A scholar & an athlete: Haley Blair receives 10th annual Megan Lindsay Memorial scholarship

Published 8:05 am Friday, June 7, 2024

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Volleyball is in Haley Blair’s blood. Blair, a member of the Troup High class of ‘24, poured her heart and soul into the Tigers for the last three years. She was justly awarded when she received the 10th annual Megan Lindsay Memorial scholarship given out to a true representative of what it means to be a Troup volleyball player.

“There were some requirements with a certain amount of years playing, a certain GPA, and I wrote an essay and just tried to go about it the best way possible, and I ended up getting it. So that was really fun,” Blair said. “It’s an honor to be picked to represent Troup volleyball.”

The scholarship money will be put to good use. Blair is set to attend the University of Georgia in the fall where she plans to major in kinesiology and exercise science.

“This has always been my number one school,” Blair said. “I don’t know where else I would want to go honestly.”

Blair originally attended Callaway High and was part of the volleyball program for two seasons, but she felt a calling to Troup. She transferred heading into her sophomore season for one reason: to be a part of Troup volleyball.

“When transferring my main reason was to be a part of Troup volleyball,” Blair said. “Coming in I had high hopes and I knew a lot of the girls over here at Troup already and the transition was a little scary at first, but my teammates made it so much easier.”

It was a quick transition for Blair. She found a home on the court and helped the team reach new heights when she captained the squad to the first Elite Eight appearance in program history.

“Troup volleyball has meant so much to me over these last few years and it has been so special to watch it grow and make it further than any other team in school history when we made the Elite Eight [in 2023],” Blair said. “It was really nice to be able to set the standard here and to do it with the girls that I played with.”

The playing days are mostly behind her. Blair is open to the idea of playing club volleyball in college but is not making it a priority. She is making it a priority to stay involved with the game, however.

Blair is no longer just a player, she is also a coach. This spring she got her first chance to coach as she led the inaugural 13u team for 85 South VBC.

“I have considered coaching and I have wanted to coach at some point and once I go on to college, I may find an organization and try to help with that, but I didn’t know when I would be getting started,” Blair said. “It was a great experience to not only be their coach but a mentor for them as well. With me being still pretty young and coming off a season, I was able to create a really strong relationship with them. For a lot of them, this was the first time playing club ball, so I was able to really introduce them to the volleyball world.”

Coaching came naturally to her. Whether she continues to coach club in college remains unclear, but she does know that eventually she will be returning to the coaching ranks to give back to the sport that helped mold her into a leader and a role model on and off the court.

“I have always kind of had a sense of leadership, I guess you could say. So there’s definitely been, across all my different teams, times where I’ve kind of taken charge and been like, okay, girls, let’s do this,” she said. “My girls at Troup always trusted me and now the girls I’ve been coaching have too.

“It went pretty well, it definitely was a little rocky at first, because for a lot of the girls being so young, that was their very first club experience. While it was also my very first coaching experience, so it took some time to get into but in the end, we had a good season.”

She has held many titles over the years in the volleyball realm. Captain. Teammate. Leader. And now coach. It is what makes her one of the best embodiments ever of what Troup High volleyball represents.