For Lawhorn, who has been involved in both sports since middle school, the chance to be a two-sport athlete in college was a surprise.
“Signing for both sports is a pleasant surprise. I like them both equally,” Lawhorn stated. “I really like the coaches at Tennessee Wesleyan as well.”
Lady Mustangs volleyball coach Judy Pruett has been a part of Lawhorn’s volleyball career since the beginning and couldn’t be happier to see her signed with TWC.
“I’ve coached her for all four years in high school and three years at Ocoee Middle. I can actually remember when she was trying out as a sixth-grader and could serve the ball to the wall. She was probably the strongest sixth-grader I had ever seen,” Pruett declared. “I’m really excited for Rachel. She works really hard. I think she’ll do well both academically and in sports. I’m glad that she gets to do both sports that she loves at college.”
Coach Pruett feels that Lawhorn, who racked up 230 kills and 62 blocks in her senior season, will be a good addition to the Lady Bulldogs’ team.
“She will be very aggressive and will work hard to play and start. She’s a competitor and likes to win,” Pruett stated.
Lawhorn became involved in shotput and discus in seventh grade, and has seen success in the throwing sports.
Her personal best discus throw is 103-feet, 10.5 inches while her personal best shotput throw is 34.4 feet, which was set at the TSSAA State Tournament in Murfreesboro last season.
“I coached her all four years. She did run a little here and there, but her specialty has been the throws,” Walker Valley coach Jasen Parks said. “She’s a good student, a good athlete and probably one of the hardest workers we have on our team. Rachel is always in the gym on her own in the off season and getting the training in she needs to have for the season.”
According to Parks, one area where Lawhorn really shines is in her leadership skills.
“She has always been a leader. You can give her a task and she will take care of it above and beyond what you envisioned. She will stay and help anybody, even the guys that are struggling in areas,” Parks explained.
Lawhorn’s experience in throwing and work ethic are what attracted TWC head track coach Shawn Jakubowski’s attention
“I got to work with Rachel a little bit in the summer with our youth program. She has a great work ethic and is a very good thrower,” Jakubowski said.
Tennessee Wesleyan’s track and field program is in it’s second year, and hopes that with the addition of Lawhorn, they can further their success.
“This is our second season and we won the conference last year as a first year program on the women’s side. We only had one thrower at the time and she won the conference in shot,” Jakubowski stated. “By adding Rachel hopefully we can take one and two in the shot. She is quite a bit better at the discus so we’re hoping she can win the conference there.”