Sport Shorts: Nov 9
HUDDLESTON OVERCOMES ADVERSITY
Lauren Huddlestun has had a lot of bad luck the last two years in post-season girls tennis play.
The St. Thomas Aquinas senior has had adversity the last two years in doubles competition.
“She was undefeated in doubles last year but was disqualified because our coach made an error and played her in too many matches,” Aquinas Athletic Director Sarah Burgess says. “Her sophomore year she was not able to compete at regionals because the night before, her doubles partner was suspended from school for a violation.”
This year, the senior won her 5A singles title at regional and took a 14-6 record into the 5A state
tournament in Topeka.
And she won the 5A state singles title for her first state individual championship.
Clearly she has overcome adversity. But how did she do it?
“I have overcome this mainly with support,” she says. “Especially last year my whole school was very supportive and so were my family and friends. Everyone was so nice and people I didn’t even know would come up to me and offer support. I then decided I would play this last year.”
She has learned a lot from her many roadblocks.
“I think that everyone should know that no matter how difficult something is and no matter how many times it happens, even if you think things can’t get any worse, just put your head up high and show people that it takes a lot to get you down,” she says. “You are not going to let it get to you. Pick yourself up and keep trying.”
Burgess says, “She has handled both setbacks with such class.”
Coach Dave Shriver says, “She is the only senior on the team this year. She is a real gym rat always on the court playing or at a club playing. She is a very hard worker both at school and on the court.”
Huddlestun is ranked in the top 30 in girls 18 in the Missouri Valley Tennis Association.
She would like to play tennis on the collegiate level next year.
EIGHTH GRADER EXCELS AT VOLLEYBALL
Katlyn Giefer may only be an eighth grader at Overland Trail Middle School, but she has already made her mark on volleyball on the national stage.
“My greatest accomplishment was definitely where we (her Mavs Club Volleyball Team) placed second in the nation in the 12 Gold Division,” she says. “I sometimes put my medal on and often think of how special and lucky I was to participate in a national championship game. A close second is placing third in the National Beach 'Twos' Sand Volleyball Tournament in Chicago that same year.”
The eighth grader was introduced to the game by her parents in the second grade. She played on a recreation team in the third grade.
“It was a lot of fun so I went to a couple of volleyball camps and made a lot of friends that I still see and even play against today,” says Giefer.
She started her career as a libero, but worked hard to become a setter.
“It’s very empowering because the setter has a lot of control of the game and works with the coach constantly,” she says. “You always have to stay positive and try to benefit the team however you can.”
Her Overland Trail Middle School volleyball coach Kathy Sawyer says, “Katlyn has exceptional skills in all areas on the volleyball court. Her hard work and dedication to the sport has allowed her to stand out as a young athlete who will go far in the volleyball world.”
Giefer is not sure where she will attend high school next fall.
“I am looking forward to high school volleyball next year and I am considering both private and public high schools,” she says.
CUSTER RANKED NO. 100 IN NATION
The boys basketball season for Blue Valley Northwest doesn’t start until early December, but already junior point guard Clay Custer is getting national attention.
The two-year starter for the Huskies is ranked No. 100 in the nation by rivals.com for the recruiting class of 2014.
Custer was a top five All-State pick last year as a sophomore by the Wichita Eagle and Topeka Capital-Journal newspaper.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.”
– Arthur C. Clarke