Camanche senior Madi Parson earned the Clinton Herald Player of the Year slot in 2017 as a junior, so it is really no surprise that she was deemed fit to be a repeat recipient.
Parson carried Camanche with a stellar senior season in all areas of her game. Add in an extremely talented rotation of Indians and they rode their success to a 28-7 season and a trip to the Class 3A substate game.
A look at the accolades Parson has racked up this season alone is all that is needed to understand the success of her four-year varsity career. Along with her second Player of the Year title, she also made the River Valley Conference Elite Team and was named to the Class 3A All-State Second Team.
One of the first things that stands out about Parson in any of the three sports she plays is her unequivocal passion. Every point, every moment, Parson exudes a contagious energy that often spreads to her teammates and the crowd in the stands.
The energy surrounding sports is what Parson says she most enjoys, and she intends to continue both volleyball and softball in college. Parson's natural athleticism stands out over the course of Camanche's volleyball, basketball and softball seasons.
Volleyball, though, stands out.
"I think the reason I like volleyball is that it really emphasizes a team effort," Parson said. "Everything about it is exciting, whether you get a kill or an ace, every point something is going on whereas is softball it's not as faced pace and a slower game."
Then, of course, you'll notice her monstrous swings. At 5-foot-9, Parson is not particularly intimidating, but she consistently puts balls away in a dominant fashion. Not only did she lead the Indians in kills nearly every match of the season, but she was statistically was one of the best arms in the state, finishing her senior run with the second-most kills (442) in Class 3A competition.
She was the go-to option for the Indians when a clutch point was needed. Whether they needed a rally or they were avoiding the opponent’s set point, the set was headed to the outside into Parson's territory.
Her kill efficiency made her reliable – coming in at over 42 percent – but she was also never afraid to take that swing.
"It's knowing that I need to," Parson said about those crucial moments in a game. "Knowing that my team is needing me to get those points or make the other team work so we can get a free ball back."
That’s a little shocking considering she was a setter until high school. She's certainly come a long way as an OH, but not just as a hitter.
"I switched to an outside freshman year and apparently it just worked," Parson said. "My back row was pretty awful freshman year and I don't know what happened but something did."
But to end her prep run she had a total of 224 digs, trailing just libero Camaryn Carstensen for the team-lead. Add in 34 blocks, 48 aces and going 327-342 from the service line, and you have yourself a complete game. It's something you see less and less of as athletes specialize in one aspect of the game or another, and it makes Parson fun to watch.
How did she get there? Simple: hard work.
"My goal is to always play hard," Parson said. "Even if you're not playing well, if you're hustling everywhere then something is going to come together."