Cassie Cooks has been keeping herself busy all summer, focusing on volleyball as she gets ready for her senior year. One trait that everyone can appreciate about the soon-to-be senior is her loud, yet enriching personality which made her the vocal leader for the McPherson High School volleyball team.

It's been a nonstop grind for the Lady Pups due to SPS programs, team camps and summer tournaments. Mostly, the Lady Pups have been in the weight room, working on getting stronger before practicing on the court.

"This summer has been absolutely crazy. Not just for me, but our team as well," Cooks said. "We've been in the gym a lot. We had camp for eight hours, and we had our tournament. So we've been in the gym a lot."

Cooks considered herself naturally loud but easy to get along with. She’s always positive around her teammates, even when things are going sideways.

"I have a few girls who like to get down on themselves, and as a senior, for all seniors, you have to be loud and pick up everyone," Cooks said. "It's just at heart to where if you mess up once, and you get your head down, I will be biting at your butt saying ‘you just got to keep going.’"

Cooks is looking forward to the 2019 season where the Bullpups are healthy and have depth compared to last season. What has been driving Cooks all summer was last year's lost to Newton High School during sub-state finals, where they lost to the Railers in three sets.

"We are out for blood basically," Cooks said. "Newton is our main focus. That's what pushing us over the summer. We're out in the weight room yelling out, 'We got to beat Newton.' Newton is our mindset. They are who we are coming after this season.

"We're looking really good and are excited, and we all know each other. It's going to be easier for us as a team and play as one. We all have the connection, so when we're all out there just playing with our hearts, we could be unstoppable. We will be unstoppable."

Cooks has also been putting extra work by traveling to different college campuses to showcase her talents. According to Cooks, she is being scouted by schools from McPherson College to Graceland University in Iowa to Concordia University in Chicago.

"I've also been taking a lot of extra reps by going to extra camps, like individually, but it's been volleyball, volleyball, volleyball for sure," Cooks said.

Cooks already has her career goals planned out after playing volleyball. She plans on studying to become a chiropractor after she graduates from college of her choosing. Cooks' older sister and McPherson's Wall of Famer, Mandi, is a member of the University of Texas-San Antonio girls basketball team. She plans on visiting Mandi sometime next month while competing in the UTSA's volleyball camp.

Mandi has been dealing with a foot injury all of last season and recently had surgery on it. Cooks is looking forward to spending time with her older sisters in San Antonio in July.

"She's walking around doing good and has feelings in her toes," Cooks said. "I don't know what she has in store. She normally has a playbook that she goes by."

Contact Peter Holland Jr. by email at pholland@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow him on Twitter @Petes_Picks_orour sports page