Grace Welch has been a varsity starter for Vicksburg’s volleyball and basketball teams from her freshman year to her senior year while carrying a 3.99 academic average. She has also competed in track all four years. In the fall, she plans to take her abilities to Adrian College, where her sister, Olivia, is currently contributing on the sports scene in volleyball.
She has signed with Adrian to play volleyball, but will go there on an academic scholarship with full tuition promised, since it is a Division III school which doesn’t offer sports scholarship. “It takes good time management to take part in the National Honor Society and play club volleyball all year long,” according to Welch. For the past two summers she has worked on the maintenance team at the Southland Mall in Portage with a third stint coming up this year.
Her record in volleyball helped to carry the team as an outside hitter. She has 135 sets played, 490 kills for the year for a kills-per-set of 3.6 and a hitting percent of 36.7 percent. Her parents, Shawn and Dawn, are her greatest supporters, attending almost every contest she has participated in. Welch has two brothers coming up through the school system, Ben, 15, and Eli, 12.
Tanner Mendham, soon to graduate from Vicksburg High School, will be going to Adrian College in the fall where he expects to participate in both track and football on an academic scholarship.
Coach Smith believes that Mendham’s work in each sport complemented the other. “He’s highly competitive. We put him in as the anchor on the relay team because nobody is going to pass him in the home stretch. He earned All-Conference in his junior year.”
Coach Marchese said Mendham gave his all as a defensive back, and though he was small for the position, size didn’t matter. “He wasn’t afraid to tackle and get his nose dirty. He does the extra little things and had a great senior year for us.”
Mendham said he has worked at Celebration Cinema while still participating in sports and keeping his academics at a high level.