Pepsi-Cola Student Athlete of the Week: Abby Branner
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Abby Branner is a winner.
A member of the Spotswood girls basketball team, Abby and the Trailblazers have made it to the state championship three times. She won first team all-district, second team all-region and second team all-state. In 2021, Branner was first team all-district, first team all-region and first team all-state.
That’s a pretty solid resume. She added to it in her senior season, making her mark right from the start.
“It was really evident in game one versus Turner Ashby when everything’s on the line, first game of the year, who’s the best team in the area,” Spotswood girls basketball coach Chris Dodson said. “Abby refused to lose that night.”
Abby came out firing in that game and in the rest of the season, leading the Blazers back to the state championship game.
“We had a lot of new players so I knew that I needed to step up and make sure everybody was on board,” Branner said.
A key piece in one of the most successful high school basketball programs in the area in recent years, Abby will leave a storied legacy at Spotswood High School.
“I’ll definitely remember everybody on the team, especially my coaches. We spent so much time together working and competing.”
Branner started in all three of the Blazers’ consecutive state title games; a great talent in her historic senior class.
“They arrived with a bar really high and they left with the bar even higher than when they arrived,” Dodson said.
Whether it’s basketball or tennis, which she picked up her sophomore year following in her dad’s footsteps, Abby is committed to excellence at Spotswood, especially in the classroom.
“What we really care about at Spotswood is that we have kids that are excellent on the field, on the court, but also great human beings and great students, academically excellent,” Christopher Hu, a chemistry teacher at Spotswood, said. “I think Abby is just all three of those. She’s the perfect representative at Spotswood.”
“She’s going to represent Spotswood High School, our basketball program, the tennis program, just our community in general,” Dodson said. “People are going to point to her and be proud that she came from here.”
Abby plans on attending Bridgewater College following graduation.
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