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April 28, 2006

Horticulturist grows success with Cardinals

From: Staunton News Leader, VA - Apr 28, 2006

By Ken Bosserman
Sports Writer

STAUNTON — You might say that Buffy Henderson has a green thumb.

The Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind senior likes horticulture, and plans to enter that profession upon graduation.

A two-sport athlete, Henderson does well on both the volleyball and basketball courts, and she's an honor-roll student in the classroom.

For her achievements, VSDB has selected Henderson as its nominee for the City/County Student-Athlete of the Year Award, sponsored by The News Leader and Elliott Chevrolet.

When Henderson heads home to Saltville on weekends, you may very well find her in the garden.

"I have a garden at home, and I like pulling weeds, picking vegetables and taking care of it," she said through an interpreter.

Henderson grows a variety of items, from onions and peas to watermelons.

"And I grow really big watermelons," she added.

Henderson takes horticulture at the Valley Vocational Technical Center, and it's not surprising that's one of her favorite classes.

"I like to work with plants, both flowers and vegetables," she said. "We start with seeds, water them, take care of them, then sell them."

Going to Valley Tech also allows Henderson to mingle with students from other area schools.

"I enjoy getting along with those other kids," she said.

It's not surprising that after Henderson graduates, she plans to continue working with plants and gardening.

"There are a lot of opportunities," she said. "I plan to move to Chilhowie and work there."

At VSDB, Henderson has played the only two sports offered to girls, volleyball and basketball.

Of the two sports, basketball is her favorite.

"That's because I like to shoot and rebound," she said.

Playing as the team's center, she has garnered most-valuable-player honors two years in a row. And at this year's Mason-Dixon Tournament, she was selected to the all-tournament team.

This year, her favorite contests were with Massanutten Military and West Virginia.

"They were very close and exciting games," she said.

In volleyball, the VSDB senior enjoys setting and serving, although she admits the sport is not her favorite.

Academically, Henderson enjoys mathematics, which she finds is not hard. Of course, that's besides her love for horticulture.

Henderson has a variety of interests that range from drama to computers.

"VSDB has been a good experience. And I've really enjoyed the student center," she added. "But I am looking forward to moving on."

©2006 Staunton News Leader.