Santa Maria Sun / Athlete of the Week
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 29
Athlete of the Week: Brooke Butler, Righetti
BY KRISTINA SEWELL
A high school athlete with exceptional athletic abilities is always someone to watch. But a high school student with tremendous talent and a mature head on her shoulders is even more amazing.
The Righetti High School volleyball team is lucky enough to have one such rarely packaged player. Senior Brooke Butler’s love and passion for the game is evident by the enthusiasm in her voice. She’s been playing the sport for as long as she can remember, following in the footsteps of her two sisters, who also played volleyball.
Butler had a strong pre-season for the Warriors, and her efforts so far earned her a recent weekly award from the Northern Santa Barbara County Athletic Roundtable. Butler leads the team in kills and is expected to be the kill leader for the PAC 7 again this season.
She said she did well during her junior season and feels she’s continuing to get better. For this season, Butler has set some very attainable goals: “I’d like to be kill leader again, improve on my game, and get the team to come together,” she said.
Last year, Butler served as a co-captain, but this year, she takes over as captain. According to coach Diana Strasbaugh, Butler is a major part of the team, not only because of her play, but because of her obvious leadership.
“She is an all-around player who is a leader on and off the court,” Strasbaugh said. “She will leave a lasting legacy of leadership.”
Butler admits that being a leader is sometimes hard, because her intense focus keeps her from being vocal—though she can be vocal when she needs to.
Strasbaugh said she’s had the pleasure of coaching Butler since the girl’s freshman year, when she was pulled up to play for varsity.
“Brooke is very focused and coachable; she comes to practice to work,” Strasbaugh said.
Combined with her passion for the game, Butler’s work ethic is endless and pushes her to become a better player. Part of that drive comes from the heavy competition she faces during club ball. She’s played for 805 Elite, Central Coast, and Ocean’s Elite.
“I play against people that are better than me, and so I want to push myself to be as good as they are,” Butler said.
When she isn’t on the court or in season, the work doesn’t stop. Butler loves to play beach volleyball to keep in shape. She also goes to the gym and watches game films of herself to see how she can improve.
“Brooke loves the game; she always wants to get better and do better,” Strasbaugh said.
With all these high expectations, Butler admits there’s some pressure on her.
“I know I have the ability to do well,” she said. “I’m just not somebody who has a big ego.”
Butler said the Warriors’ biggest competition this year will be Arroyo Grande and San Luis Obispo high schools. With only nine league games left, Butler is pursuing an athletic career in college at either Cal Poly or Fresno. She plans on majoring in child psychology.
For the remainder of her high school volleyball career, Butler wants to have fun and push her team to CIF.
“You can’t over-think it,” she said. “You can’t have any regrets at the end of the night; you leave your heart on the floor.” ∆