BRYANT – Former Bryant senior Brooke Howell provided plenty of power for the Lady Hornets in her All-State career. Howell is now taking that power to north Arkansas as she signed to play volleyball for the Williams Baptist Lady Eagles (Walnut Ridge) on Wednesday at Bryant High School.
In fact her power became legend after one of her spikes hit an opposing player above the shoulders which resulted in a trip to the emergency room. Bryant Coach Beth Solomon said Howell was definitely the hardest hitter she’s ever coached.
“Brook definitely hits hard,” Solomon said. “I’ve had coaches ask me, ‘What do you do to make her hit so hard?’ You can only teach so much. That’s something you don’t see in volleyball (Solomon said of the hit), so she’s definitely left a lot memories and big shoes to fill.”
Howell, who led the Lady Hornets with 253 kills, goes to a Williams Baptist team which finished 23-12 and 8-10 in the American Midwest Conference. The AMC is part of the NAIA and Howell said the hospitality the Lady Eagles showed her sold her college destination.
“I tried out for their team and they were the most welcoming girls,” Howell said. “They were so sweet and so kind. It was just a tryout and they pushed me to do better. I knew right then this is where I want to go, this is where I want to be.”
Howell, who was All-Conference her junior and senior years and All-State her senior year, also had 221 blocking assists, 89 solo blocks, 259 digs and a 95 percent serving average, and said her legendary power only makes her work harder.
“It definitely gives me a lot of incentive,” she said. “I have a lot to uphold. I feel like I have to work hard to keep up my status.”
Solomon has no doubt that Howell’s work ethic will carry her far.
“I’ve been with her for a long time now,” Solomon said. “She’s done so much for us. She one of the reasons Bryant is where it’s at right now. With how hard she hits, it didn’t come easy. She worked for it. She’s a true example of what you can do when you work for it.”
Howell plans to major in biology and go to nursing school that. She spoke of her career at Bryant.
“These last four years have been such a blessing to grow up with these girls and to see them mature and get better at volleyball, and want to get better,” Howell said. “I feel like I’ve gotten so good just by learning people and how they act, and how I can get better with them. Attitude has a lot to do with it. You have to have a good attitude.”