Gulf Coast Volleyball Is Thriving in Local Talent

Published: Oct. 29, 2022 at 3:35 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Gulf Coast volleyball has been dominant this season and a lot of it stems from a pipeline of local talent. Head Coach Scott Allen loves being in a volleyball hot bed.

“High schools are doing great. You got Mosley going and winning a state championship last year, they’re looking really tough this year. You got South Walton, Bay, all these local, North Bay Haven. Lots of good, competitive high schools in the area producing really good talent.”

Gulf Coast sophomore Sarah Livingstone says the players just get better each and every year.

“It’s actually really cool to see the high school talent go up because I thought we were pretty good for my class going up with it and honestly the talent has just exploded even more.”

Talent staying local means familiarity between the players, Livingstone said, leading to smooth play on the court.

“Honestly volleyball is a year round sport, you can play club, beach, indoor. so you’re seeing these girls in the gym, playing against them and then during club they’re your friends”

Carsyn Tillman, another Gulf Coast sophomore, longevity leads to chemistry.

“Whenever you play with someone for a long time, you get a lot of chemistry and it makes you play better.”

In the Commodores case, staying in the panhandle meant these girls were already a step ahead when stepping on the GC court.

“I honestly just liked the local aspect, Livingstone stated, I’ve known Coach Scott for quite a while so playing for him was a lot of my impact for staying at Gulf Coast and then it’s just close to home.”

Tillman said the choice was simple.

“Coach Scott, he really convinced me to come here.”

“They have an understanding of the way I like to do things so they kind of know what they’re getting into, there’s no surprise”, Scott said.

The majority of Gulf Coast’s roster comes from local schools, those long time friendships bring excitement amongst the players and success amongst the team.

“I think it’s really cool to see 9, 9 of 15 so over half of our girls are from the same area”, Livingstone emphasized.

“Yeah a lot of our top end’s going D1, D2 but then there’s just more talent around the area,” said Scott, “So we still have more local players that want to stay for a 2 year program. So yeah, the more players that we have in the area that are playing good ball the better.”

The Commodores are hoping the strong team chemistry and high level talent will lead them to a conference and national championship.