Halee Hatcher knew from her first experience at volleyball that she loved the game. Cheerleading, soccer, softball, even tee ball at an early age did not grab her in the same way that volleyball instantaneously did. Through three years at middle school and four years of high school, she played the game, played with Pro Style Volleyball Academy with weekends often consumed with travel to and from volleyball tournaments. Late nights during school were sometimes back-to-back but it mattered not to Halee, as long as she was on the court for every game. And that she was. Tuesday afternoon, in a packed media center, with friends, family, teammates and teachers, Halee signed on the dotted line to play for Huntingdon College in Birmingham. Hatcher will trade her Bulldog mascot for a Hawk mascot.
Marianna High principal Hunter Nolen welcomed everyone and thanked them for coming, “We are excited to be here, to see Halee move up to play volleyball for Huntingdon College. She has played volleyball here for four years and has excelled on the floor and in the classroom. We are so proud for Halee and her family. Hard work does pay off. We are very proud of her and wish her the best of luck next year. We hope you enjoy the ride.”
Athletic director John Donaldson reiterated much of Nolen’s sentiments, “I second everything Mr. Nolen said and I thank all of you for being here to celebrate with her. It is a big day and it’s not an easy course. It’s a commitment and her family committed to it and they spent a lot of time and a lot of gas. It didn’t just happen and it’s not easy and I will also tell you the next four years aren’t easy either. It’s a lifestyle and she knows that. She will do great there and she will be a great ambassador for our school as she spends her time there. Please tell them when you get there to come get some more of our students.”
Coach Jessica Haid praised Halee for her commitment to volleyball, “I just want to say that I coached Halee the past three years. I was the assistant coach the first two years and then I took over head coach this past year and it’s just been a blessing. To see her grow the past three years and to see her excel not only on the court but in the classroom. Everything that I heard about Halee was good from her teachers, from her friends, so I don’t doubt for a second that she is going to thrive at Huntingdon. She is going to be fantastic. She is going to be a middle so she will be in a position that she is very well capable of doing. She led us in statistics all three years all three years that I had her and so I am very proud of her and for her and if you need me for anything, just call.”
About her choice in schools, Halee chose Huntingdon over Shenandoah University. She said about Huntingdon, “I liked it was because it was close to home but not too close. The population wasn’t too big and I just really liked all the people there. They were very friendly and the volleyball girls were all so nice.” In closing, Halee said she wanted to thank her mom and dad, her family, friends, and coaches for all of their support.
Halee is the daughter of Wesley and Christy Hatcher, granddaughter of Rich and Lynne Mulder, Angus Hatcher, and Carolyn Nobles. Halee has three siblings, twin brothers Cason and Clark, and sister Anniston.
Congratulations to Halee and her family on her achievement in moving on up to continue to play the game she loves and further her education from the publisher and staff of the TIMES.