MIDDLEBURG - Carrie Prewitt got an effort of a lifetime from those under her coaching care, but the possibility of getting that elusive state title ended against another one-of-the-best teams in …
MIDDLEBURG - Carrie Prewitt got an effort of a lifetime from those under her coaching care, but the possibility of getting that elusive state title ended against another one-of-the-best teams in Florida just days later.
“If we had had the same game as we had for the district title, we would still be playing,” said Prewitt, who lost her region 1-5A quarterfinal 3-1 to fifth seed Ocala Vanguard, the district 2-5A champion, despite another 26 Kill effort from junior hitter Connor Rahn. “The thought of not doing this anymore has hit me in waves. These girls, game after game, played their hearts out and that’s all I can ask for as a coach.”
Prewitt admitted the thought of a final run for a state title; with a handful of Final Four finishes and a runnerup, has been in the back of her head, but in the front of her team’s collective heads.
“We were either going to win the state championship or go out playing our best game,” said Prewitt. “And, we went out playing our best game. I’m just really proud of them. That Ridgeview game was just back and forth at championship level all night.”
In ending her illustrious career, which included about 35 years of games, over 500 notches in the W column and a slew of top-tier collegiate players from every level of college; junior college, NAIA, Div. III, Div. II, Div. 1, and a reputation of unfailing devotion to making every one of her teams hard-nosed and up to the task against all foes.
Note: Vanguard continued through the regions with a win over top seed Choctawhatchee and now will face sixth seed Ridgeview in the region championship on Wed., Nov. 2 in Ocala.
For Prewitt, the future has some ideas ranging from a long hike down the Appalachian Trail to a country-wide journey in a van or RV around America.
“First, I’m going to close up everything at home and I’m going to hike,” said Prewitt, who embarked a few years ago on a self-motivate fitness regimen that included pushup challenges, lots of walking and hiking and, of course, volleyball practice. “I’m still getting ready for beach volleyball season, then I retire from teaching in May and it all starts.”
As for the leaving of the teaching she does, Prewitt admitted teaching without coaching would not be a good day.
“I could not be here and not coach,” said Prewitt, a physical education teacher.
Prewitt’s next big emotional step is to give the keys to her assistant coach Meredith Forkum to take over the program.
“At the banquet, I will officially give her the keys to engine,” said Prewitt. “She’s going to do a great job. She’s well prepared and will have a good team to start off with.”
Prewitt’s first trek, she planned, was a March 2024 start of the Appalachian Trail with a finish at the famous Katahdin, Maine finish point, a near 2,000 mile, six-month adventure.
“That will be my decompression effort,” said Prewitt. “By myself, with my little backpack, tent and food.”
Talking volleyball, Prewitt admitted not being able to single out just one player as her most influential, but that her approach to the game has significantly evolved in the her 30 years.
“When we first started out, we were just figuring ot the game itself and we just worked hard on the coaching, drilling and making them tough,” said Prewitt.
“The volleyball intelligence has evolved immensely. At first, we were more teaching the game. Now, the kids come fully immersed in the game and have studied the little nuances.”
Prewitt’s final thoughts of her career that she felt she had plenty of up moments but also its share of sad moments were more coach missteps that may have changed a game situation.
“We all have shoulda, woulda, couldas as coaches and we all hate them,” said Prewitt. “I don’t think I ever cracked in front of the team, but always felt that if I freaked out, the kids would freak out. On the inside, there is plenty of those shoulda, woulda, couldas. The main goal was to assess and figure a way that a bad set doesn’t happen again.”
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