The move to a small Christian school may have been just what Gracie Peters needed.

Peters transferred to Lifegate Christian School in Seguin two years ago, following her father Mark, who took the principal’s job at the school a year earlier.

The move worked well for the senior, as Peters signed to play volleyball at the next level with Texas Women’s University in Denton in November, after two stellar years with the Lady Falcons.

She played volleyball her first two years in high school at 6A Canyon High School in New Braunfels on the freshman and JV teams.

But the move to Lifegate, which she made because of the Christian environment, got her solidly on the varsity team there — and she made the most of it.

“I felt like the Christian environment was better suited for me,” Gracie said. “Coming in here my junior year, I didn’t really know anyone, so it was kind of nerve-wracking, but the girls were all just really accepting.”

Lifegate head coach Jinny McCulloch thought that the move to the small Christian school near Seguin was helpful to Peters’ growth as a player.

“I always say the more reps, the better,” McCulloch said. “It’s hard getting reps in when you’re in 5A and 6A, so I think that coming to Lifegate really honed her skills and made her stand out and do really well.”

The move came at the same time that McCulloch took the head coaching position at the school — and in the last two years, the Lady Falcons have gone on to win back-to-back TCAL 2A state championships.

“She and my other coach, Trey Green, formed us well as a team,” Gracie said. “Everyone meshed really well together, so out of it we got a championship both years.”

McCulloch said that working with Peters the last two years made her job easier.

“Gracie is a joy to coach,” McCulloch said. “She comes in ready to work, ready to lead the team. She does exactly what is asked of her and helps younger teammates excel. She’s an excellent athlete and student, both on and off the court.”

Mark is a little concerned with the distance to the school in Denton, but is obviously excited that Gracie will continue her volleyball career in college.

“It’s a little far away,” he said. “She could have gone anywhere she wanted to go because of her academics, but she really wanted to play volleyball, and to her credit, she kept after it and did a lot of the leg work herself.

“She sent out the videos and there were a lot of colleges that contacted her.”

Gracie was the leader in kills both years for the Lady Falcons, estimating she had more than 500 in her two years at the school.

She enjoys the competitiveness and the ability to come right back to the next point in volleyball.

“Let’s say you mess up or do something bad, it’s ok, it’s only one point, I can restart,” she said. “Every point is a new opportunity.”

Gracie played club ball over the last two years with the United Volleyball Association in New Braunfels and plans on playing in Schertz this coming spring.

TWU, an NCAA Div. II school, reached out to Gracie in May and after a visit to the university, she committed to go there in August.

“They will be delighted to have her,” McCulloch said. “She’s well-versed in the outside hit, but can just about do anything she puts her mind to. She stays focused and driven and I think that they will have a great asset.”

Gracie is part of a recruiting class that includes nine other players.

“It’s a really big class coming in and I feel like for the volleyball team it’s a big step up, with all the talent we are bringing to the table,” she said.

Gracie has received a partial scholarship to play volleyball at TWU, and she and her family are hopeful for an academic scholarship to help out financially.

“She’s on track to be the valedictorian (at Lifegate),” Mark said. “That will pretty much cover the rest.”

Peters plans on majoring in engineering and mathematics at TWU.

Kevin Duke is the sports editor of the Seguin Gazette. You can e-mail him at sports@seguingazette.com .

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