Sep 25, 2013 8:41 PM by Bill Halter
A good class of athletes can go a long way for a small school. At Templeton, having Mari Stewart, Marissa Torres and Autumn Russell has meant plenty of success for the volleyball and basketball teams. The three seniors won a Los Padres League championship in volleyball last year and are off to a 2-0 start this season in the LPL. In basketball, the Eagles have finished second in League behind powerhouse Morro Bay the past two seasons.
"They bring a lot of competitive nature to the team. Practices get pretty fun and intense. One starts swinging hard and they start going at it" said volleyball coach Jodi Kelly.
After playing together since childhood, Stewart, Torres and Russell are team captains in volleyball and determined to leave a CIF championship as a legacy. "That would mean the world. It's been fun, it's a lot of hard work but it's fun watching it pay off. We get to build this program up and for the people who are coming in behind us it's something that they can push for" said Stewart.
Torres is the libero and defensive stalwart in volleyball, she has a third of the teams kills this season. Torres is the Eagles point guard and was the teams second leading scorer last year in basketball. "Marissa's really competitive and that really works for her. She's super athletic" said Russell.
Stewart is an outside hitter and the six footer is second on the team in kills. She led the Eagles basketball team in points, rebounds and steals last season. "Mari's very motivational, she's always there to cheer you up. She's always there when you need her, She just kind of gets us going" said Torres.
Russell leads the volleyball team in kills as an outside hitter, she does a little bit of everything on the basketball court. "She's the type of teammate that makes you smile cause she's really funny, she always is the one cracking jokes and she always picks you up if you're having a bad day" said Stewart.
Stewart, Torres and Russell say they've built a great friendship during all the years competing next to each other. "We've kind of grown to be like family now, they're like sisters" said Torres. "We have this bond that we have and we don't really have to talk about it, it just happens on the court and somehow we get it done" said Stewart.
Templeton volleyball plays at Santa Maria on Thursday night. The Eagles are 8-4 overall.
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