Until moving from Vermont to the Lowcountry four years ago, Danielle Ayer had never played volleyball. Her sport was field hockey.
Among other things this year, Ayers captained the James Island Charter High School volleyball team. She also plays soccer, softball and club ice hockey and ranks No. 1 in her class with a 4.8 GPA.
The well-rounded individual recently was awarded the $5,000 Thursday Night Lights Piggly Wiggly scholarship.
Jason Lewis of MyTV Charleston said Ayer received the award from among 20 scholar-athletes who were featured during the station’s Thursday Night Lights high school football games.
Each participating school could nominate one of its scholar-athletes who would be recognized during the broadcast. Students then sent a video for a panel of judges to determine the ultimate winner.
“Danielle has worked hard during high school to do all the things we expect a student to do: study, learn, grow. But she didn’t just stop there,” said Christy Boudolf of Piggly Wiggly. “Danielle contributed to multiple sports teams and her community in a way that inspires the rest of us to do more and reach higher.”
Ayer, the fourth of six children, said she thought she would be able to play field hockey when her family moved to James Island, but the volleyball coach was there when she visited the school and invited her to try out.
“I love having the opportunity to do sports I never played when I lived in Vermont, especially volleyball,” Ayer said. “It’s really shaped who I am now. I’ve worked hard and learned how to be more of an underdog through sports.
Ayer plans to study foreign language with a business focus in college and hopes to continue playing club sports. She is fluent in French and has participated in a French immersion program since the age of 13.
She also has played hockey at a Christian hockey camp in Switzerland.