Lady Tiger commits to Fighting Tigers

Published 9:16 am Thursday, May 16, 2024

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A senior at The Calhoun School is shattering glass ceilings to break records in her school system and in her family by chasing her first love – the chance to play volleyball.

Xochitl Fonseca signed a commitment and received a scholarship to play volleyball with the Andrew College Fighting Tigers during a ceremony hosted by Calhoun on May 9. The commitment made Fonseca a record breaker by becoming the first in her family to attend college and the first at not only Calhoun but also within the Lowndes County Public Schools system to sign a volleyball commitment and, as a hispanic-American female, to sign any sort of college commitment.

In addition, Fonseca will graduate high school on Thursday, making the rising volleyball star the first ever in her family to complete secondary education. 

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Fonseca has played volleyball at Calhoun for three years and with a travel league for almost five. She said the journey toward playing at a collegiate level began with an intentional effort to join activities which would bring her out of her shell.

“I’m a quiet person,” Fonseca said. “I wanted to do something besides coming home from school. I wanted to do some sports. So, I decided to play volleyball at Lowndes Middle School to try and come out of my comfort zone.”

The strategy worked for the young woman who is more talkative now and left her shyness behind. Coaches describe her as a rising star and someone who does well in the classroom and on the court.

“We’ve only had volleyball for three years and she has played all three years,” said Calhoun Athletic Director Ervin Starr. “She’s a workaholic, especially with volleyball. She loves volleyball and that is the only sport she plays for us. She works hard and she is among the top students in the class.” 

Selecting a college happened almost by chance, Fonseca said. After declining an offer from Wallace Community College in Selma, she received an email from the Andrew’s coach who had watched her play during a recent competition.

The Fonsecas visited the college and liked the small-town community campus atmosphere. The student-athlete made the decision to attend Andrew College and has already connected with her roommate for the fall semester.

“We were both there on preview day,” Fonseca said. “She looked familiar. We started talking and we realized we had met at Wallace. We both turned down offers there and now she’s going to play at Andrew with me.”

At Andrew, Fonseca aims to pursue a degree in business management and interior design. The offer to play volleyball has become an opportunity to reach her ultimate goal of becoming an interior designer.

Achieving so much, and the recognition that followed is something Fonseca said she never expected. She is honored, she explained, to have had the support of her family and coaches, without whose support she feels none of it would be possible.

“I made a huge impact,” she reflected. “I hope this will have a huge impact for other student athletes, so they can have the same [opportunities] I had. This is a huge accomplishment for me and my parents.”

Xonxhil’s parents, Anna Hernandez and Lazaro Fonseca, came to Lowndes County from Patzcuaro, Mexico. The student-athlete said her number one goal is to make them proud with her efforts.

“I just want to continue making my parents proud since they didn’t have what I had,” she said. “I want to make them feel proud because they worked so hard for me to be here.”

She expressed her deep gratitude for teachers like Calhoun volleyball coach Brittany Hardmon, for guiding her along the journey.

“I want to thank all my coaches,” she said. “I want to thank my parents for helping, paying for camps and taking me to places for me to succeed. They all believe in me, and believe that I can do something.”