Sydney Norris is the kind of athlete every coach would likely say they want on their team — no matter the sport.
“Coachable” is the term former coach Wendy Crumpler used to describe her.
Crumpler said Norris is a fantastic athlete with great leadership skills, putting her heart and soul out there in every situation. A three-sport athlete and rising senior at Harrells Christian Academy, Norris is the daughter of Wootie and Jennifer Norris.
Whether she is singing the National Anthem before a game or leading the student section at a football game on Friday night, Sydney excels in many endeavors. She plays volleyball, basketball and soccer for the Crusaders while maintaining a 4.0 grade point average. Sydney has the nickname “mop” on the court, because of her knack for doing what it takes to make a play even if it means “mopping” the floor while doing it.
While Norris has a smile that can light up a room, she is very serious about the hard work and determination it takes to be a successful athlete. That hard work paid off this past year as she garnered several awards, including All-Conference in volleyball and basketball, All-County in volleyball and soccer. She also received best defensive player in volleyball and the coaches award in basketball.
SI: What is your favorite sport?
Norris: Volleyball, definitely!
SI: What sport would you like to participate in that is not currently available to you?
Norris: Swimming. My mother was a swimmer and I think it would be a fun sport in which to compete.
SI: What are your future plans?
Norris: I would love to attend UNC or ECU and perhaps major in speech therapy or occupational therapy.
SI: Do you plan to participate in sports in college?
Norris: If the opportunity presents itself, I may try out for a team but the academics and preparation for the future will come first.
SI: What do you like to do besides play sports?
Norris: I love singing and spending time at the beach.
SI: What are your favorite subjects?
Norris: I really like English and I am looking forward to AP English Lit with Mr. Kunst for my senior year. I also like history.
SI: You just returned from a trip to Europe with some of your classmates. What did you like about the trip?
Norris: I loved seeing the different cultures in Italy, Germany and Switzerland, but I think Austria was my favorite. I really liked trying the different kinds of foods.
SI: Who is your favorite athlete?
Norris: I would have to say Michael Jordan. My dad has told me about his determination after he was cut from the varsity in high school. That setback motivated him to become more successful.
SI: What is special about being a Crusader?
Norris: Being a Crusader is an honor and I feel lucky to be a part of the teams there.
SI: What is it like growing up in Sampson County and attending HCA?
Norris: Sampson County is home and I feel safe here, but I do like visiting other places. I love attending HCA and the solid friendships I have made there. I feel like I am part of one big family.”
As a final question, Norris was asked if she had a favorite quote.
“‘Rome was not built in a day,’” said Norris. “It takes a lot of hard work and practice to be a successful athlete, it does not happen overnight. Sometimes you mess up or make mistakes but you just get up and try again. Failure can make you better – you just keep trying.”
Reach Sebrinia Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.