When Shea DeJoseph went to a volleyball camp presented by William Jessup University in the summer of 2017 before her junior year at Carson High, the NAIA program in Rocklin, Calif., was so impressed with her skills it wanted to sign her on the spot.
“We want to sign you right now,” said DeJoseph about what she was told.
But then life got in the way. DeJoseph was one of seven students who were injured in a crash on Kings Canyon Road in November, 2017. One student, Timothy Jones, died as a result of the crash.
DeJoseph sustained a broken back as a result of the crash. That didn’t matter to William Jessup which honored its commitment. “We don’t care,” said DeJoseph about what the school told her. “We believe that you can recover.”
So DeJoseph recently signed her letter of intent to play volleyball at William Jessup. “I love everything about the campus,” said DeJoseph, who will major in education. “I love everyting about it, the environment.”
DeJoseph was in the hospital for seven days and wore a back brace for seven weeks. Twelve weeks after the crash she returned to the court.
She admitted it was tough to return to the court for her senior season last year both physically and mentally. DeJoseph said it was tough emotionally for her to return without her teammate and friend Stefanie Schmidt, who was also injured in the crash.
And DeJoseph admitted about last season, “that just really messed me up a lot,” about her recovery. DeJoseph still goes through physical therapy twice a week.
But she’s continuing her training and said she now feels little pain to no pain at all. “Right now I’m about 80 percent,” DeJoseph said.
Despite not being at full strength the left side hitter still had 105 kills and 46 digs last season.
There is uncertainty now with the William Jessup program as its head coach, Shasta Millhollin, stepped down last month. “I’m still excited to be going there,” DeJoseph said.
And there won’t be uncertainty about the fact that Shea’s brother, Jayden DeJoseph, is already at the school “which is kind of cool,” Shea said. Jayden DeJoseph is a redshirt freshman 6-6 shooting guard for the Williams Jessup men’s basketball team. “It’s nice to know somebody there,” Shea said.
She also has lofty goals for next season. “My goal is to be (conference) freshman of the year,” she said. “That’s my goal, 100 percent.”
About the night of the crash, Shea said, “I just remember we were up on Kings Canyon. We were going down to get some gas and I remember us hitting the side of the hill.”
“That’s all I remember,” added Shea about the crash. “My first instinct was ‘I should call my mom,’” said Shea about her mother, CHS teacher Jennifer Menifie. “I couldn’t find my phone.”
She also remembered the first responders telling her “you need to stop moving. I was just kind of confused.”
“I was just numb but was really concerned,” said Shea about her other friends in the crash. But when she kept asking about her friends were dong, Shea said “the nurse was saying ‘we can’t tell you that.’”