Remsen, N.Y. - The majority of high school student-athletes in NYS have been forced to play in condensed seasons or forfeit their senior year schedules. But some have been afforded the opportunity to keep their career going on the next level.
Like Remsen volleyball stand-out, Madelyn McCormack.
“At the beginning of quarantine it was definitely hard to get in the groove of understanding what I need to do to get to the play that I need to be. So, I started working out a lot more. I looked into a club team through Mt. Markham so I got into that. I’m just trying to get more touches on the ball and focus on school a lot because it’s hard to do anything else,” said McCormack.
Madelyn - also known as Maddy or Mad Dog by her teammates and coaches - is taking her talents to SUNY Cortland.
“I started focusing more on academics because I knew that was my top priority and I’m not going to be playing sports forever, I'm doing Phys Ed for my major and SUNY Cortland was the top school in our area for Phys Ed. So I looked into that first academically to see if it was a good fit for me,” said McCormack.
“I've visited before for a soccer award. So I know it was going to be a good fit already. I contacted the (volleyball) coach and I sent her game film she said that she'd like to see me play in person but it was hard with Covid so I had to record all my practices. Then she must've found interest in that and she said that she'd like me to play for them.”
She started for the Rams as an 8th eighth grader and is a league and Section III champion. She has also been voted a captain in every season.
The three-sport athlete of soccer, volleyball, and softball (and also threw in a season of track and field) has always known volleyball to be her first love.
In her junior season, Madelyn set Remsen's single-season record for kills and set the school career records for digs, kills, aces and sets played. She has led her team in all offensive categories except for assists.
Without suiting up for a single set in her senior year, she's excited for the opportunity to play again.
SUNY Cortland is about a two-hour drive from Remsen. McCormack says she is happy that she gets to stay close to home.
“My mom has been a huge fan and supporter of me so, once she found out I could actually play for SUNY Cortland she was so excited for me and she loves the fact that I could still visit her,” said McCormack.
Remsen girls volleyball head coach Greg Roos says she is possibly the best athlete he's coached over his 30-plus year career not because of her stats but because of her conscious effort to make others better.
“Maddy is tenacious in her determination to improve yet she is the gentlest human, giving and caring of others,” said Roos. “The best athletes are the best teammates. They are able to make others better while improving their own skills. Maddy has been that player for the Remsen Volleyball program.”
McCormack attributes her successful high school career to Roos and her teammates.
“I honestly was not that good of a volleyball player and he must’ve saw potential in me and he brought me up and he definitely made me the player I am today,” said McCormack. “Because he taught me all the basics and he always knows that I can be better than I am right now. He pushed me to be the best I can be. It definitely helped me in so many ways. He’s not afraid to tell me what I need to work on and he’s honest with me.”
McCormack says her favorite volleyball memory came in her junior season (which she didn’t know would be her final season) when Coach Roos encouraged her to play confidently in a game which would be the game she earned the single-season kills recor