Bella Claxon
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Brock Netter

Brock is SOSA's primary writer and has worked for the Coshocton Tribune, the Kankakee Daily Journal (Ill.), the Vinton-Jackson Courier and the Jackson Telegram. He's a six-time award-winning journalist, a lifelong WWE fan, a suffering Bengals fan and calls the sidelines his home.

Q&A: South Webster’s Bella Claxon discusses playing with sisters, Jeeps’ senior class

Claxon and the Jeeps' senior class is 71-7 on the volleyball court.

Brock Netter, Staff Writer

Southern Ohio Sports Authority is presented by OhioHealth.

SOUTH WEBSTER — One day, Bella Claxon could have her number retired, be inducted into the South Webster Athletic Hall of Fame and have the court named in her honor.

As a sophomore, Bella helped the Jeeps make a state tournament appearance.
CREDIT: Derrick Webb/SOSA

And it still wouldn’t be enough. 

That’s how legendary of a career she’s had through three seasons, and there’s still one final chapter to be written.

Just in volleyball, she’s been a part of three SOC II, sectional and district championships alongside a regional title. And along that journey, she’s amassed career totals of 2,033 assists, 693 digs, 488 kills and 188 aces.

The Jeeps during that time? They’ve gone 71-7 with Claxon on the court. 

Add in a district final appearance in basketball, as well as two district titles and a regional final appearance in softball, and you get one of the best athletes to ever walk through South Webster’s halls.

Before Claxon and the Jeeps open their season on Aug. 22 at home against Wheelersburg, we caught up with the senior standout to discuss her senior class’s success, playing with her sisters, playing for her mom [South Webster coach Darcee Claxon] and much more. 

Question: These last three years have flown by, and you’ve had a ton of success. No matter the sport, what are some of your favorite memories up to this point?

Claxon: I’d say my sophomore volleyball season as a whole is one of my favorite memories. On and off the court, we all grew so close to one another, basically spending any time we could hanging out with each other. It also was a bonus we got to get revenge on Newark Catholic to go to state. And when we went to state, it didn’t feel like we were doing it for just us, it was for our school as a whole. The Bloom-Vernon village was genuinely proud of us, and it was a feeling like no other I’ll never forget.

Q: You’re a three-sport athlete, but it feels like volleyball is where you excel the most. What is it about the game that excites you and what made it the sport for you?

BC: I just love the way the game can change so quickly. Momentum is such an odd thing in volleyball because at any moment, games can really take a shift, even when a team may look completely out of it. However, growing up in the gym with my mom is what really sparked my love for the game. I’d always have to go to her practices after school as a kid, and one of my favorite times was getting to pepper with my mom while the team was getting a water break, or her letting me serve to the ‘big girls’ in a drill. I’d take any chance I could to travel with her on the bus to go to games, and I couldn’t wait for my time to come. My love only grew from there.

Q: Being able to play all three sports with your two older sisters — Bri and Graci — what was that feeling like being able to take the floor or diamond with them?

BC: It was a really comforting feeling. We are all close to one another, so getting to share moments on the field or court makes it so much more special to bond over. I was also able to look up to them both and try to be like them in some ways. The two can be very different from one another, but they owned who they are, and I admire that about them. It made me want to be able to own who I am as a player and person.

Q: You’re now the older sister getting to play with your younger sister, Addi. Talk about that dynamic as well as the dynamic between your two other sisters.

BC: To be honest, Addi and I have a unique dynamic with one another. We can bond really well or argue like it’s our job. But a lot of that comes with us being close siblings. At the end of the day, she is always there for me trying to make me better, and because of that, we connect very well on the court. The dynamic with my older sisters was different in some ways, but also similar. They aren’t as outspoken in the ways Addi and I are. But we also connected very well on the court, and had our moments where we would bicker over dumb things that sisters do. Altogether though, I wouldn’t trade playing with my sisters for anything.

In three seasons, South Webster setter Bella Claxon has amassed 2,033 assists.
CREDIT: Derrick Webb/SOSA

Q: Your mom is your head coach. What has the experience been like? How has she made you better? Also, is it difficult to separate her being head coach from mom?

BC: It’s been a really good experience. I think through volleyball, she’s made me so much better as a player and as a person. She has made me better because she not only taught me physical toughness, but also mental toughness. She’s been hard on me since my freshman year, but I don’t think I’d be the player I am today if it wasn’t for her constantly pushing me, even when I wouldn’t want to hear it. Some days, it was harder to deal with what she was telling me. But deep down, I knew what she was saying was right and she only wanted to make me better. On days like that, she would still check in on me afterwards and make sure I was OK. Because of that, it wasn’t as hard to separate her as a mom and a coach because I was able to understand her coming from both positions.

Q: You recently committed to playing college ball at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. Was it an easy choice given your family’s history with the school as well having your sister, Graci, and former teammate, Faith Maloney, there as well?

BC: At the beginning of my recruiting process, I genuinely had no idea where I wanted to end up. So at first, it wasn’t so easy. I always knew of Mount Vernon because of my family, but I didn’t know if it was the fit for me. However, I was able to do an overnight visit and stay with the girls on the team and that was really what changed things for me. I had a great time and they all welcomed me like I was already a part of their family. It had a feeling of home that I couldn’t stop thinking about. Graci and Faith being there, too was the cherry on top because they’re another piece of home that will be there with me. After that visit and getting to talk with [Mount Vernon] coach [Kendra] Mosher more, the choice became easy.

Q: You’re a part of a senior class that has gone 71-7, won three conference titles and three district titles. What makes this class so special?

BC: I think a big part has come from us playing sports, in general, with each for as long as I can remember. Through those years of playing together, we’ve been able to form bonds that have continued to grow and shine through on the court. It also developed a competitiveness in us that really helps drive us to do our best for our teams in whatever role that may be

Q: One final season as a Jeep. What are your goals and expectations for this fall?

BC: I have high hopes for this year and I expect us to do very well again. I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of great teams during my time at Webster and I know, as a team, we’ve already discussed we want to keep the ball rolling. A regional title would definitely be at the top of my list of goals for this year, but there is a long road ahead before that is even in the discussion. A conference title is a good start to the list, and if we are able to attain that, we will continue to work game by game. We know we won’t be the biggest team around, but we have our dynamic that works for us and we’re going to strive to make it as far as we can.


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