G.O.A.T. of the Week: Abby Howell

Bushland volleyball star Abby Howell named G.O.A.T. of the Week.
Bushland volleyball star Abby Howell named G.O.A.T. of the Week.(KFDA)
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 10:59 PM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - For the third time in four years, the Bushland Lady Falcons volleyball team has been crowned 3A state champions.

At the beginning of the year, many wondered how the team would fair after losing so many key seniors off of last year’s roster.

Quickly, Abby Howell emerged as one of the main leaders of the team and one of the best outside hitters in the Texas Panhandle.

Her leadership, skill, and talent helped the Lady Falcons get back to the mountain top.

“That was the last game I’ll ever play so it’s very emotional.” Howell said after the championship celebration. “It’s amazing, these girls made our senior year so great. It’s just, words can’t explain [it].

Howell led the team in kills during the state tournament, totaling 30 in the seven sets the team played in Garland.

Her drive to win all stemmed from wanting it, not for herself, but for her teammates.

“I know personally, I wanted to win for the team and I wanted to win for the seniors last year.” Howell said. “They didn’t get what we got as seniors, so I really had them in my mind the whole time.”

Howell’s days playing volleyball are now behind her, as she’s committed to play softball in college at West Texas A&M, but a return to the sport in some capacity could be in the cards down the road.

Howell hinted after her the championship win at a future in coaching while she expressed her gratitude for Lady Falcons head coach Jason Culpepper.

“Volleyball’s a huge part of my life.” Howell said while holding back the tears. “Honestly, for the next 20 years if I think of volleyball, I’m thinking of Coach Culpepper. He’s really taught me a lot of things of the coach that I want to be when I grow up. He’s really just a huge part of my life.”

“So, you noticed [Abby] is going to be a coach when she grows up, so be ready when she comes back.” Culpepper quickly quipped after the comment from his star senior.

Howell may be putting down the volleyball and picking up the bat for the remainder of her playing days, but she’ll be remembered around the Texas Panhandle as a star in both. That championship trophy she helped bring home will always serve as a reminder of one of the best dual-sport athletes to ever walk the halls of Bushland High School.