The stats don’t lie: Amanda Carrillo is one of the preeminent volleyball players in Lorain County history.
But as she was inducted Saturday night into the Amherst Athletic Hall of Fame, she didn’t talk much about her 324-kill single season record, or her Southwestern Conference MVP honors, or the three straight SWC championships the Comets won during her time on the team.
No, she talked about the sacrifices her parents made without complaint so that she could play.
Carrillo — Bescak back when she took the court by storm from 1995 to 1999 — remembered how her mother would sit atop the Steele High School gym bleachers, recording games; how her father never missed a game or an opportunity to motivate the team; how they had players over for dinners; and how they drove her to rehab sessions after suffering not one but two torn ACLs.
Looking around her old gym where banners of past glories still hang, Carrillo also talked about inspiration.
“It was in this room that I first felt the empowerment of a women’s sport,” she said, recalling watching older spikers who went to state. “Thank you for showing me that a girl playing a sport was never second to a boy playing a sport — much better, in fact.”
Coach Laurie Cogan was a crucial part of her development and Carrillo didn’t miss the chance to say thank you.
From the first time she saw Cogan in action, she wanted to play for her. “You wanted us to strive for excellence and nothing less and we did — not just for us but for you,” Carrillo told her.
To learn more about the other inductees, read the Jan. 31 edition of the Amherst News-Times, included in the Lorain County Community Guide!