By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (August 11, 2017) — Kourtney Seaton was as much the face of the Honeybee volleyball team the past three seasons as any player was for any sport at Stephenville High School or any of the surrounding schools in the Cross Timbers Region.
Seaton could have traveled farther, played in gyms with brighter lights and bigger crowds and attended school with tens of thousands of other students.
But that wasn’t for her.
The 6-2 middle blocker sat with The Flash Today for a Q&A before returning for her sophomore year in Natchitoches, Louisiana, with its 18,300-ish residents and almost 9,500 Northwestern State University students. It’s small, which fits her comfort zone. But it’s still NCAA Division I volleyball, which is a dream come true.
Seaton says everything down to roommate pairing went smoothly, as her live-in friend and teammate, “is just like me, for real. We are so close now that I don’t think I could have possibly picked a roommate myself and found a better fit for me.”
While there was some adjusting required to manage the level of coursework while facing the often rigorous travel schedule of college athletics, Seaton is confident the good times will only get better as she progresses through her college career.
Now, she is back with her NSU Demon teammates. Their preseason camp began this week with big expectations as the young team looks to improve on last season’s record of 12-20.
Sports editor Brad Keith, who covered Seaton throughout her stellar high school career asks, and the 6-2 star answers in this Flash exclusive:
Q) Now that you’ve had a year at Northwestern State and in Natchitoches, Louisiana, are you satisfied you chose NSU, and assuming so, what makes it the right fit for you?
A) I’m definitely happy, it’s been great. It’s a very small school. The atmosphere is like Stephenville because everyone knows pretty much everyone. All the athletes and teams support one another, and we’re all really good friends. Adjusting to college life there isn’t that difficult because it’s so much like Stephenville, so it’s been a pretty easy transition for me.
Q) On the court, was it an eye-opening experience to play volleyball at that level, and how do you adjust now as a sophomore?
A) It definitely was different. In any (Division I) sport everyone is like you, you’re not the one that stands out anymore, especially against some of the really big schools that we played. It was pretty intimidating at first, but after I got a couple games under my belt I felt pretty comfortable.\
Q) What is it like trying to balance the workload of being a pre-pharmacy student – a biology major – and being an NCAA Division I athlete?
A) During the season it was very, very ,very difficult, especially last season because we had a lot of away games. It’s very difficult to balance all my biology classes which are very tough classes especially in college. It’s pretty stressful, but it is doable and I managed to do it. This year should be a lot easier, because now that I’m a sophomore I’ve done it for a year before and we don’t have as many away games this year thank goodness.
Q) As you look back at your high school career now, your perception may have changed some over the last year. When you look back now, what have you taken from it and what are some of the things you miss?
A) I definitely miss playing with all my closest friends. I’m still close with them now, we’re just all at different colleges. I definitely miss being with them everyday and playing with them everyday. That was something we all had in common was we all loved volleyball. I also miss my coaches, because I have very good relationships with them, too. They pushed me hard and always worked to make me better and I’m very thankful for that.
Q) If you were to talk to say a sophomore or junior at a place like Stephenville who was beginning to receive some recruiting attention, what would your advice to them be, based on your experience with the recruiting process?
A) Definitely take a couple visits once you get it down to a few schools you are deciding between. Go more than once if you can, take a few visits, it doesn’t even have to be with the coaches, but for yourself and with your family so that you can really see what the atmosphere of the school and the classes are like. Watch a few of their games so you see how the players interact with each other on the court and how the coaches and players interact with each other, too.
Q) Alright, sell me on Northwestern State this year. Why should the rest of the Southland Conference be wary of your team?
A) I’m definitely looking forward to this year and next year because we have a lot of returners. We only have two seniors this year there will be just one next year. We will have a lot of returners and good players who played for a while together, so we should be good.