Volleyball’s Awards event a fitting cap to “fun” season

By Pete Mohr | November 26, 2008

CSHS – After Freshman (15-3) Coach Emily Shoulders and JV (9-8) Coach Wes Goodwin had recognized their players individually (to the accomp-animent of whoops and squeals of delight that can only be emitted by teenage girls!), it was Head Coach Tom Gardner’s turn. “Coach Tom” did not shrink from acknowledging the bitterly disappointing loss (in five games) to Sandra Day O’Connor that ended his team’s season; but he was quick to praise the LadyBirds “for playing a special brand of volleyball that was really fun.” Unless this writer is missing something, isn’t that what high school athletics are supposed to be all about? Continuing, he complimented the Lady Falcons as being the “closest team with which I’ve been associated.” Congratulations, Ladies: you “got it!”

girls volleyballVolleyball has also excelled in the classroom, posting a 3.5+ GPA. Gardner singled out junior Kelsey Janke as ranking first in her class. He also thanked Volleyball’s parent community (especially “Team Mom” Kelly Janke) and Head Athletic Trainer Courtney Runner for supportively tending to the rash of injuries that plagued the squad throughout the season, start-to-finish.

Seniors and Co-Captains Whitney Wilde (“She played her biggest games against our toughest opponents. With 181 kills, Whitney was our dominant player.”) and Shiann Fraley (“Shiann, in spite of injuries to both knees that could’ve sidelined her, played courageously through most of the season.”) won the top individual awards, “Most Valuable Player” and “Falcon Pride,” respectively. Both of them, terrific senior “leaders!”

“Offensive Player of the Year” went to junior setter Sarah Grothe, with Coach Gardner citing her team-leading 486 assists against only 22 errors. “Defensive Player(s) of the Year?” Who else but the remarkable back-line tandem of Janke and sophomore Jordan Smith, who together recorded 971 of the team’s 1,230 “digs” (point-saving defensive stops). Sophomore Shan England, playing only her second season of organized volleyball, was named “Most Improved.”

Ladies, hang on to the memories of your 12-0 Desert Sky Championship. You had “fun?” Reporting your season was equally so.

Top Photo: WINNERS, ALL! (Back, l-r) Co-Captain Whitney Wilde (MVP), Sarah Grothe (Offensive Player of the Year), Co-Captain Shiann Fraley (Falcon Pride Award); (front, l-r) Jordan Smith and Kelsey Janke (Defensive Players of the Year).

Photo by Pete Mohr

Senior Alex Easterbrook signs with Fort Lewis College

By Pete Mohr | November 26, 2008

CSHS – For point guard Alex Easterbrook, her senior season could well include three milestones: the first already accomplished Nov. 12, signing a substantial scholarship offer from Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colo.

Alex EasterbrookEasterbrook is the first Lady Falcon to sign a basketball scholarship. The second milestone is a “lock,” because “A.E.” is sure to become the first Lady Falcon to score 1,000 points in her CSHS career. Currently at 953 (and counting), she could get the 47 points needed over the remaining four games (possibly five) at Moon Valley’s Thanksgiving Tournament, won by the LadyBirds in 2007. And the third milestone, the one Easterbrook wants most of all? Winning the State Championship that has eluded the Lady Falcons in four consecutive trips to “The Final Four.”

“A.E.” to Sonoran News: “I’m very pleased to have signed with Fort Lewis. The Lady Skyhawks have a proven record of competitiveness (“Sweet 16” last season). I’ll be extremely proud to be a part of a strong program.” Head Coach Mark Kellogg on landing Easterbrook: “With the signing of Alex, we have added another excellent basketball player to FLC women’s basketball. Alex will provide instant energy, toughness and competitiveness to our program. We also bring in a player with a high basketball IQ and a true understanding of the point guard position. We have high expectations for Alex and we look for her to be a key component to our continued success.”

Congratulations, “A.E.!” Now about that State Championship.

Photo: With CSHS coaches and family members as proud witnesses to Easterbrook’s signing (back, l-r) Athletic Director Bill Dolezal (her freshman season head coach), present Head Coach Ryan Pletnick, her Dad John; (front, l-r) sister Morgan, 11, and Mom Lori. Sister Kelsey, 15, was unavailable for photo.

Photo by Pete Mohr