Eaton volleyball star Chelsey Lockey has a chance to further cement name into history

Chelsea Lockey Eaton Volleyball

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Chelsey Lockey etched her name in Eaton athletics lore last season as she helped the school to it's fourth-straight volleyball title, but she's not done there.

"Just being able to say that I was a part of three and that the program is building off of four, that ties into what Eaton has built so far," Lockey said. "Our work ethic and the girls coming through. People coming in off the bench who didn't play the previous year and stepping up and finding a way to score and be successful for Eaton."

As it stands now, Lockey would be eighth on the list of all-time career assists with 2,687 and one season left.

"She looks at the game from a different angle and understands her teammates more. I think that's what's helped us in crucial times in matches — her decision making is great," Eaton coach Gwen Forster said. "She never thinks she's the best. She doesn't think she does as much as she does. She's a gifted kid. She's talented and wants to make everybody better."

If Lockey continues at her pace of 895.66 assists per year, she would end up on top of the list for career assists with 3,582. That record is well within reach, as Lockey had 920 and 950 assists in her sophomore and junior seasons, respectively.

"To me, that's one of the most important things about volleyball is getting people to earn your trust," Lockey said. "By doing that, that creates everything especially being out on the floor. You have to build a certain trust with people. If there's no trust, it will be way harder to find success with each other and connect with each other."

Also within reach is a slot in the record book for career service aces.

"I don't believe in ever going 50 percent or 80 percent. It's always been in my book to play 110 percent all the time and find ways to where I can contribute to the team," Lockey said. "After winning state championships, it shows you that anything is possible if you work for it. Even if it might be a harder process to get there, it's knowing that each day, there's room to get better and grow."

With 164, Lockey sits just outside the top 15, within range of Weldon Valley's Rachel McCracken (2010-12) and Plateau Valley's Logan Gross (2013-15) at 178.

"Being a center, that's kind of like running the offense for volleyball," Lockey said. "Each person, everyone contributes. Whether it's finding ways to score or communicating with each other on and off the court. Trying to get that flow going."

A second-team selection to the all-state team her freshman and sophomore years, Lockey received a first-team selection in 2016.

"When she came in as a freshman and ran a 5-1 rotation for us, it's not the easiest thing to do especially in a competitive league and a strong program when you have athletes that have high expectations," Forster said. "She grew tremendously in that aspect because she's athletic enough to do that."

That wasn't the only all-state team where Lockey's name was written. Lockey also made the 2016 all-state team for track after helping Eaton win the 800 sprint medley.

"That shows my work ethic," Lockey said. "Track was never really my thing, but being the competitive person that I am, especially from volleyball after competing so much, it all just kind of followed."

But, it's volleyball where Lockey has truly cemented herself as an Eaton legend.

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"Our attackers wouldn't be where they are without her," Forster said. "I don't think there's going to be anything different this year because that's the type of kid that she is. She works hard, she loves playing and sometimes I can't get her off the floor — which is a good thing."

The Lockey name is already well-represented in the record books as Chelsey's sister and two-time 3A player of the year, Kortney, is No. 10 in career kills with 1,377 and No. 8 in career points with 1,607.5.

The two played together their respective freshman and senior years.

"To follow and be able to play at least one year with her and to live up to playing at the next level, it's always been her dream," Forster said. "Even when she was little, when I had Kortney as a freshman, (Chelsey) was on the smaller side, but always had the gifted talent of the setting aspect and a different kind of level."

Kortney is now at The University of Northern Colorado. Lockey will continue her volleyball at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Lockey is left in an unfamiliar spot, playing for the first time without standout Tarynn Sieg, the 2016 3A player of the year.

"This year, we're going to need other girls — including myself — step it up one more notch just like any other year a group of seniors leaves."

Since CHSAA began producing all-state teams for all sports starting in the 2013-14 season, the 3A volleyball player of the year has come from Eaton.

"Their leadership definitely made an impact. I think often times they were able to boost other girls' confidence," Lockey said. "Leading into this year, we have a big group of senior girls. Not all of them have played with varsity experience, but they know from Courtney (Leafgren) or (Sieg) what to expect and what it's going to be like."

Lockey came in to Eaton with talent and only got better as she has developed into a leader and team captain.

"At times, she's a quiet leader. But, more so in this season, I think maturing in the sport, maturing as a young lady, I think she's been more vocal in her leadership," Forster said. "Being an extension and understanding what I expect from her and what she should expect from her teammates. Understanding crucial points in the match and focusing on who should see the ball at what time while noticing where the other team is the weakest."

This year is Lockey's time in the spotlight as she tries to lead Eaton to a fifth-straight volleyball championship.

"Sure, her spotlight will come," Forster said. "I think it's always been there, but when you have other athletes on the floor that are older than you and graduating, you tend to get put on the backburner a little bit, but I know that without her, we wouldn't be as successful as we've been."

If Lockey does in fact lead the Reds to another state title, it would be her fourth championship of her career.

"For her, it would be a dream come true to be a four-time state champion. Each year is so different, so she understands how much work that it's going to take and how much better everybody on the floor needs to be," Forster said. "Whether she's first team all-conference, all-state or whatever it may be, she knows that it's going to take the rest of her team to help get there. She's understanding the patience of that piece and how we're rebuilding and filling shoes."

Lockey just wants to make more memories.

"I want to go out with a bang," Lockey said. "Make it one to remember."

Chelsea Lockey Eaton Volleyball

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