Playing even one sport in this day and age can be a challenge, but senior Alex Brandan defies that expectation.
Brandan plays volleyball for Bearden and plays club soccer for FC Alliance Black.
The modern culture of specializing of sports in America makes it difficult to balance two sports at the same time. Brandan played club in both sports in middle school, but knew that she would have to favor one in the coming years.
“I had to make a choice on which one I wanted to do in college,” Brandan said. “In that case, I would continue playing club ball for the one I wanted to play in college because that’s what gets you noticed.”
When freshman year rolled around, she started to focus more on soccer and played yearlong club soccer and did not play either sport for Bearden.
For her sophomore year, she decided to come back to volleyball while continuing to play club soccer. She joined the Lady Bulldog volleyball team and stayed at her position of libero.
The libero is an especially important position because she does not count as an official substitution and wears a different colored jersey. In addition, the libero is usually considered the best passer on the team.
“She is really fast, and she gets to every ball,” senior captain Carrie McGinnis said. “She is very vocal and a great leader.
“She only plays two months out of the year, and I really don’t know how she does it.”
Brandan put her skills on display Wednesday night when Bearden hosted Hardin Valley.
As for soccer, Brandan plays for FC Alliance Black as a left outside midfielder. This team is highly respected and also includes Bearden’s star senior forward Ashley Seltzer.
“She’s probably one of the most competitive people I know, and that’s what I think makes her a special player,” Seltzer said.
Brandan’s focus on soccer paid off as Carson Newman has offered her a full-ride for her soccer skill set.
“She wants to be the best at anything she does and never backs down from a challenge,” Seltzer said.