PLATTE COUNTY – Both the Lady Bulldogs and the Guernsey-Sunrise Vikings had players this season that earned post season honors.
As a team, the Lady Bulldogs took third place in the Wyoming 3A state championships while Guernsey-Sunrise went to the regional tournament for the first time in the last two years.
Kendall Schaffner- Wheatland High School - 3A All-State, 3A East All-Conference , 3A East Player of the Year
“Never underestimate Kendall,” said head coach Sally Nichols. “She has the highest volleyball IQ of any player I have worked with. She is extremely coachable, and is like having an assistant coach on the court. She is able to relay any message to a "T" and discuss the best approach to score within seconds. I really am happy for Kendall, she has worked extremely hard, and t earn the 3A East Player of the Year is definitely icing on the cake for her.”
Schaffner who was selected All-State her sophomore year had two years wiped out due to a knee injury.
“It is an honor to be selected as all Allstate and all conference member,” Schaffner said. “I have worked extremely hard to come back twice now and honors like these show that my hard work has paid off. It has been a long road to recovery. I have had a wonderful support system that has helped me every step of way. My teammates that I have been with for the last six years have become family. I have faced a great deal of adversity and have had to overcome a lot during my high school years. Ending my senior year with the team I started with years ago has been wonderful. We have traveled the country together and become very close. All conference, all state, and being named 3A East player of the year is an honor I will always remember. I share these honors with my family and team.”
Grace Battershell- Wheatland High School - 3A All-State, 3A East All-Conference
“A college coach approached me at the State Tournament and stated that in her opinion, Grace was the best setter at the State Tournament,” Nichols said. “I thought that was a good analysis. Grace is one of the most athletic setters I have watched play the game. Her body awareness is legit, her drive is undeniable, and her effort is unquestionable. She will be a successful college setter.”
Battershell is a three-sport athlete at Wheatland High School and will get a few weeks rest before she takes the court for the Lady Basketball team.
“This was probably the best season with my teammates,” Battershell said. “I really enjoyed playing alongside this team. It was always our goal to get back to state and it felt really good. I always kind of knew we were going to come back, and we wanted to get back and make a name for Wheatland again. Being All-State was always a goal of mine through all of my years I’ve been playing, so to actually achieve it is a dream come true. I was in a good position as a setter because I was kind of like the quarterback in football because I got to choose who gets the ball and when they get it.”
Hadley Paisley – Wheatland High School - 3A East All-Conference
“What a work ethic!” said Nichols. “This gal is always focused on the court. A super fun loving and quite entertaining person off the court, but flips a switch when she is competing. She listens with intent and does her best every play to help her team by making good decisions. Her level of intensity during a match is unsurpassed.”
Paisley has played volleyball since middle school and has been a versatile player in that she is a pinpoint setter as well as having a consistent serve and a killer spike.
“Volleyball has been an incredible experience for me,” Paisley said. “I went from not really knowing if I would play, to traveling across the country for club tournaments. Our team has come a long way from freshman year. We have put in countless hours through playing club ball and summer programs. The work was well worth it. This was a great way to end our senior year. Winning the East conference championship on our home court in front of the community was an incredible experience. The gym was electric and the 5-set match kept everyone on their toes. Placing third at State was also a great experience. It is an awesome feeling to end the season on a win, it takes some of the sadness out of ending the season. I was stoked to be recognized as an All-Conference player. I owe a huge thank you to all of my coaches who have dedicated themselves to the volleyball program and helped us reach out potential.”
Annaliese Matthews – Wheatland High School - Honorable Mention 3A East All-Conference
“Annaliese is a dynamic middle,” said Nichols. “As a former college coach, I love looking for talent and assessing abilities, to put it simply…I would not hesitate a second to recruit Annaliese Matthews. She is a sponge; she listens and applies technique almost immediately. She demands the most out of herself and really strives to do her best for her team. She has truly become one of, if not the most effective middle in our conference.”
Alley Gunter – Wheatland High School - Honorable Mention 3A East All-Conference
“Alley took on a tough role this season,” Nichols said. “She learned a new defense, and then toward the end of the season had to play two different positions within that defense. She was a champ; she was receptive to coaching. She asked questions and did her best to be in the right place at the right time, then relied on her own experience to read the hitters while playing within the defense and setup around the block. She truly did a fantastic job and is reliable as they come.”
Rylie Thompson – Guernsey-Sunrise High School - All-Conference 1A Southeast
“Rylie is an amazing young lady who is one of the most deserving athletes of this award,” head coach Mindy Kelley said. “Not only does she have skills for the game, she has outstanding character as well. Rylie is always willing to accept a challenge head on and will give 100% for the duration of the task. She demonstrates her sportsmanship in all aspects of the game, from practices to contests. She may not always agree with an official's call, but she will accept it and move on to the next play. Rylie led our team in kills, serving aces and points this season.”
Thompson was a team leader in several categories and was effective on both the back lines and at the net. She had the touch to set precisely and the power to complete her kills.
“Having been named All-Conference is a major accomplishment for me that is sports related,” Thompson said. “I’ve been playing volleyball since around second grade so it has greatly impacted my life. I feel as is this year was my strongest year, so I’m eternally grateful that it was recognized by others. I really want to thank everyone who has supported me throughout the years. As for my team, I’ve played with basically all of them my entire volleyball career. Personally, I think this was one of our better years because we had finally begun to gel together like a team. We had some great moments and some not so great moments, but that’s just a part of the game. Even though our season didn’t end like we would have expected, I was grateful to be a part of it. And though I’m sad this season is over, I’m excited to see how we can progress next season.