madison is the starting Libero, and she is leaving very big shoes to fill.”
“Madison Ward is the positive, goofy one,” Perez said. “She always has something random to say that helps the girls relax.”
Stout had a special relationship with Ward, as she had the opportunity to coach Ward in two different sports in three seasons.
“Madison and I had a great relationship built on three years of us seeing each other every day,” Stout said. “I had the opportunity to coach her every day, and what a joy it was. I am not sure that I have seen a kid work harder to not disappoint someone as her. She would run through a wall for me if I had asked her too. She wanted to be the best at everything that she did. She wanted to be the best libero in the district. She wanted to be the best outfielder in the district in softball. It did not matter what the task was, she wanted to simply be the best at it. She displayed that will to be the best over and over again in practice and in games. We definitely did not always see eye to eye, but I can tell you that I have no doubt that she gave everything she had everyday. I have missed getting to watch her talk to herself on the court this year, but I have not doubt that she had carried on some good conversations with herself like always.”
Stanford was a solid player on the junior varsity squad in the early part of her high school career before becoming the varsity manager. Always reliable and can relate to the action going on down on the hardwood, Stanford was a huge asset to Brodbeck and the team.
“Sidney Stanford is our senior manager, and her heart for others is the biggest reason we were able to have her this year,” Brodbeck said. “She is very reliable and truly loves her peers and the game of volleyball. She is graduating early to pursue a career in nursing.”
The 2019 senior class is a special one for the staff, especially with several in this class undergoing a coaching transition in the middle of their high school careers.
“It was a joy to watch this group grow from freshmen to now,” Stout said. “I was sad to not be present for their senior year, but I have kept up with them and having been watch from a far. I have talked to most of them at some point of the season. I am proud for all that they have accomplished this year.”