CLINTON – Clinton High School graduate Gary Determan emceed the 2019 Hall of Fame induction, and he recalled when females didn’t have organized sports at the school.
And then he remembered when they got the chance and ran with it.
“When I was in school females didn’t get the chance to do sports,” Determan said. “When they got the opportunity, they sure took it, especially in volleyball.”
Part of that volleyball era was inducted into the 2019 Hall of Fame this weekend in Tracy McKinney Miley. Miley was a 1988 graduate of Clinton High who was a First Team All-State selection her junior year and a Second Team All-State selection as a junior. During that time, the River Queens were crowned Mississippi Athletic Conference champions.
“We had fun, we laughed a lot.” Miley recalled. “And we were competitive.”
One thing that Miley focused on was her teammated. She recalled the people she played with in black and red, stating that she would have never been where she was without them on the floor beside her.
“It’s a little different from wrestling or track where your times are your times or your pins are your pins,” Miley said. “Volleyball is a team sport.”
Miley was First Team All-MAC two consecutive years, including the unanimous Outstandings Player as a senior.
Miley got a full-ride to the University of Oklahoma. After her sophomore year, she transferred to Viterbo University where she earned Conference Player of the Year as a senior, along with NAIA First Team All-America and a slew of other awards.
She pointed to some of the coaches she had at CHS when talking about her success.
“There wasn’t a coach here that didn’t teach me something,” Miley said.
Plus, now that she’s a mother, Miley said that she has a new understanding of what it takes to be a good coach and why it’s so important.
“On the other side of things, I have extra appreciation for all the coaches that put in the extra effort … to make sure that young athletes turned into incredible adults,” Miley said.
She’s since moved to Florida and made a life, but still remembers this community. She says that the type of community that Clinton is makes it a special place.
“I’m incredibly proud to come from this school,” Miley said on Saturday night. “It’s a blessing, it really is.”