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Leopard captains and cohorts

Seniors Cheyenne Sellers, Carrie Davidson lead are fierce teammates and longtime friends.

Published September 5, 2006

BROOKSVILLE - Cheyenne Sellers was talking. And really, that's nothing new.

"You can't tell her to shut up," Hernando coach Cristi Brown said with a roll of the eyes as her senior co-captain held court in the Central gymnasium last Wednesday night.

Especially considering the circumstance: For the first time in four years, the Leopards beat county powerhouse Central, and Sellers' 16 kills were a big reason why. The senior co-captain had two big blocks in a 26-24 first-game win and never slowed down, teaming with fellow senior Carrie Davidson to lead Hernando to the victory.

Her performance, and her post-game comments - Sellers talked about everything from how proud she was of her teammates to how she and Davidson, once middle school rivals, are now "B-F-F" (best friends forever) - were nothing out of the ordinary.

Since getting promoted from the junior varsity team in the middle of her freshman year, Sellers has established herself an integral part of a program that always finds a way to put good teams on the court.

This year, she and Davidson have stepped into the leadership roles vacated when players like Danielle Coopman and Charleta Williams graduated. Even without those key players from last year, and though Brown is in her first year as coach after taking over for the recently retired Dena Frye, the Leopards don't appear to have taken a step backwards. They opened the season with a three-game win over Springstead, then put together that impressive four-game win over Central.

Sandwiched in between the two victories was a puzzling four-game loss to Nature Coast, during which the Leopards easily won the first game, then lost three straight.

For now, though, the defeat appears to be a small hiccup in a promising start to the season.

"We were a completely different team," Brown said.

And the play of Sellers' was a big reason why.

A hard hitter who also plays first base for Hernando's softball team, Sellers seems to let loose with her biggest kills at the most opportune times. Against Central, she opened the game with three big kills and finished with five. In a 25-21 third-game win, she registered three key blocks.

"I'm just high on life," Sellers gushed afterwards.

Equally important to the Leopards' success is the play of Davidson, who, unlike most athletes at Hernando, concentrates on volleyball as her only sport (last year, Coopman played soccer and ran cross country; Williams played basketball). She plays year round for a club team based out of Tampa and hopes to continue her career in college.

"She and Cheyenne are our captains," Brown said. "And you can tell."

As seventh graders, Davidson, who attended Powell Middle School, and Sellers, who attended Parrott, often would square off against each other. Now teammates, they say they are good friends off the court as well as on it.

Even if Sellers monopolizes most of the conversation.

"Yeah, it gets annoying," Davidson said, "but never to the point where I can't be around her."

Davidson laughed.

"If it does, I just tell her to shut up."

[Last modified September 5, 2006, 00:45:50]

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