The first thing you can’t help but notice about Krimson White is her head-turning name.
And believe it or not, it has absolutely nothing to do with the University of Alabama.
“My mom says the name thing was a fluke,” said White, when contacted last week. “She always wanted to name her baby girl Krimson – with a K.
“My dad’s last name was White, so I happened to become Krimson White. If his name had been Smith, I would have been Krimson Smith.”
But even White’s unique name is overshadowed by her efforts on the volleyball court. The Homewood senior played a key role in the Lady Patriots’ revival in the sport, leading her team to an appearance in the Class 6A Elite Eight last season. White – who has been named pre-season all-state at the setter position – is looking for an even bigger and better 2010.
“Our goal is to keep Homewood as one of the best volleyball programs in the state,” she said. “We’d like to get back to the Elite Eight and go even further than that.”
Although White is one of only four seniors on the Lady Patriot squad – Hannah Norris, Kathryn Shields and Alicia Cox are the others – she is expecting a lot from her team.
“We can be as good as we want to be,” she said. “It all depends on how hard we are willing to work and play together.
“I remember last year, players from other teams would come up to me after matches and say ‘your team is like a family.’ We were successful last year because we had that family-like bond. That was more important than our skill level. If we re-establish that family feeling, we will have a great year.
“We want to be the hardest-working, scrappiest team on the court.”
White is setting her individual goals high as well. Last season, she earned 922 assists – one of the highest totals of any player in the state. This time, White wants more.
“I’d like to get past 922. It would be great to get close to 1,000, but I don’t want to get greedy,” she said, laughing. “I’ll settle for 923, as long as it’s more than last year.”
Although she stands only 5-6, White plays volleyball with the strength and passion you might expect from a girl who enjoys climbing mountains and rocks as a hobby. White’s greatest asset, however, may be her self confidence – an essential ingredient for a successful setter, who leads a volleyball team much like a quarterback leads a football team.
“To play setter, you’ve got to have the confidence of your teammates, and you’ve got to have confidence in yourself,” she said. “I’d tell any young player that if they want to be a good setter, they have to believe in themselves.”
White’s interest in volleyball goes back to the sixth grade, when she served as a team manager. She credits a cousin, Laura Gulino, for helping her make the transition from managing to playing the game.
“We would go out and practice and pass and set until midnight,” White recalled. “It was way past my bedtime, but I guess it was worth it.”
As she begins her final year at Homewood, White is amazed at how fast the time has passed.
“It’s all really gone by in a flash,” she said. “It seems like yesterday that I was playing on the junior varsity, and now I’m a senior. It’s really hard to believe, but it’s been a great ride.”
White said she and her senior teammates would like to leave a legacy of winning.
“We want to graduate knowing that we had made Homewood one of the best volleyball programs in Alabama,” she said. “Before we came, I think Homewood maybe only had one or two really good seasons. We’d like to pass a winning tradition on to the girls who come after us.”
Whether college volleyball is in White’s future is an open question, as her comparatively short stature could hold back college recruiters.
“I’d love to play volleyball at the University of Alabama, but God didn’t give me a lot of height,” she said. “As the old saying goes, though, sometimes it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”
For Krimson White – the girl with the memorable name and the propensity for mountain climbing – working hard and achieving greatly has become a trademark. And that’s no fluke.
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