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Annika Anderson wins state championship with Newton County

Annika Anderson holds Mississippi’s Class 4A state championship trophy after the Newton County High School girls volleyball team won the title Oct. 20, 2023. (Courtesy photo)_

The Newton County High School girls volleyball team, which includes the Seminole Tribe’s Annika Anderson, wrapped up an impressive season Oct. 20 by winning the Mississippi Class 4A state championship with a 3-0 win against Purvis High School.It was the first volleyball state championship for the school located in Decatur in the middle of the state.

Anderson, a senior outside hitter, said the team knew before the season started that it should be a strong contender.

“We knew we were good enough to make it to state. We had worked hard for this season and to make it to state,” she said in an email to the Tribune.

That assessment proved to be accurate. Newton dominated opponents while compiling a 33-4 record that included 26 shutouts.

The team’s closest match in the playoffs came in the second round, a 3-2 win against Tishomingo County. Newton trailed two sets to one, but won the fourth set, 25-22, and the fifth, 15-9.

“The match against Tishomingo was tough, but we got through,” Anderson said. “Our coach talked to us during the timeouts and in between the sets. He motivated us with the speeches he gave us. All we had to do was keep their best player in the back row. She was a good volleyball player. She was the best one out of all the players we’ve played against. After the Tishomingo game, we knew we could make it to state.”

The two dropped sets proved to be the last time any team won a set against Newton, which went on to sweep Caledonia, Northeast Lauderdale and Purvis.

The championship match marked the final high school game for Anderson, who played two seasons on varsity and one on junior varsity.

Anderson is the only Seminole on the team, which also has players from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. She is the daughter of Peter Storm (Seminole Tribe) and Monica Solomon (Choctaw).

She plans to attend East Central Community College in Decatur, but won’t soon forget the championship year.

“It was a lot of fun this season,” she said.

Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson is senior editor. He has worked for The Seminole Tribune since 2014. He was previously an editor, photographer and reporter for newspapers in Southwest Florida and Connecticut. Contact Kevin at