The Farthing sisters — Meredith, Sydney, Rebekah and Caroline — had a way to pass the time when they were all home.
It involved playing volleyball against each other, and it had its own quality control. Play poorly, and that person had to sit out for a while until allowed to play again.
So far, one of them, Sydney, played collegiately at Appalachian State. Her sister, Rebekah, signed a letter of intent to play at Georgia Southern shortly after the Feb. 5 signing day.
The Watauga athletic department held a signing day for Rebekah Farthing at the Watauga High School library on Feb. 13 in front of several volleyball teammates, basketball teammates, and friends of her and her family. Farthing originally committed to play at Appalachian State, but switched her commitment to Georgia Southern when the Eagles hired App State assistant Chad Willis, who recruited Farthing when he was at App State.
Farthing had the reassurance that she knew where she was going to college, but was still happy that the day finally arrived.
“It’s not that it was stressful, but it’s knowing that I know where I’m going and it’s signed and set in stone and I’m very excited,” Farthing said.
Those volleyball games the Farthing sisters played were not for the faint of heart. Farthing feels they toughened her and her sister Caroline to face any challenge any volleyball match could throw at them.
“It was expected that you were able to do it once you were old enough to actually be able to hang with Meredith and Sydney,” Rebekah said. “They were hard on us, but it helped us in the long run. It helped us grow and it made us competitive, that’s for sure.”
Rebekah Farthing has been a standout three-sport athlete since her freshman season. She’s been a four-year starter on the Watauga basketball team and also runs sprints and does the long jump and triple jump for the Watauga track team in the spring.
Farthing built an impressive resume as a four-year starter with the Watauga volleyball team.
She is a two-time Northwestern Conference Player of the Year. She was also a maxpreps.com Player of the Week several times, and was named to the AVCA All Region team.
Farthing was also part of a Watauga program that won four straight NWC championships. The Pioneers did that by never losing a conference match, and made it to the third round all four years. By the time the Pioneers were finished after Farthing’s four seasons, they had won 98 matches.
Farthing said Watauga’s formula for success was simple: Work hard and concentrate on the team’s goals.
“It took putting in hard work every day,” Farthing said. “Our volleyball team is super close. We all have one goal and that’s to win every conference game and then we want to win a state championship every year. Every time we’re in the gym, we were constantly working toward that goal.”
Farthing led the Pioneers in kills her senior season with 377, six more than her close friend Brooke Byrd. Farthing also finished with 189 digs defensively, just nine more than Byrd. Caroline Farthing finished with 119 digs.
Farthing will play defense on the back line for the Eagles as her sister did at Appalachian State. She said she’s playing libero on her club team, a team out of Winston-Salem called Twin City, which is giving her added experience.
Five of her teammates also play on the team. The Boone group travels 90 minutes to practice with the team.
“In club right now, I’m playing libero,” Farthing said. “One tournament our outside hitter was hurt, so I stepped in and played and I was comfortable because that’s what I’ve played, but I really like being a libero.”
That includes fielding kill attempts that come at her at a high rate of speed.
“It’s a lot more reacting and being able to get to the quick stuff,” she said. “It’s different, but it’s a good different.
“It’s coming super fast,” Farthing said of the upcoming volleyball season. “I’ll go at the beginning of the summer, so I’m preparing for that by staying in the weightroom and continuing to work out. In basketball, we’re doing a lot of running, so that’s a good way to stay in shape and in track we’ll also be running and lifting weights. That’s good because I’ll be doing that for Georgia Southern.”
Watauga’s girls’ basketball coach Laura Barry felt that Farthing brings a solid work ethic, is a person of high character and is a fun person to be around — making her an ideal recruit for the Eagles to sign.
“She’s a great teammate,” Barry said. “She is a teammate who draws people to her and I think it will server her well in her college experience as in her life.”
Farthing said she’s excited to begin her college experience not just to continue playing the sport she loves, but to play it in a setting that is different than home.
“It’s something new,” she said. “I’ve never really been away from my family and my friends for a long period of time, so it’s new and I think I’ll grow from it.”