By Rob Kiser
SIDNEY — Sidney Chapman remembers watching the Lehman Catholic volleyball team win its third state title in 2010 at the Nutter Center and realizing she wanted to be part of the legacy of the storied program.
It is a safe to say after rewriting the Cavalier hitting records, Chapman has more than done that.
And the daughter of Lowell and Michelle Chapman completed legacy Monday when she signed her letter of intent to play volleyball for Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Ind. — a Division II athletic program.
“I remember watching that team win the state title,” Chapman said. “I knew then that is what I wanted to do and I remember thinking if I worked really hard, maybe I could even play in college.”
Chapman far exceeded that goal.
She leaves Lehman as the single season and career kills record holder.
After setting the single season record with 513 as a junior, she topped that this season with 554.
She finished with 1,694 kills, 1,008 digs, 142 blocks and 209 aces.
As you might expect, she has collected quite a list of awards.
She was named first team All-NWCC all four years and was Player of the Year the last two years.
Chapman is also a three-time District 9 selection and was named first team All-Ohio the last two years after being an honorable mention All-Ohio selection as a sophomore.
Chapman has also played on teams that advanced to JO nationals the last five years and plans on majoring in Bilogy/Pre-med with hopes of hopes of helping people by making a difference in the health care they receive.
None of which comes as a surprise to Saint Joseph’s coach Brittany Sisk.
“We were very picky when we were looking for a six rotation outside to add to our roster,” Sisk said. “We were looking for an athlete who not only wants to be an impact player in our program, but understands the hard work that it takes to be that impact player, and Sidney (Chapman) understands that. She is an athlete who not only leads by example on the court, but off the court as well.
“Anyone who has had the opportunity to play with or watch Sidney play I’m sure would agree with me when I say we are happy she will be on our side of the net.”
Chapman appreciates all the success she has had.
“We worked really hard and accomplished a lot,” Chapman said about her four years at Lehman. “I can’t thank all my JO coaches and coach (Greg) Snipes enough for everything they did for me. I couldn’t have done it without all my teammates.”
Snipes, the Lehman Catholic coach, knew he had something special in Chapman from the start.
“There are lot of girls who can come in and play right away as a freshman,” he said. “Sidney (Chapman) worked extremely hard and that was great for the young players to see — to see that hard work pay off.”
And as Chapman grew into the program, she became a player who made all those around her better — and never was there a better example of that this year when she literally willed the Lady Cavaliers to another district title.
“Sidney (Chapman) had a great year this year,” Snipes said. “It is hard to believe she had even more kills this year than last year. Everybody knew she was the girl we were going to and she still was able to do it. It is great for the young players to see the hard work she puts in every day — and to see that rewarded with the opportunity to go to college for free (on a scholarship).”
Snipes sees Saint Joseph’s as a perfect fit for Chapman.
“Sidney (Chapman) is a really competitive player,” Snipes said. “So, I think Saint Joseph is a really good fit for her and she will do really well there.”
Chapman said the decision to go to Saint Joseph’s was an easy one.
“It is a small, tight knit community — just like Lehman,” Chapman said. “I really liked it there. They have a strong academic program and that is going to help me to wanting to be a doctor.”
And she was glad to make it official Monday in the Lehman Catholic library.
“This is a special day,” she said. “To sign and know this is where I am going to be the next four years.”
And Chapman is already thinking about what she can do for Saint Joseph’s.
“I do fill like it is somewhere where I can contribute and help the team right away,” Chapman said. “I can’t wait. In fact, I will probably start training tomorrow to get ready for next season.”
And continue to add to her volleyball legacy — as well as making a difference in people’s lives on and off the court — that began as a dream in 2010.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.