LHS standout headed to Wesleyan
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
LaGrange High’s Carmen Lynch figured she’d give a new sport a try.
A life-long basketball player, Lynch began playing volleyball at LaGrange High, and she fell in love with the sport.
Lynch became one of the Lady Grangers’ top players and was a team captain as a senior, and now she’s getting a chance to play volleyball in college.
Lynch has signed with Wesleyan College, and she celebrated her decision during a ceremony in the Steve Pardue indoor practice facility.
“I was going to go the basketball route, but as I kept playing volleyball, I started liking that more,” Lynch said.
Tejay Dowden, who took over the LaGrange volleyball program for the 2020 season, was grateful for Lynch’s contributions.
“I’ve only coached her one season, and in that time she’s made a big impact on me,” Dowden said. “She is really athletic, and she also plays basketball. She started playing volleyball at the beginning of the year, and she caught on extremely quickly. She’s powerful, she’s strong, and she learned the game quickly.”
Alma Barrientos, an assistant coach on the volleyball team, grew emotional as she talked about how much Lynch meant to her.
“She’s one of the players that she’s going to be in my heart for a long time,” Barrientos said while fighting back tears.
Barrientos appreciated how committed Lynch was to getting everything she could out of her new sport.
“She was very serious about it,” Barrientos said. “I think she fell in love with the game, and her passion for the game made her ready for varsity, and she’s been one of our best players.”
Lynch, Dowden stressed, was always willing to do whatever it took to help the team succeed.
“One time she dove for her ball, and the look on her face she was trying so hard,” Dowden said. “She looked up and said did I get it, and I said yes, Carmen. She played her heart out for us. She gave us everything she had every single game. We’re just so proud of you Carmen.”
When Lynch was looking for a college home, she wanted to find a smaller school where she wouldn’t feel overwhelmed.
Lynch believes she has found that in Macon-based Wesleyan, which has a student population of about 3,000 students.
“I like to feel like I’m part of a family, and I didn’t want a lot of people,” Lynch said. “So I wanted to go somewhere that’s family-oriented, that’s small, so I could feel like home.”
Lynch shared her signing day with Brandasia Cofield, who is headed to Holmes Community College in Mississippi to play basketball.
The two were teammates on the basketball team and also good friends, and Lynch is happy that Cofield is getting an opportunity to play in college.
“I am very proud of her,” Lynch said. “We always talked about going to play basketball, but I chose to play a different sport, and we’re going to be very far away from each other. I’m going to miss her so much.”