There's been a lot of uncertainty in 2020. One person that provides the year with some more clarity is Jamison Wheeler. The Lake Travis multi-sport athlete is about to start her senior year of high school and her SMU commitment solidifies her status as one of the top volleyball recruits in the Austin area.
"SMU was the right choice for me because it's an amazing school, has a great coaching staff and it's close to home," said Wheeler. "I'm super excited to compete at that high level of play in the future."
COVID-19 could have disrupted Wheeler's path, but she's adjusted her training practices to stay on track and make the most of the unusual free time.
"For the past few months when I haven't been able to be in the gym with either my club team or school team, I am just working out from home and finding workouts that I think will help prepare me best for the school season," said Wheeler. "I also have been trying to clean up my eating to allow my body to feel right for when the season does come. Outside of athletic training, I love going on the lake with my family and friends and wakesurfing."
On Tuesday, the UIL announced that its 2020 volleyball season would still be played during the upcoming fall semester and it would push back the start of 6A and 5A play to September. That allows Texas high school volleyball fans another opportunity to see her take the court for Lake Travis.
"At first, I was disappointed to find out that we got pushed back a few weeks because I was really looking forward to our preseason," said Wheeler. "But, after a while, I just realized I needed to be grateful that we are still planning to have a season."
With COVID-19 forcing a major sports drought for long periods of time in 2020, large crowds are expected when leagues return. That favors Wheeler, who is preparing for the next level.
"The benefits of playing at a high-profile high school like Lake Travis is the competition," said Wheeler. "Playing against teams like Westlake always allows our team to play at our fullest potential, which makes it so fun, but also allows us to represent LT. We also always have fans supporting us at our big games, which is awesome. I think playing at Lake Travis will definitely prepare me for college volleyball because of the mental toughness required to play the sport, especially...with such a competitive atmosphere."
If everything goes as planned during the 2020-2021 school year, you'll also see her high school encore during the 2021 track season.
"Track has helped me with volleyball by increasing my endurance," said Wheeler. "A similarity that I see when running the 400-meter relay is the endurance needed to finish, just like in a long volleyball rally. I think that my years of track definitely helped me become a better athlete all around."
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