CJ Eskew and Peyton Carruth believe Kelly Walsh is the new standard of Wyoming Volleyball
Last Friday on First Bank of Wyoming Duke and Dahl had the opportunity to talk to a pair of 2-time All-State volleyball players from Kelly Walsh high school in setter CJ Eskew and outside hitter Peyton Carruth. Early into the interview CJ discussed looking up to her seniors as a freshmen early into her career and the standard she felt they all set at Kelly Walsh with their play including her fellow freshmen in Peyton, who started varsity her Freshmen year. Carruth credited her older sister who used to play for the team a few years ago with being her role model in the sport and having played with her sister growing up it always drove her to be better.
“I also think an underrated part is mental toughness” said Carruth when asked what it takes to be an all-stater “Yes being a great athlete but being tough and mentally prepared for everything”.
Eskew reiterated this sentiment stating “Mental toughness is the biggest thing in any sport you do and that’s what it takes to be an all-stater is you got to keep your mind focused and go with the flow of the game”
The pinnacle of this mental toughness on display was, at least in the minds of the girls, their contests against Laramie from last season. Kelly Walsh pulled off what was believed to be an upset in their first matchup when Laramie was missing Alexis Stucky but that itself brought a mental focus test for the Trojans as they felt that all they were hearing from other teams and media outlets was how they only won because of Laramie’s missing superstar. This lead to the rematch at the Casper Invitational shortly after with a now fully equipped Laramie squad set for action and Kelly Walsh took the victory once again.
“In the moment I would have taken that win over the state title because it showed so much more strength and mental toughness” said Carruth about the team’s defining win from last year.
Finally, the girls saved their boldest statement for last, claiming that “Us being the next Laramie is a good thing but I also don’t think Laramie last year had what we have now” when asked about the thought of being the “new Laramie” as the favorites this season.
The girls believe their roster to be much more “stacked and well rounded” than the Laramie team of a year ago and are firmly standing on their belief that the Trojans now stand alone as the new gold standard of Wyoming high school volleyball. As was stated by Carruth during the interview, Kelly Walsh now faces the torch-holder’s burden of the perennial target on their back every time they step foot on any court but based on the responses of 2 of their star players it doesn’t appear to be a bother for them in the slightest.