[Editor’s note: “Take Five” debuts for the 2019-2020 high school season with South Umpqua senior Shalyn Gray, a four-year member of the Lancer volleyball team and returning First Team All-State performer. Through her coach, we asked Gray to review more than 25 random questions, then pick five and answer them as part of our “Take Five” feature designed to offer a quick look at some of Oregon’s most interesting high school sports standouts]
OSAAtoday: What’s the wisest thing a coach ever said to you?
Gray: The wisest thing a coach has ever said to me is a question. “Why do I play?” The coach asked me this during a tough time when I needed encouragement. Every time, when I'm feeling down in a sport or my team is down, I remind myself the answer to this question: I play because I love playing sports and being competitive. I love all of my teammates and cherish the moments we have with each other. I love all of my coaches and appreciate them for loving my teammates, me, and the sport they coach. I remind myself to enjoy every moment good or bad because it will be over soon. That is why I play.
OSAAtoday: Who is your celebrity crush and why?
Gray: My celebrity crush is Tom Holland. He is the actor for Spiderman in the Marvel movies. First off he is adorable and second when he is not acting he is goofy and funny. On top of that he is a good person.
OSAAtoday: What’s the single funniest thing you’ve ever seen in your fall sport?
Gray: The funniest moment I had was in a game against Coquille. I was pulled back from the front row for serve receive and therefore there was on open spot for a short serve right over the net. The other team, seeing that, served short and I dove to get there before the ball hit the floor. The ball hit the top of the net. I tried to stop diving even though I already was diving and I face planted. This hurt when it happened, but I was soon laughing hard with the rest of my teammates.
OSAAtoday: What about going to college scares the bejeebers out of you?
Gray: The reason I’m most scared to go to college is not making any friends. I am a very shy person until I get to know someone. I have three best friends who are somewhat outgoing and bring me out of my shell in public. Every once in a while I get little bursts of confidence and can be even more outgoing than my friends are. Those moments are rare. If someone wants to be my friend, that person will have to talk to me first because I get nervous and anxious when making friends. But, as soon as I become friends with someone, I am the most goofiest person ever.
OSAAtoday: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
Gray: The one superpower I would want is being able to fly. I don’t enjoy driving that much, but if I could fly, I would go everywhere. I believe flying would be very fun and I could never crash unless I flew into a tree or airplane. I also don’t enjoy planes because I over worry and think about the worst case scenarios which is not good. Cops couldn't pull me over for speeding because there is not a speed limit for flying, (or is there?). Well if there is a speed limit for flying police still couldn't chase me down.