On Wednesday night, Chambersburg's Bryce Whitfield, who is autistic, had the first kill of his career in a 3-0 victory over Spring Grove. Video by Lizi Arbogast
When Bryce Whitfield smashed a kill on Wednesday night, Chambersburg's boys volleyball team and all those inside CASHS Field House exploded with excitement.
It could've been because it was Whitfield's first career kill, or it could've been for a much bigger reason.
"It was about just knowing what that means for the team and for himself individually," Trojan coach Marta Cummings said. "He comes to practice and works hard just like everybody else, but he doesn't always get to play like everybody else. So when he gets the opportunity, we're very excited for him."
Despite being autistic, Whitfield has worked his way up through the ranks at Chambersburg. Last year, he played for the JV squad, but this season, Cummings estimated Whitfield has played in about half of the Trojans' varsity game.
And Whitfield's first kill couldn't have come on a better night. Prior to the match, Whitfield was honored along with other Trojans on Senior Night. He played several minutes of the match before his glory moment. A fellow Trojan went up for a kill, but it was dug back directly to Whitfield, who made the Rockets pay with a well-placed kill that ignited the Trojans to victory.
"Bryce is everything to this team," Chambersburg junior Dalton Strite said. "He's a lot of fun, and every time he gets him, we always want him to get a kill. He brings so much more energy – more than anybody I've ever seen."
Cummings said, "He is definitely our team motivator. Everything that he does – on the court, off the court, communication-wise – the team responds to him. Everybody is behind him 100 percent when he's on the court, no matter the score, no matter who we're playing against. They want him to succeed, and in the big scheme of things, that's the important thing."