This archived article was written by: Shelly Gledhill
“She is the epitome of a self-sacrificing athlete,” according to College of Eastern Utah’s volleyball coach Brent Martindale.
“I think she’s probably the nicest girl I’ve ever met,” stated student, Skyler King.
“She is one of the sweetest and most caring young ladies I know,” says former student Jennifer Jarrett.
So who is this person they are talking about?
It is the College of Eastern Utah’s Candace Gunnell, this year’s setter on the women’s volleyball team.
Gunnell is the oldest child in her family of four children, and her proud parents are Nolan and Pam Gunnell.
She was raised on a dry farm in Logan, where she learned the meaning of hard work. A dry farm doesn’t have an irrigation system, so they hope that it will rain enough to water all of the crops.
One of her favorite parts about living on a farm is “driving a tractor, it just relaxes me. You just go around, like two miles an hour, and you have a lot of time to think.”
Whenever she has free time, she likes to spend it outdoors. If she had a free day to do anything she wanted, she would be outside. She likes to hike, play and do pretty much anything when it is out-of-doors.
Gunnell grew up playing competitive soccer most of her life. She didn’t get her start in volleyball until the eighth grade when her cousin said she should take it up. So she tried out for a club team and continued from there.
When she was a freshman at Mountain Crest High School, she was forced to choose between soccer and volleyball because of the overlapping seasons. She chose volleyball and continued playing club and high school volleyball until she graduated and came to CEU.
“Candace had to put her time in and help the team everyday last year, even though she didn’t get to play much. All that hard work has now paid off. She’s the setter and a good leader,” stated Martindale.
Gunnell not only works hard and excells on the court, but in the classroom as well. She was also offered an academic scholarship to CEU and maintains at least a 3.8 cumulative GPA.
One of her goals this year is to keep her good grades up. “Our schedule is so random. We have already missed so much school, and we are only two weeks into the semester.”
Gunnell remarked, “I have always admired my dad. He’s a really hard worker and he always puts others first.”
It seems she not only got her hard working ethics from her father, but her kind heart as well.
King commented, “If I had to go to war with one person, I would take her. Not because she can shoot straight, because she probably can’t, but because I know she would watch my back.”
Gunnell is often seen around campus helping others out. She is involved with school activities, a church calling, and is seen helping at the LDS Institute. Even if it is just with a friendly smile or a simple hello, she seems to brighten people’s day.
Her favorite color is blue, and she loves to eat mashed potatoes. She is hoping to finish with her general education requirements this year and eventually figure out what she wants to major in. After this year, she will most likely head home and attend USU.