BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB)– Former Arnold Marlin, Kaylan Gunning, was awarded the 2020 Bay County Taylor Haugen Scholarship.
Scholarship requirements come from Haugen’s character traits of academics, athletics, leadership, community service and Christian faith. The former Arnold volleyball team captain said it was an honor to receive the award.
“Especially because it’s faith based, because I’m really passionate and really strong in my faith,” Gunning said.
Haugen was also awarded the scholarship for her story of perseverance where she lived by Haugen’s motto of “Don’t Quit… Never Give Up”.
Gunning had to sit out from the playoffs her senior season due to an injury and she thought that would be her last time playing the sport.
She was then able to travel with the Gulf Coast State College volleyball team during their trip to the NJCAA National Tournament.
She attended the trip with her mother who is an administrator at the college. She said that’s when she fell in love with the sport again.
She worked to get back in shape once she healed from her injury and was then offered a chance to try out for Gulf Coast’s team. She made the team and will play for the college in the fall.
“I felt so excited to get this opportunity to even try out knowing that it could go that I don’t make it but thankfully I did,” Gunning said.
Gunning will join a talented group of incoming freshman to the program that includes players from all over the Florida Panhandle.
“Some of us have had rivalries for like three years, so it’s super exciting to play and to get to experience this season with them,” Gunning said.
The Lady Commodores are scheduled to begin practice on Aug. 1.