Player of the month: volleyball player Kaycey Cermin

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Photo by Mark Haskett.

Coming from an athletic family, Kaycey Cermin has always had a knack for sports. Beginning at the young age of 11, Cermin began her journey as an athlete when her mother suggested that she try sports. Since her mother is a coach, it seemed reasonable enough. Her first sport was softball, but she felt that it was not for her, so she pursued something else. Cermin joined her local club volleyball team and has been playing ever since.

When it was time to pick a university, Cermin was encouraged by her brother to leave her home state of Texas and to explore her options and experiences. Western Carolina University found itself on Cermin’s radar when her coach from club volleyball and the former assistant coach of the Western Carolina volleyball team introduced her to the thought of attending the school. Fortunately for Cermin, the long distance from home is helped by the fact that she comes from a supportive family. Her parents try to attend at least two or three of Cermin’s games each year.

Not only does Cermin play volleyball, but she is also on Western Carolina’s track team. Her first introduction to the track team was due to her weight coach’s suggestion that she try it out. The following January, she found herself on the track team competing in the discus and shot put events. Both events require Cermin to launch an object as far as she can. Track and field is where she gained her greatest accomplishment so far, a championship ring. She placed fourth in shot put and fifth in discus.

On the Western Carolina volleyball team, Cermin’s role is middle blocker. This position is involved in every play and “goes for the kill,” as she put it.

According to Cermin, the team is currently “finding a rhythm” and “works really hard together.”

Her favorite thing about being on the team is being able to play a sport with individuals who share the same love.

The women’s volleyball team started the season strongly with wins against Appalachian State University, the University of Alabama and Charleston Southern.

Cermin said that winning these games resulted in a “sense of euphoria.”

Handling classwork and athletics can be difficult, but Cermin is all about time management. To her, developing leadership skills and understanding how to prioritize is the key to success.

“Be ready to work-- it’s hard work being a student athlete, just be ready to work… just be ready for practices, workouts, and school. It’s a crazy load. You’re going to be busier than you ever have in your entire life,” Cermin advised.

Cermin does not have a motto that she lives by, but there is a quote that resonates strongly with her: “I don’t crave for a lighter load but for a stronger back.” by Phillip Brook.

This quote signifies that it is not about how hard you have to work, but whether or not you are able to handle it.

Being an athlete is tough due to the long hours. Even buying a healthy meal can be difficult. According to Cermin, her diet on campus is restricted to food from Moe’s Southwest Grill or Panda Express. It is not the best diet for an athlete, but it does carry the necessary protein that she needs. Sometimes healthy choices on campus are extremely hard to find without just getting a salad in the dining hall.

Even though Cermin is a college athlete, she is just like the rest of us. She has a long-term goal to remodel homes and put them back on the market. She is currently a dual major with construction management and marketing. She would also like to graduate with the highest GPA in athletics and attend graduate school.

You can find Kaycey Cermin and the rest of the women’s volleyball team at their next home game versus Samford during family weekend on Oct. 1. For more information, visit www.