Jamayia Honaker’s sophomore season of high school volleyball ended with a state championship. Her junior year will begin with a new team in a different state.
The 5-foot-9 outside hitter has transferred from Patrick Henry to Tennessee High and will make her official debut for the Vikings tonight when they open the season by hosting the Science Hill Hilltoppers.
With her mother working at Burwil Construction Company and living in Bristol, Honaker enrolled at THS.
“Going into the school I knew three people and I wasn’t close with anyone,” Honaker said. “It was hard at first because it’s a much bigger school, but everyone is nice here and I have made a lot of friends. My teammates are very encouraging and they were very welcoming when I moved and when I tried out for the team.”
Honaker was a second-team All-Region 1D selection in 2018 and slammed down eight kills in Patrick Henry’s 25-14, 25-20, 25-11 victory over Riverheads last November in the VHSL Class 1 state championship match.
She’ll now be playing in Tennessee’s largest classification.
“The biggest adjustment for me is going to be playing against bigger and better competition,” Honaker said. “I love Tennessee High and so glad I moved here.”
The Vikings are two years removed from a state tournament berth and have six seniors on their roster.
Outside hitter Kloey Tester and defensive specialist Evie Cozart are three-year starters and lead the way. Macy Hurley is a two-year starter at the libero position, while senior Riley McCracken is versatile.
Juniors Kenzie Nickels and Sydney Freeman have experience as middle hitters.
Sophomores Madison Curtin and Ariana Floyd will be sharing duties at setter.
Grayson Phipps, Abigail Woodring, Alie Bassett, Ella Robertson and Marley Johns will also make contributions for the Vikings.
“We are going to have to work hard not only for every game this year, but for every point,” said THS coach Mary C. Johnson. “Our conference is deep from top to bottom, no gimme games at all.”
Honaker has been a welcome addition.
“Jam fits right in with these girls,” Johnson said. “The girls embraced her and realized that she has the potential to help make our team better.”
As Honaker begins a new journey in Northeast Tennessee, she also will keep an eye on how the school 30 minutes up the road in Southwest Virginia is doing.
“I wish Patrick Henry the best of luck,” Honaker said. “And I hope to be at some of their matches this year.”