July 9, 2014 8:43:08 PM
Khris Carr's dream is close to becoming a reality.
It's a dream the rising Starkville High School senior has had for more than three years. It's one she never imagined having, especially coming from a soccer background and having never played volleyball.
But Carr's love for volleyball started soon after she began playing the sport as a seventh-grader. A year later, she was playing with the Starkville High varsity volleyball team and using her emerging skills and athleticism to be one of the area's top players.
Carr has solidified her position as one of the area's best players in the past three years. As she prepares for her final high school season, Carr has one goal in mind: To take her game to the next level. Next week, Carr will get a chance to show college coaches she can do just that when she plays in the 10th-annual Mississippi Association of Coaches All-Star match. Carr will be one of the 12 players on the North squad that will face off against a team from the South at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Hangar Dome on the campus of Millsaps College in Jackson.
Carr, a 5-foot-10 outside hitter, was named The Dispatch's All-Area Volleyball Player of the Year in 2012. She earned first-team All-District honors and was named to The Dispatch's All-Area team last season. This week, she continues to prepare for her senior year and to showcase her skills at a volleyball camp at Southern Mississippi. She said she is looking forward to the All-Star game and making an impression on a host of coaches she has invited to attend the match.
"It is going to give me an opportunity to wow them," Carr said. "It is a great experience to play in the All-Star game."
Carr said she hasn't had much time to think about the All-Star game and how it could help her earn a college scholarship. Instead, she has stayed busy playing club volleyball for former Mississippi State coach Tina Seals and her team based out of Muscle Shoals, Alabama. She feels confident she will be mentally prepared for the opportunity to make the most of it.
"This is my time to shine," Carr said.
For some, that might be a daunting prospect. But Carr has blossomed into a talented volleyball player capable of playing in every spot on the floor. At 5-10, she has grown a few inches in the past two years. Her height, athleticism, and her knowledge and the passion for the game have fueled her college dreams. She said Southern Miss, MSU, New Orleans, and East Tennessee State are at the top of her list when it comes to picking a college.
Carr has reached this point after switching from volleyball to play an indoor sport to honor her parents' wishes. She said she was a speedy player on the soccer field who caught on pretty quickly to the game of volleyball. Once she saw some of her Starkville High volleyball teammates earn chances to play the sport in college, she realized she eventually would have the same opportunity if she continued to grow and to improve. She has used her aggressiveness and her love for hitting the ball to move into position to earn a chance to play at a Division I school.
"I think I am pretty close to my dream of playing volleyball in college," Carr said. "That is why I am attending camps to allow coaches to see me at their camps other than seeing me with my club team."
Carr plans to attend the MSU volleyball camp following the senior All-Star match. After that, she will turn her attention to her senior season and try to help coach Lauren Love and the Lady Yellow Jackets get back to the Mississippi High School Activities Association playoffs after a one-year absence. In addition to those team goals, Carr said she has things left to show college coaches to convince them she is ready for the next step.
"I want to show them I am an overall player, I am a leader, and I am easily coachable," Carr said. "I want to show them I am open-minded and that I can listen to direction, even if it means I have to change everything I have learned."
Follow Dispatch sports editor Adam Minichino on Twitter @ctsportseditor.
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.