It doesn’t matter if you’re at a Crothersville volleyball match, cross-country race, basketball game or track and field meet, there’s one voice you’ll likely hear — senior Ella Plasse.
Plasse is a four-sport athlete who also does cheerleading for the Tigers. She’d play a fifth sport if Crothersville could field a softball team, but maybe she’ll join the baseball team if they need more players this spring.
In addition to her athletic ability that she brings to each team, the one thing that stands out to Plasse no matter what she’s doing is her positive attitude.
“I always like to joke that I’m not really good at one sport,” Plasse said. “I’m just kind of mediocre at everything, but I can be good at bringing everyone else up. I may not be the best player on the teams that I’m on, but I can do my best to make everyone feel like they’re doing really well.”
It’s evident no matter where you might see Plasse in action.
Whether she’s cheering on freshman runner Dirk Crater in the boys race, or loudly encouraging her teammates, no matter on or off the floor, during a volleyball match, Plasse always tries to keep the energy high.
It’s stemmed from an outlook she has formed on life that goes beyond sports.
“Attitude is so important in everything. Not just sports,” Plasse said. “So, I’ve kind of made that job for me personally. I just want to help everybody else out and help the attitude of the team and bring it up when we’re down and keep it up when we’re up.”
Plasse first got into basketball, which she started playing in the third grade. She started track and field in middle school, and then began cross-country during her freshman year of high school.
Her sophomore year was when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and shut everything down. It was when live sports came back her junior year that Plasse decided to do as much as she could, which is why she joined the volleyball team.
“I’ve had enough free time for the rest of my life,” Plasse said about the pandemic. “I’ve been so bored and I don’t want to be bored ever again.”
Needless to say the Crothersville senior is anything but bored nowadays. This week marks two postseason events for her in volleyball and cross-country. Plasse joked that there’s no such thing as a postseason for her because it’s just the preseason for her next sport.
Last week in sectionals at Hardy Lake, Plasse finished in 15th place with a time of 22:39.7 to qualify for regionals with fellow teammate Kaylyn Holman. Holman and Plasse will be racing in the girls regional race this Saturday at Ceraland in Columbus.
But before that, Plasse and the Tigers volleyball team will open sectionals with a matchup at Trinity Lutheran on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
It was goal of Plasse’s in cross-country to run under 25 minutes in every single race. She’s done that so far and doesn’t intend to break that streak this Saturday.
Before the conference meet, Plasse said she was hoping to break 22 minutes. At the conference meet two weeks ago, Plasse ran her PR in 21:30.
Before each race, Plasse and her teammates put on a fake lightning tattoo somewhere on their arms. It’s a tradition Plasse started in the most Plasse way possible.
She found them at a store and thought there would be more of a variety, but it turned out there were about 75 lightning bolts.
“I was like Ok, guess I’m bringing these to meets now,” she said. “I don’t know why I started it. I thought it’d be cool and help us run faster maybe.”
It’s that kind of fun energy that makes Plasse a good teammate.
During volleyball matches, sometimes the players get down on themselves, but Plasse always has a way to cheer them up.
She didn’t want to throw Elayna Ord under the bus, but she thinks Ord can be hard on herself, which is why Plasse has an inside joke with her about “Emperor’s New Groove.”
“I’ve never seen the movie ‘Emperor’s New Groove,’ but in my mind, it’s about some guy who gets new clothes and then he’s good. He gets his confidence back and he’s good,” Plasse said. “I joke with Elayna like, ‘girl, you got the skills, you know what you’re doing, you’re one of the best hitters, one of the best servers on the team.’ But if she takes herself out of that mentally, it’s really tough to get back in it. So, anytime she comes to the bench, I’m telling her terrible jokes that usually make her smile.”
Plasse’s favorite joke to make is “What did one lawyer say to the other lawyer? We’re both lawyers.”
She likes the dry humor.
Another one of her go-to jokes is “What did the DJ name his son? Er-RIK.”
She’s always trying to make her teammates crack a smile.
“She is amazing,” head volleyball coach Carly Blevins said. “She is one of those players that you can put in, and she will give it her all every single time. She encourages her teammates with positive attitude. Every game, no matter if she’s on the bench or on the floor, she’s always there to pick everybody up.”
After her academic and athletic career comes to a close at Crothersville, Plasse wants to go to college. She loves cooking and thought about culinary school, but thinks she wants to go the college route instead.
“I don’t know where, but I know not in Indiana,” Plasse said. “So, that leaves 49 other states.”
Plasse is a vegetarian, and she loves baking the most because she has a sweet tooth, and she makes some mean chocolate chip cookies.
“My mom makes fun of me because I’m vegetarian and I don’t eat vegetables, I just eat sugar, which I think helps out with my hyperness,” Plasse said.
Plasse takes Spanish classes and wants to continue studying Spanish because she wants to study abroad one day.
What about sports in college? Well, Plasse will likely want to do club activities with athletics as well.
But that’s too much into the future for Plasse, who is still soaking in the final months at Crothersville High School.
It’s been a good three-and-a-half years for the senior athlete, and she’ll be sad about her final meet or match, but when it comes to thinking about high school, Plasse sort of has that Dr. Seuss “don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened” mentality.
“I’ve loved every minute of doing everything that I do,” Plasse said. “I’m gonna miss a lot of aspects of it, but also, I think I’ve done my time. I think I’m ready to move on.”
No matter where Plasse goes after high school, she’ll always have a positive attitude and some bad jokes to take along with her, trying to make the person next to her smile.