There are the countless stories of standout student-athletes who poured years and years into becoming solid high school players.
Then there’s the story of Carroll’s Remy Fairchild. She had not really paid much attention to volleyball as a child much less pick up a ball. Now, the senior outside hitter is preparing to play in the Division I ranks at Villanova.
Sometimes, it just works out that way.
But the Carroll volleyball program doesn’t mind that “better late than never” resonates. Fairchild has emerged as a consistent six-rotation player for a program that has aspirations of capturing a state championship. So far, Fairchild (6-0) is averaging 2.8 kills per set, 1.8 digs per set and 21 blocks. Carroll was 25-3 through Sept 1. District play begins Friday, Sept. 11 against Hurst L.D. Bell.
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“Through these first few weeks, Remy’s given more than I could have expected,” Carroll coach Ryan Mitchell said. “She’s bringing energy every day. And she’s one of the key pieces to our team because she helps bridge us when things aren’t going well.”
Bridge is a good term for Fairchild. Carroll lost nine seniors from its 2014 Region I semifinalist squad. Mitchell needed her to become a foundation for this talented yet young roster. She played three rotations as a junior in 2014 but her role expanded this year.
At first, the assignment stretched Fairchild in the offseason. Her demands between her club team TAV 17 Black and Carroll pushed her to the point of mental and physical exhaustion. In time, she adjusted.
“The main thing is that I just want to help the team become more and more confident,” Fairchild said. “When you can bring a focus, that helps. But you can do the physical parts in the game. You just have to have the confidence to know you really can do it.”
Fairchild really wasn’t one for playing sports in her younger days. Growing up in Ohio, she said she played soccer for one season but that was it.
When it came to volleyball, she had no connection until the first day of tryouts at middle school. At that point, she thought it would be worth a try. And she made a team. Fairchild found the enjoyment of the game and didn’t stop. Part of the culmination is being named to the all-tournament team in Plano two weeks ago. Mitchell has already named her a team captain.
“One of the things that’s made a difference for her is her defense,” Mitchell said. “Her serve receive is so consistent. Her ability to see the court and place shots on offense is something you just don’t teach. It’s a great instinct. What was important is that she became that bridge for the younger players. She bought into the system and what we were doing. And that’s what helped the others.”
Fairchild had been looking for athletic and opportunities in the Ivy League. But Villanova, a private Catholic university in Philadelphia, offered the best of everything – a strong academic background and athletic scholarship opportunity.
It could be an epic November for Fairchild and Carroll. She is expected to sign her National Letter of Intent. That’s also the month of the state championship.
“I think we’re working really hard to bring a state championship to Carroll,” Fairchild said. “Maybe not winning some of these early tournaments shows us we have a lot more to do. We know we can get better.”