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Flying high

Three members of the Crook County High School volleyball team receive national recognition
The Crook County High School volleyball team has won six consecutive state championships and are considered favorites to win the state championship again this year.
   Members of the squad have frequently been recognized on all-league and all-state teams. However, now team members are gaining national attention.
   “It’s great for the program and great for our kids,” said head volleyball coach Rosie Honl.
   Three CCHS players recently received letter of recognition from the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA).
   Senior Makayla Lindburg is on a list of approximately 300 players who are under consideration to be selected for the Under Armour All-America High School Volleyball Match and Skills Competition.
   “It’s pretty cool because I don’t search for things like that at all,” Lindburg said. “I think for the season, I will just disregard this and focus on our team.”
   Junior Hannah Troutman and Sophomore Karlee Hollis have also been recognized by the AVCA. The pair each received letters identifying them as outstanding underclassmen.
   The two have been invited to attend the AVCA Phenom College Preparatory Program, for elite underclassmen.
   “They think that we have the talent to be good in volleyball and have the potential to be very good,” Hollis said. “It was really exciting and makes me feel recognized.”
   “It’s a great honor to get this letter and to think that other coaches are watching me out there and can see what I can do,” Troutman added.
   The Phenom College Preparatory Program and the Under-Armour All-American Game will both be held in conjunction with the NCAA Women’s Volleyball final four and the AVCA national convention. This year’s final four and convention will be held at the KFC YUM! Center, in Louisville, Ky., Dec. 13-15.
   Participants in the Phenom College Preparatory Program will each receive a ticket to the NCAA?semifinals as well as undergoing a series of volleyball tests during a talent showcase. Groups of approximately 100 athletes at a time will have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills in front of more than 100 college coaches.
   The program is designed to give undergraduates the opportunity to meet college coaches as well as collegiate All-Americans. The program will educate participants and their parents about recruiting as well as playing volleyball at the college level.
   “It’s a done deal,” Honl said. “Troutman and Hollis get to go no matter what. They have to pay airfare and for their hotel, so it’s pretty spendy, but it’s a great opportunity.”
   Hollis and Troutman are excited about the opportunity and are planning to attend.
   However, Troutman said that if it comes down to a choice between playing in a tournament with the Rimrock Volleyball Club or attending the phenom program, she would rather play.
   Although Lindburg is now on the short list of senior players, making it to the All-American game is still a long shot.
   Last year, their were only nine players from the Northwest region who were even considered for the honor and only one, Martenne Bettendorf of Central Catholic, even came close to being selected last year.
   “I’m hoping that she makes it,” Honl said. “You have to put all their stats in on Maxprepsports.com and then the other coaches look at them and then they vote. There are five or six different regions and each region selects a few players. It would be awesome if Lindburg gets to go.”
   Forty-eight players will ultimately be selected as first and second team All-Americans with just the top 24 playing in the All-American event.
   Although Lindburg would like the opportunity right now, she is more concerned with how Crook County does as a team.
   “I want my team to trust me and I want to be the one that they can count on,” she said. “I need to be more consistent to lead my team and for the team I want us to be together and to be the 4A state champions.”
   As for three players receiving recognition in the same year, Honl believes that it demonstrates what kind of level Crook County and the Rimrock Club play at.
   “It shows that our kids are fundamentally strong,”?she said. “Then they go to Rimrock and Joel Kent polishes them up and has them play at that higher level that you don’t get in high school.”
   The players also believe that having three players recognized shows how strong the Crook County program is. However, they credit the coaches for their success.
   “We are from a small town that nobody really knows about,” Troutman said. “It’s great that three of us got our recognition letters because it shows how hard Rosie’s worked and how much time she’s put into it.”
   “It just shows how smart our coaches are and how great a coach Rosie is and all her staff,” Lindburg added.
   Whether Lindburg makes the final cut or not, Honl is still excited that three of her players have received national attention.
   “I’m excited,” she said. “I’m planning on going and I’m hoping that all three of them will be there. It’s just a great opportunity.”