Change of Venue: The Haddock Sisters Come To Provo

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Lyndie Haddock looks to pass during a 2013 Utah state basketball playoff game. (Photo by Shane Marshall)

Lyndie Haddock looks to pass during a 2013 Utah state basketball playoff game. (Photo by Shane Marshall)

The loud gasp coming out of Colorado on Dec. 28, 2012, might well have come from first-year Longmont High girls basketball coach Mike Knaus.

With his rebuilding project just underway and his team at 5-1 for the young season, Knaus watched sophomores Lyndie and Lacy Haddock walk out of his gym for the last time as members of the Trojan squad. The twins were significant varsity contributors. The team had struggled during the sisters’ freshman season, and both were starters as sophomores.

Lacy was the team’s second-leading scorer and its leading rebounder at the time the Haddock family, whose six children had played major roles in Longmont High athletic success for a decade, made the decision to move to Utah. The move came suddenly, just as the Trojans’ girls basketball team was hitting its stride.

Equally impacted by the move was coach Holli Stetson and the Longmont volleyball program, which had just finished a 25-2 campaign, with the Haddocks playing critical roles.

New Home

Five-hundred miles away, in Provo, two coaches were experiencing an entirely different emotion. It’s any coach’s dream to have a star player show up unexpectedly, let alone two top performers, but that was what happened for Timpview High girls basketball coach Casey Cooke, and then this fall, for Thunderbird volleyball coach Kristen Bailey.

“My friends were telling me that when the coach told them they were getting two move-ins, they were expecting like just two random students,” Lacy said. Lyndie added, “I think they were kind of questioning it. It’s kind of weird having two move-ins right in the middle of the season.”

The questions stopped once these two exceptional athletes got into the gym. The biggest concern in their mind was getting approved to play. The Utah High School Activities Association has a paperwork process that must be followed.

“When we first went into practice, we weren’t sure we were going to be able to play,” Lyndie said. “That was still one of our worries. We were afraid that we wouldn’t be able to finish out  basketball season.”

The process that Lacy expected to last as long as two months was actually accomplished in just a couple of weeks, and then a basketball team that had been really good found itself with a chance to be great. The addition of Lyndie and Lacy made the difference as the T-Birds reached the state championship game before losing to Springville.

Lacy Haddock fights through traffic on the basketball court. Photo by Shane Marshall

Lacy Haddock fights through traffic on the basketball court. (Photo by Shane Marshall)

“When I found out that they moved here and I found out that they were volleyball players, my first reaction was ‘why weren’t they here four weeks ago?’ when we played for and lost the final (in 2012),” Bailey said. “Just watching them play on the basketball court, and just seeing the pure athleticism, I was stoked. I knew we had a few roles we needed to fill and these girls showed up.”

 

The Move

When Quinn and Tandy Haddock decided to leave their Colorado home of 19 years and relocate to Provo, it was all about family. Quinn’s own family had moved to Provo from Northern California when he was a teenager, after his father passed away, and he had attended Timpview as well.

“My mom was from Utah, her parents lived here, and moving to Utah was a great experience for me personally,” Quinn said. “I made some very good friends and it was very good for me. I went to Timpview High School and I grew up in this area.”

The timing of this move seems a bit curious from the outside, in the middle of the school year, with Lyndie and Lacy in the middle of basketball season. But Quinn says he felt the Haddocks needed to move, and the timing was right.

The family includes six children — three boys followed by three girls. Ryker Haddock returned from his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in December and was on his way to BYU.

That timing coincided with the feeling Quinn had that he needed to bring his family to  Provo to be near to his mother, his stepfather and other family members. One son, Steven, was already here, while another, Jordan, is in South Carolina serving in the Air Force.

“That’s where really the prompting came in,” Quinn said. ” I just felt prompted to make a move for my family and the prompting was to do it right away. My parents live here, my stepfather, his health is failing. We haven’t been able to be around them very much.

“I have two brothers that live in the area. I just thought it would be a good thing. I was in a position with my work to be able to do this and work from home. I just decided to do it and it’s turned out really good for us.”

Quinn was not positive he could get the entire family here, but the prompting was too strong to ignore.

“The only concern I had was (his oldest daughter) Tambre was playing at the University of Northern Colorado and I didn’t know what she would decide,” he said. “I had a feeling that she might come with us and fortunately she did. She took a big risk, giving up a full-ride scholarship there in hopes of getting something here at BYU and fortunately Shawn Olmstead took a chance to look at her and that worked out well for her.”

There seems to be across-the-board agreement that it has turned out well for everyone, but that was not the consensus initially.

“I didn’t like it,” Lacy said. “I was just bitter. I had a good volleyball team (in Colorado). We were going for the state championship. It was hard to leave my basketball team because we were doing good. It was sudden. My dad told me like four days before we moved, so we packed up and left in about three days. My dad just really believed that we should be out here. (He) just thought it was the best thing for us at the moment.”

 

“Full Family Move”

When UHSAA does its evaluation of hardship transfers before approving athletes to participate in high school athletics in Utah, one of the qualifying factors that leads to acceptance of the application is the existence of a “full family move.” Did the entire family leave behind its former residence and relocate en masse?

The rule is designed to prevent athletes from temporary relocation with a relative in order to transfer to a new school for athletic reasons.

The rule does not require adult children who have moved out of the family home to participate in the move, but the Haddocks seem to be a group who, when they commit to something, are all in. In this case, that included the oldest of the three girls, Tambre.

A three-sport star at Longmont High School during her high school days, Tambre was not recruited to play her No. 1 sport, volleyball, at Brigham Young University out of high school.

Lyndie (5) and Lacy (8) Haddock on the court during a volleyball state semifinal. Photo by Shane Marshall

Lyndie (5) and Lacy (8) Haddock on the court during a volleyball state semifinal. (Photo by Shane Marshall)

“I wanted to come to BYU, but they already had their set incoming recruiting class,” Tambre said. “I got recruited by UNC (Northern Colorado) and I committed to them about the end of junior year.”

While Tambre may have been under the radar for BYU recruiters, she was not completely unknown to the Cougar coaching staff. Head coach Shawn Olmstead was an assistant at that time, and he recalls they did hear about this top player in Colorado, but not through the typical recruiting channels.

“It was her grandparents that would come in and tell us about her,” Olmstead said. “Her grandparents are awesome, but what do you say? Everyone’s grandparents think their grandkids are the best. We can’t fly all over the United States just on the word of a grandparent to see high school kids. Maybe after this experience with Tambre, we should.”

After a highly successful two-year run at Northern Colorado, Tambre had her personal reasons for transferring to BYU.

“I wasn’t really headed in a good direction with personal life,” Tambre said. “I knew what the environment was like here, and when my family decided to move out here, I just prayed about it. I thought for some weird reason, just go with my family.”

There was no scholarship waiting for her in Provo to replace the one she was leaving behind.

“I didn’t even know if I was going to be able to play at BYU because I didn’t get recruited by BYU out of high school,” she said. “It was a little bit unknown for me, but for some reason I just felt prompted to just go with my family. I knew that I would grow spiritually as well. That was the most important thing in my life. I came out here not really knowing what I was going to do, but it paid off big.”

Olmstead had heard of Tambre Haddock through other channels as well but did not necessarily even know her name. His father officiates volleyball games in the Big Sky Conference, where Northern Colorado plays.

“I knew of her, and then, when she got to Northern Colorado, my dad refs in that conference a lot, and he told me they’ve got an LDS kid that’s a legit player,” Olmstead said. “I remember looking her up and realizing that it was THAT kid. My dad had seen her play and he was very complimentary of her.”

Then, in January, she showed up in his office with Quinn, having secured her release from Northern Colorado. The BYU volleyball team was involved in open gym activities which coaches were not authorized to attend. They invited Tambre to participate in order to get a feel for the players and the program. The coach did not even need to see her play to be impressed, just the sound of her game convinced him.

“We’re not allowed to be in here and we follow that. I remember walking by (on the indoor track that surrounds the volleyball court), and we could hear her hitting and it was like ‘Wow,'” Olmstead said. By then, school had already started and I had talked to her face to face at this point, and she had been working out with our girls and, of course, our girls were impressed with her.”

The winter semester had already started, and Tambre was not enrolled at BYU. Olmstead contacted athletic director Tom Holmoe, and they sought assistance from the admissions department to fix that. With Tambre’s academic history, she was soon carrying a full academic load and her BYU career had begun.

“I didn’t do anything special,” Olmstead said in describing Tambre’s arrival. “I didn’t go find the kid. Obviously there was a time that BYU missed out on her.”

Tambre Haddock has had an immediate impact on the volleyball court at BYU. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

Tambre Haddock has had an immediate impact on the volleyball court at BYU. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

BYU’s Addition

Tambre Haddock said she is appreciative of everything she experienced in her two years at Northern Colorado. While she did not play club volleyball during high school, she did all that she could to develop her game.

“I didn’t play club because I didn’t play Sundays, but I was able to be a practice player,” she said. “I would go to basketball practice and then I would go to Denver, about 45 minutes away, twice a week to work out with a club team. I was really busy, but it paid off and got me some reps in the off-season.”

Her time at Northern Colorado helped prepare her for the higher competition at BYU.

“It was great — great coaches, great program and I learned a lot,” Tambre said. “I got a lot of playing time and that helped. I was a little inexperienced, not playing club, and that playing time was really good for me. I was able to learn a lot.”

That preparation and her competitive will helped this junior transition into one of the Cougars’ best hitters and most accomplished players.

“She’s done a wonderful job,” Olmstead said. “She’s done better than we even expected her to. That’s what I love about her most. She’s physical, she’s aggressive and she’s strong and she’ll do that play after play after play.

“Even if she hits out, she comes right back and hits the next one a little harder. She doesn’t show any kind of quit. She’s not afraid to just get after it. From the moment she got in our gym, she’s been good.”

Tambre sees an opportunity for something special to happen with this BYU volleyball team.

“The sky’s the limit,” she said. “I think we have the talent. We’ve just got to stay focused and working hard. Playing with the type of players that are here has made me better and the competition makes them better. We’ve got great players in the gym and it’s been fun.”

 

The Provo Haddocks

They might have slipped into town over Christmas break in 2012, but the Haddocks did not stay in the shadows very long. Even Ryker raised the bar upon his arrival at BYU, post-mission.

Like his father and his brothers, Ryker wrestled and played football in high school, but he has now turned the page to a new chapter, as a rugby player for BYU.

“He never played rugby,” Lacy said. “He still doesn’t know how to do it, but he’s good at it.”

Being good at sports seems to run in this family. They push each other and step up to support each other.

Tambre has great memories of watching her sisters and her brothers play sports.

“I remember at UNC, we were 45 minutes away, and I would run down after practice to see them (Lyndie and Lacy) play,” Tambre said. “In our family, we just like to support each other. I know that means a lot to them and it means a lot to have them come and watch me. Growing up, I remember going to every wrestling tournament, every football game. Some of my best memories are watching my brothers play football and wrestle.”

Lyndie with sets for Lacy during a state semifinal match. Photo by Shane Marshall

Lyndie sets for Lacy during a state semifinal match. (Photo by Shane Marshall)

And when it comes to volleyball, which is also the first love of both Lacy and Lyndie, there was the opportunity to play together and help each other.

“When I was in high school, they would always come to the rec center and watch me play,” Tambre said. “We would ‘pepper’ for hours in our backyard. Just the three of us, mess around and hit at each other on the concrete or on the grass. We would just play all the time. Volleyball is something that’s hard to do on your own, so it’s good to have someone with you that can help you practice.”

And now they have brought that love of the game with them to Utah.

“My sister will call us up to go pass and serve at the BYU gym,” Lacy said. “We did that a couple times a week this summer.”

Tambre was on the road with the BYU volleyball team the first weekend of November, so she was disappointed that she was not able to join the family party celebrating the state volleyball championship Lyndie and Lacy won with their Timpview teammates.

The Thunderbirds was the most dominating team in the state all year long, and did not lose a single game at the state tournament.

All three Haddock girls describe themselves, and are described by all who know them, as driven.

“I wasn’t always the most talented on the floor, so I knew I needed to work harder than the most talented,” Tambre said. “That’s been my thing in sports, I just need to outwork the person next to me. My sisters, I’ve seen them get really competitive. My dad is really competitive, and my mom is too, but she likes to pretend that she’s not.”

For Lyndie and Lacy, the move to Timpview has provided a new opportunity to prove themselves. No longer are they the next in line of talented Haddocks, but instead they are creating a legacy all their own.

Timpview cruised to the state title, with Lacy among the key contributors. (Photo by Shane Marshall)

Timpview cruised to the state title, with Lacy among the key contributors. (Photo by Shane Marshall)

“At our old school, all my brothers and my sister went there, so I guess I kind of had it easy,” Lacy said. “At Timpview, you have to come in and prove yourself.”

“They don’t know about you and your family and you have to show that you’re something,” Lyndie said.

In describing Lyndie and Lacy, Coach Bailey takes special note of their high level of desire.

“These girls, just with their work ethic and their athleticism, elevated our game,” Bailey said. “When they stepped out on that court, both of them had a great attitude. They are just all work. They love to have fun, and you could tell by the way they performed, but they are all work. They are there to play ball and to win.”

The three Haddock sisters have set a standard for relocation that will be hard to match.

“I’ve never been a person to give up  on anything, on any situations,” Lyndie said. “It’s been a huge change for me and Lacy and my whole family. At first I was kind of doubting it, but now that I’ve been so comfortable around my team and how successful my team has been so far, I really know why I’m out here now.”

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Kurt Johnson is the owner and managing editor at Preps Utah, a publishing venture that covers high school sports throughout the state of Utah. He previously worked as a sports writer and editor in the Sacramento, California area and with the magazine publishing division at McGraw-Hill. Kurt lives in Provo with his wife, a PhD student at BYU, and his daughter, a student at BYU. He also has two older sons and four grandchildren.

One Comment

  1. Elaine Rowley Reply

    We’ve enjoyed watching these talented girls play for Timpview High School. Thank you for the well-written, sensitive article by Kurt Johnson.

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