"I've been playing volleyball since I was 7. Since probably middle school, I've told everyone 'I want to play college volleyball. I want to play college volleyball.'"
For ESA's Peyton Stokley, National Signing Day was a long time coming. It's in part, because of her hustle in games and practice.
"Just her competitive drive. She is one of those kids that's like once in a blue moon," ESA Head Coach Sara Robichaux explained. "Anytime we're doing anything, whether we're serving or passing. If we're not doing anything competitive at all, she makes it competitive."
Its also due to Stokley's natural abilities. The Falcons setter comes from a long line of athletes. Her uncle Brandon Stokley is a former UL star and 2 time super bowl champion. And her grandfather Nelson Stokley was a quarterback at LSU in the 60's.
"My aunt played college softball. My cousins all played basketball, volleyball, football, baseball, everything!" Peyton Stokley said. "From a very young age, me and my cousins were so competitive. No letting anyone win. Like, I have to win."
But for Peyton, it's maybe her persistence that deserves the most credit. As the pandemic brought doubt to if she would play at the next level.
"I know my entire year, 2022 was freaking out because it was like how are we going to get in touch with coaches and stuff, with not being able to go to tournaments. Right when clinics started to open up, I signed up for as many as I could to get my name out there with coaches."
On November 16th, Stokley finally made her dreams a reality, signing with Southeastern Volleyball.
"I couldn't think of a more deserving kid. I was a former Division 1 athlete myself," Robichaux, who is also a UL Volleyball alum, said. " I know the drive that it takes. She's one of those kids that's going to take it as a challenge and Just explode."
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