In high school athletics, there is no greater individual honor than being named to the All-State Team in any sport, let alone as a sophomore.
But Oswayo Valley volleyball player Jadyn Brabham was able to reach that plateau after an incredible season for the Green Wave, she was named to the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association 1A All-State Team and also took home the honor of being named District 9’s League-MVP.
45 aces, 351 kills, six assists, 312 digs and 28 blocks, an impressive stat line for even the most seasoned volleyball players.
The sophomore took the league by storm, being elite in a number of categories that translate to wins, as the OV Green Wave pushed their way all the way to the semi-finals of the District Championship bracket.
With two more years of varsity volleyball ahead of her, the sky’s the limit in terms of what she can and most likely will achieve in the future on the court.
“It is such an honor to be recognized at such a young age,” Brabham said. “I would not be able to be here without the help of my team and them helping make me stick out.”
In a year that has been riddled with schedule changes, a lack of fans and other obstacles that could derail a young player’s growth, Brabham was steadfast in her approach and prepared tirelessly for the season even with speculation that it might not even happen.
“It doesn’t matter what was going on, Jadyn stayed focused and had the support of her family, friends, teammates and coaches,” Oswayo Valley Volleyball Head Coach Rachelle Kellog said. “The team learned how to figure it out without having the fans there because in the past they played for their fans.”
Navigating the 2020 season was difficult for everyone involved. But somehow Brabham was able to conquer the odds in front of her by putting in the time in the gym to elevate her game to the All-State level.
Her work on and off the court is what set her apart in 2020 and while some players may have taken a step back with everything in the world being put on hold during the summer, Brabham made no excuses and continued to perfect her craft to become the player seen taking the court this year.
“To prepare for this season I have put in many hours in the gym,” Brabham said. “Last year I spent many hours after school in the weight room lifting and running. Once COVID restrictions are lifted I hope to be right back in the gym lifting again.”
The efforts she put in showed in a big way, improving on almost every statistical category by adding 132 kills and 63 digs to her season-totals from the past season, Brabham made a jump that most players spend an entire high school career trying to make.
She also found herself in rare company by being named to the All-State team, and according to Kellogg, Brabham is one of only two OV players ever recognized on the All-State Team and also one of only two players to ever be named District 9 MVP.
“As a coach Jadyn stood out in every game we played, she always turned heads.” Kellogg said. “She is loud and excited on the court whether it’s her making some good plays or her teammates. Her reactions are always the same.”
Her passion for the game showed when she took the court, and it matched the high-level of play she brought to the Oswayo Valley team.
While most players would look at a win as their most memorable moment from such a spectacular season, Brabham’s competitive nature seemed to gravitate her favorite moment from 2020 in a different direction.
“My favorite moment from this season was playing against Clarion in the Semi-Finals,” Brabham said. “That moment was special because I got to experience playing against a very talented team. Also I think that playing well in that game made me stand out and be recognized for the All-State Team.“
With Brabham looking at her highest level of competition as her favorite moment, it shows the drive and spirit she has for the game, and looking forward to the rest of bodes well for the rest of her career and what we’ll see in 2021.
“Our expectations are that as she matures that she grows stronger physically and mentally,” Kellogg said. “Jadyn has always strived to become better not only at her own personal gain but as a team leader and role model.”
At such a young age, Brabham embodies what it means to be in that role.
Instead of looking at her own individual achievements she always takes the time to recognize her teammates and coaches that have gotten her to the place she is today as a player.
“I want to thank my coaches for always encouraging me to do my best every day and helping me reach my goals,” Brabham said. “Also I couldn’t be here without my parents, they supported me in everything that I do and allowed me to play travel volleyball when I was younger which I believe helped me a lot.
“Lastly, I would like to thank my family, friends, and all of the fans for always coming to our games and cheering us on; it really means a lot. This year was so different without our big crowds. It is going to be hard next year without my best friend, Macy, by my side encouraging me when times are tough and making me laugh all the time.”