Photo by James Parrish
Samantha Byrn signs her letter of intent as her parents, Shelly (left) and John, look on.
When Samantha Byrn signed a letter-of-intent Wednesday to play volleyball North Platte Community College, the St. Pat's senior got the red carpet treatment.Not only were Byrn's parents and the NPCC volleyball coaches on hand, but a number of teammates, including Creighton recruit Brittany Lawrence were too, plus teachers and even a group of McDaid students.
Byrn said it was all a little overwhelming.
"It was really cool that everyone came to support me," she said.
Byrn, a 5-foot-8 outside hitter who played under her mother and coach Shelly, at St. Pat's, will be staying close to home. NPCC volleyball coach Sally Thalken is excited to see Byrn sign because she feels she has the complete package of what Thalkan looks for in a player.
Thalken said that Byrn shows commitment and dedication both on the court and the classroom and she is also a talented athlete. As a player, Byrn is well-rounded and has the ability to play anywhere on the floor.
"Sam is just a versatile player," Thalken said. "We're excited to have her. She could have gone to a lot of other places and she chose to sign with us."
Byrn said the feeling is mutual. She likes the coaches, the team and the school she chose.
"I went to their recruiting days and I fell in love with (NPCC)," said Byrn. "All the girls on the team were welcoming and classy. I like the school and I've already taken some classes out there. I like the new med center. The coaches (Thalken and Vicki Hopping) are both awesome. They're great coaches and they run a great program."