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Family ties: Burton named Selma Times-Journal volleyball player of year

Volleyball flowed through the veins of Reagan Burton at an early age.

Burton’s father, Tim Burton, coached at Meadowview Christian School. Her older sister, Jessica Lovelady, played at MCS and later coached at Morgan Academy.

Because of the family upbringing, Burton is The Selma Times-Journal volleyball player of the year.

“Being named player of the year is a great honor” Burton said. “I know I’m a good player, I just didn’t expect it.”

A third Selma Times-Journal volleyball honor is added to the Burton’s trophy case. Lovelady and Burton are two of the last three Selma Times-Journal volleyball coaches of the year.  “It means a lot to have girls that took sports seriously,” Tim Burton said. “I coached Reagan for six and half years, I only coached Jessica for one year.”

Lovelady said their father helped them develop into standout volleyball players.

“Reagan has worked hard since the fifth grade, doing what she loves,” Lovelady said. “As each year passed, she improved tremendously with the help of our dad. Our dad taught us everything we know.

“Volleyball wouldn’t have been the same for any of us without him. Reagan is an amazing reflection of our love for volleyball. I’m so proud of her and all her accomplishments.”

Burton said she enjoyed growing up around volleyball. Her other sister, Kasey Lassister also played volleyball at MCS. “Growing up behind them playing volleyball made me more competitive and I wanted to beat them,” Burton said. “Having my dad coach me was a comfort. He helped a lot.”

MCS volleyball coach Bob Taylor said he admired  the volleyball pedigree of  Burton, who played in the AISA All-Star volleyball game and led MCS to the AISA Final Four.

“Her tenancity impresses me,” Taylor said. “She sees the floor very well. You can tell that she was taught volleyball very well. She’s a very smart volleyball player.”

Burton puts volleyball in the rear view mirror, focusing now on basketball and cheerleading.