A Special Senior: Kaileigh Ammons

A Special Senior: Kaileigh Ammons

Peyton Kunkel, Staff Writer

An early Saturday morning practice filled with running and drills. An exhausted, but eager and hardworking team ready to do what it takes to make it to state. As a tough practice comes to an end, the team is leaving the gym as senior Kaileigh Ammons informs the girls that today is Coach Bill Schreier’s birthday. Completely devastated that they had forgotten his birthday and went the entire practice without saying something to their coach, the team began a loud, excited and dance-filled “Happy Birthday” song. As the song was wrapped up, the girls were informed that his birthday is in July. It was October. A classic “Kale” move. She always knows how to make anyone laugh.

Senior Kaileigh Ammons is an extraordinary young woman, four year WWS varsity volleyball player and a dedicated Christian who led the 2019 girls volleyball team to their best season in program history and is an inspiration to many.

Ammons has been playing volleyball since she was in the fifth grade and has been a starter on the varsity volleyball team at Wheaton Warrenville South for four years. However, her senior season was different. As a team captain, Ammons had a huge role on the team and was ready to take it on. With an early team record of 7-5, the team knew they could be better. The turning point of the season for the Tigers was the Neuqua Valley game at the Annual Wheaton Classic Tournament. It was the girls’ last game on a Wednesday night, battling their way into the gold bracket. After taking the first set of the match, Neuqua came back and destroyed the Tigers in the second. Senior Ammons took control and gave the team an encouraging speech. 

“She reminded us why we were on the court playing the game we love, and she held us accountable. Which ultimately allowed for our victory over Neuqua, and paved the way for our success later on during the season,” said sophomore libero Darby Harris. The Tigers swept the third set to take the match. 

 “She has an uncanny knack of when to lead and when to lead by example, letting her play dictate what is going on.  She put the lead aspect to use during the Wheaton Classic when we played Neuqua Valley and came back to win in 3,” said Coach Bill Schreier. From then on, there was no turning back. Ammons led the team with the highest kills from a middle blocker/hitter in a season with 219 kills and a hitting percentage of 44.5. She achieved the third most blocks in program history with 283 blocks while battling a knee injury throughout the season. 

“I couldn’t be happier with our season. Of course I wish we were able to end the season on top at 1st in the state but I wouldn’t want it anyway. We did our best and ended the season with happy tears, we should be so proud of ourselves. 1st public school in the state,” said Ammons. The Tigers ultimately lost to Benet Academy in the state finals, taking second in state. It was the best season finish in Wheaton Warrenville South High School’s girls volleyball program with an overall record of 33 wins and 9 loses. 

Although volleyball is a large aspect of her life, her faith is the most important. “Even though I am an athlete I find my identity in Christ. My relationship with God is the most important thing in my life and I do everything to give glory to God, training and all,” said Ammons. “I try to resemble Christ as much as I can with my heart and actions. As a follower of God, each day I am given a purpose and try to live each day to the fullest.” Ammons is a part of the Chicago Church of Christ and her faith is the main aspect of her life and shapes the young woman she is. 

“She is firmly established in her beliefs in God and that comes to bear on who she is and how she presents herself to others.  She has a ton of confidence, which is really important as you progress through this thing called life. She will be a success wherever her road may take her,” said Schreier. Through her church, Ammons has had countless amazing volunteer opportunities. She serves God by helping fellow members of her Church whenever someone is in need. Ammons even had the opportunity to travel to Eastern Europe to be a camp counselor. She describes the experience, “to counsel a camp filled with kids from 5 nations growing in their walk with God, one of the best experiences of my life.”

Kaileigh Ammons will be attending Charleston Southern University in South Carolina this fall to continue her volleyball career. Along with playing division one volleyball, Ammoms will be continuing her academic career, studying business.  There are not enough words to describe her character. Calling Ammons an amazing young woman would be an understatement. She is hardworking, dedicated, brave and has a heart of gold. 

“I would describe her as someone beyond reproach.  She is really a great person, that is caring and kind.  She will always look for the best in others and try to help bring that out more often than not,” said Coach Schreier.