But sports aren’t the only thing the senior excels at. She’s also an honor student in the classroom where she hits the books hard and will graduate toward the top of her class this summer.
Recently, the multi-sport standout helped lead her team to the North Murray Mistletoe Madness Tournament title, where she was named to the All-Tournament Team, and also the Comcast Christmas Classic title in LaFayette, where she was named the tournament’s MVP.
This past fall, she was a big part of the Lady Jackets region title in softball. In all, she’s been a part of three trips to the state tournament in softball and three more trips to the state tournament in basketball.
Curtis also comes from a family that has deep roots in sports in the local community. Her grandfather Lamar Curtis was a basketball standout for Calhoun in the 1960s, her dad, Rodney, and uncles, Ron and Derrick each played basketball at Gordon Central, and her brother, Landon, was the starting quarterback for Calhoun in 2010 when he led the Jackets to a state championship appearance at the Georgia Dome and also a big part of the 2010 baseball state championship team.
Recently, the Calhoun Times caught up with Carly to talk about several things, including the basketball season so far, her last softball season this past fall, being a student-athlete, her family legacy and a few other subjects.
Here’s what she had to say:
CT: Talk about this year’s basketball team. What are your thoughts on the season so far and how good do you think this team can be?
Curtis: This is a really special season just because it’s my senior year. My best friend is Taylor Palmer, and it’s her senior year too. All four years we’ve been together and starting on varsity so we just want to make this last year count. Our expectations are the same as they have been. We want to win region and go deep into the state playoffs. And I feel like this year we have a good chance of winning both region and state. If we keep working hard in practice and play the way we have been playing, then we should be able to do that.
CT: How tough is it to juggle playing multiple sports as well as schoolwork?
Curtis: It’s difficult because I’m an honor student and taking all AP and Honors classes. That’s a lot of work plus basketball and softball. But there’s times when we’ll have late practice, and I can do homework right after school or I’ll do my homework after practice. There’s time to study and do all that. It’s hard to work in time, but you just have to make time.
CT: Take us back to this past fall and softball season. Even though it ended in the second round of state, which was disappointing for you and your teammates, how pleased were you with the team’s accomplishments once you looked back on it?
Curtis: It’s the best season of softball I’ve had at Calhoun. It’s the best team I’ve ever been on because we all loved each other and were really close like a family. Besides how it ended, it was the best season for me at Calhoun.
CT: What has been your best memory as an athlete at Calhoun?
Curtis: It was probably the game we won against Dade County in the semifinals of the region tournament this year in softball. When Shanta (McDaniel) hit that three-run homer to tie the game and then we won it in extra innings.
CT: With such an athletic family with roots in Calhoun, what does it mean to you to be able to carry on that legacy and how competitive is your family?
Curtis: My family is competitive about everything, not just sports. We can’t have a simple conversation without someone feeling like they have to be better than the other person. But it’s fun. I’ve grown up with it so I’m used to it. We’re a very competitive family. And with (my brother) Landon being a good athlete when he was at Calhoun, we put an emphasis on being a good athlete and a good student in the classroom. Our parents are hard on us with grades and wanting us to further our education.
CT: Which one of your coaches has had the biggest influence on you at Calhoun?
Curtis: It would be Coach (Diane) Smith. I had middle school basketball with her, and she’s the one that got me playing basketball really. But Coach (Jerry) Pruett too. He’s helped me a lot. He wants what’s best for me. You can tell he really cares about his players and wants what’s best for each individual and what’s best for the team, but so does Coach Smith. They’re both really comforting and there for you no matter what.
CT: Who is an athlete you admire or try to model yourself after?
Curtis: I guess Maya Moore. When she way playing for Connecticut, she was just such a calm and poised player that averaged like 40 points a game her senior year when they went on to win a national championship. Just the way she carries herself on the court, you can tell she’s confident with herself and wants what’s best for her team too.
CT: What are your plans for after high school and do you plan to play any sports in college?
Curtis: I do plan on going to college. I don’t know yet if I might get a small offer for basketball, but if not I want to attend the University of Georgia or Georgia Tech and major in psychology.
Fast Food: Zaxby's
TV Show: Grey's Anatomy
College: Georgia Tech
Male Celebrity: Cam Newton