By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Athlete of the week: Veteran Red Elephant leads the way to wins
Placeholder Image


Listen to Gainesville High volleyball Jon Ricketts discuss his daughter Taylor's success with the Lady Red Elephants this year.

Gainesville High volleyball player Taylor Ricketts’ experience on the floor is making a difference for the Lady Red Elephants.

Ricketts, a senior, had 24 assists, 23 kills, six digs, four aces and one block in four matches last week for Gainesville (2-5), including nine assists, nine kills, two digs, one ace and one block in the Lady Red Elephants’ first two wins of the season against Tallulah Falls and East Hall on Thursday.

“Winning felt amazing,” Ricketts said. “After all the practice the team has had, getting that first win felt good.”

The two wins already gives Gainesville more wins than last year’s team, which managed only one win the entire season.

“She was very instrumental in our first win,” said Lady Red Elephants coach Jon Ricketts, who is also Taylor’s father. “She set the ball well to her teammates.”

Taylor is one of two seniors for Gainesville, and the only one with four years of experience. Her longevity in the sport has made her a leader in a young volleyball program.

“She’s definitely a team leader and a catalyst for less-experienced players,” Coach Ricketts said. “We expect a lot out of her.”

Although only 5-foot-4, considered short for a volleyball player, Taylor has become an effective setter for Gainesville, and has stepped up as one of the team’s best servers as well.

“I’m just trying to be an all-around player,” she said. “I want to help out in any way that I can.”

Much of her talent has come from the additional training she has earned from being coached by her father, who says it’s even harder to coach his daughter than other players.

“It’s harder to coach her because I expect her to set an example for other players,” Jon Ricketts said. “But she’s old enough now to understand her role as a leader.”

But while playing for her dad might be more difficult for Taylor, it hasn’t kept her from enjoying the experience.

“It’s different, but it’s worth it,” she said. “Whenever you do something right, you know you did it not just for you and your team, but for your family too.”

Friends to Follow social media