AFTER TWO YEARS AT RANCHO CUCAMONGA HIGH SCHOOL IN CALIFORNIA, DYLAN HOSKINS IS BACK HOME.
After playing varsity volleyball at George Ranch as a freshman before moving west, the senior outside hitter/libero is back with the Longhorns for her senior season.
"It feels good," Hoskins said. "I've been in this community since I was born. I've known these people since I was five. I feel like I have one last chance to do something special with these girls.
"For some reason, every four years we're really good. Our freshman year, we made it to round five. When we were sixth graders, they made it to State. So, this is the fourth year, and I'm hoping that pattern continues and we make it far."
Hoskins will play outside hitter for a stacked Longhorns club that has aspirations of a deep playoff run. She brings a veteran's poise and a calming perspective that eases teammates.
"I have this presence on the court where it's relaxed but it's still fun," Hoskins said. "I'm not somebody that gets stressed out easily, and that's a good thing because pressure in games is a real thing. I know things get bad when we start to put pressure on ourselves. If I can make everybody understand that it's just a game, that's when we'll play our best."
Hoskins has played volleyball since she was 11 years old. She was forced into it. A shortstop in softball, her parents thought her athleticism would be better suited for the court.
"I thought it was stupid," Hoskins said. "I thought it was a boring game. I thought it was for girly-girls. But getting hit
in the face occasionally, it's anything but. I ended up falling in love with it. Now I'm like 'ew, softball'. It's all about volleyball."
It worked out for Hoskins, for her parents and for George Ranch.
Admittedly a "crazy" person who embraces randomity — "You'll hear someone yell 'Hot dogs!' across the gym, and that'll be me," Hoskins said. "I'm weird. I know I am."— Hoskins can get serious when need be. Like, this season.
"As seniors, we set the expectations," Hoskins said. "The younger girls follow our lead, so it's on us to put our best foot forward. We want it to be fun, but serious environment. We do want to go far."
3 Things to Watch: George Ranch
ALL IN FOR 10: George Ranch has made the playoffs nine consecutive seasons.
FRESHMAN STAR: The Longhorns have a stud freshman in Sydney Bryant who is likely to make an immediate impact. The athletic middle and Harry Potter fan gives George Ranch another dominant attacker thanks to a powerful right arm.
SENIOR STAR TRIO: George Ranch is the home of future college stars. Seniors Logan Lednicky (Texas A&M), Avery Shimaitis (Pepperdine) and Allie Szcech (Baylor) are all committed to play at the next level.