The Washington Times-Herald

Local Sports

November 1, 2012

Lion pair keeps team rolling along

LOOGOOTEE — One is a senior who has seen a big change in her role with the Loogootee volleyball team.

The other is a record-setting junior that has been a major cog for the Lions.

And while their roles are different, in many ways they are remarkably the same.

Remington Wagler is the only senior on the Loogootee team this fall. She felt comfortable as a junior who had several seniors to provide leadership.

“I kind of like it,” Wagler said of being the lone senior. “I think I can speak my mind a bit more and add more input for the team. I may not be the most athletic person on our team, but I don’t get shaken easily. I try to pick the team up. I know if we make mistakes we aren’t done yet.”

Wagler said she understands her role on the team, and tries to insure her job gets done.

“My role is to place the ball where it needs to be,” Wagler said. “I have to get the passes from the back row. I like passing as much as hitting. I also try to serve hard. I hope they’re hard to return.

“I feel it’s my responsibility to help keep the team up and going when we get in a rut,” Wagler said. “I’m the one with the most experience. It was rough at the beginning, because last year I didn’t have to do that stuff. It took awhile to figure it out, but I think I’ve picked it up. It was a major change.”

Wagler enjoys winning and being part of a successful team. She also appreciates the support the team has received.”

“Winning is pretty awesome,” Wagler said. “The team part and being on the court and hearing how loud they are and how much support you’re getting — I think that is awesome.”

Like many who start early in volleyball, Wagler said she was one of the taller girls at a younger age. At 5-10, she’s not short, but there are taller members on her team.

“I’ve been passed up a bit,” Wagler said. “I think I quit growing in the fourth grade.”

Wagler believes the Lions have strength in team closeness. She will leave six juniors and six sophomores on the roster after graduation.

“I think we’re all comfortable with each other being a bout the same age,” Wagler said.

Demi Richardson already has her name atop several Loogootee records as a junior.

She  leads in career assists (3,180), assists in a season (1,243 with 1,225 at this point in 2012), serving point (1,016), serving points in a season (390 with 365 this year), first in aces (101) and career aces (240).

“Setting just seems to be what I’ve always done,” Richardson said. “Setters are the leaders of the team, and my coaches saw some of that in me. I’ve always worked pretty hard. I’ve always been a setter. I’ve never done anything else.”

Those leadership qualities translate to the floor. It’s a part of the game Richardson enjoys.

“I love all of it,” Richardson said. “I love setting, but I also enjoy digging, running all over the place to save balls. I have to touch every ball because setters get the second ball. I like helping to keep the team together. Remington and I kind of both do that.”

“I don’t get nervous when I play, and I enjoy having responsibility,” Richardson said. “I get excited when I make a good set.”

She agreed the team was tight knit, and close on and off the floor.

“We’re really close and that helps us mesh,” Richardson said. “We’re all good friends.

Richardson’s family has been involved with sports for as long as she can remember.

“It feels like I’ve been playing since I was born,” Richardson said. “I played club volleyball when I was maybe 11. My mom (Melba Montgomery Richardson) played, and we just started playing outside.”

Richardson is confident that her teammates will be ready for the championship game. She has few doubts the Lions will be ready.

“We all mesh, we all want it, and we want to go far,” Richardson said. “We all want this very badly. The girls don’t say it, they do what we need to do it. I know we’re coming out to play. We want to come home as state champs.”

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