Editor’s note: This is the first in a four-part series of stories on DeKalb County Sports Hall of Fame scholarship winners. The organization awarded four $1,000 scholarships to DeKalb County senior student-athletes. The four seniors will be honored during the induction ceremony of the DeKalb County Sports Hall of Fame’s 2020 class at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29 at DeKalb County Schools Coliseum in Rainsville. In Part 1, The Times-Journal features Plainview’s Tobi Trotter.

FORT PAYNE — Tobi Trotter played three sports at Plainview: volleyball, basketball and softball. She impacted all three teams, but found her natural fit with volleyball.

“It felt more like my sport.” Trotter said.

Trotter, a graduating senior, played five varsity seasons of volleyball. She appeared on four all-county and four all-area volleyball tournament teams, helping Plainview capture a spot in the 2016 state tournament.

The success drove her to be offered an athletic scholarship in volleyball from Wallace State Community College in Hanceville, where she’ll begin attending in the fall.

Trotter’s older sister played volleyball growing up. She helped her sister practice her hitting in the yard. Around age 12, Trotter began playing the sport and continued having fun with it.

“It was always my dream to play volleyball in college,” she said.

Aside from her volleyball career, Trotter also had long varsity stints in basketball and softball.

“Going from one sport to another helped keep me in shape,” she said.

She played varsity basketball for six years. She helped Plainview make two regional tournament appearances (2015, 2017). She was recognized as one of Sand Mountain’s top basketball players this season as a member of the Sand Mountain Super 6. 

Throughout her basketball run, Trotter collected many season accolades, including recognition from the All-DeKalb County Tournament (2018, 2020); the All-Sand Mountain Tournament (2018, 2020); and the All-Area Tournament (2017, 2019).

She made the All-DeKalb County team for three straight years (2018-20).

In his two season coaching Trotter, Plainview girls basketball coach Luke Griggs said she never had a bad day at practice.

“She brought it every day. If she wasn’t there, the intensity wasn’t the same,” he said.

As Trotter’s energy and effort was always present on the floor, Griggs said her discipline to playing smarter defense helped her grow from a player who got into foul trouble to one who forced steals and started fast breaks.

“For us to be successful, she needed to be in the game,” Griggs said of Trotter. “We asked her to do a lot of ball screens. She would run them and get us into an offense.”

In six years playing softball for Plainview, Trotter helped the team make four consecutive state tournament appearances (2016-19). The team placed third in the state tournament in 2018.

She was named an all-county player in 2019 and recognized as an all-county tournament player in 2018 and 2019.

“(Trotter) is an outstanding athlete,” Plainview softball coach Jeff Brooks said. “She started at second base as an eighth-grader and she finished at shortstop until the season was cancelled.

“She can play anywhere on the field. Whatever we needed, she was able to fill in and play well.”

Trotter said the softball postseason was her favorite part of her high school sports career.

Trotter’s other extracurricular activities included Beta Club (eight years), Junior Civitan Club (four years), Fellowship of Christian Athletes (six years) and Mu Alpha Delta (one year).

Trotter said she plans to major in elementary education. Just as her sister influenced her to play volleyball, she also helped influence her to pursue teaching.

“I always loved school and I always said I was going to be a teacher,” Trotter said. 

Trotter said she also has aspirations to coach high school volleyball.

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