Bobcats celebrate at volleyball banquet
On Thursday, Nov. 15, Basehor-Linwood High School volleyball coach Mardy Robinson found herself standing on a chair, holding balloons and waving a red napkin in the air at TGI Friday's in Shawnee.
No, Robinson hadn't lost her mind, but perhaps her seniors did. In an effort to show their coach just how much they appreciated her this season, the five Bobcat seniors told the restaurant waiter that it was Robinson's birthday so she would get the full treatment.
Robinson's birthday is actually in August, but that didn't stop her from playing along.
"The girls like to have fun and I appreciate that they enjoyed the season," Robinson said. "The banquet was a reflection of the season and how much fun we had."
Senior Christina McCarty, who was awarded the team's MVP honor on the same night, said the ceremony was the best thing the seniors could think of to show their appreciation.
"None of us really knew how to say thanks without just saying it," McCarty said. "So we thought that would be a fun way to show her we appreciated her."
The birthday celebration was just one of the highlights at the BLHS volleyball banquet, where Robinson honored each player with an award. Here's a look at the rest of the accolades:
Rookie of the Year
Sophomore Katie Burchfield.
"Katie did a great job of stepping up to the varsity level this year without having much experience," Robinson said. "She played very well for us all season especially with her blocking and I expect her to be a big-time player for us next year, as well."
Voice of Encouragement
Junior Abby Ross.
"Abby was always the first one to yell from the bench for the girls on the court," Robinson said. "She always kept everybody's spirits up and her future is bright for next season. She'll be asked to contribute more and I think she will."
Most Consistent Hitter Junior Lindsay Cunningham.
"Lindsay was our hitter with the fewest errors this season, she always seemed to get the ball over the net," Robinson said. "And it's not like she was 90 for 100, she had the second most hits on our team so she really was consistent and did a great job for us. I expect her to be a major contributor next year."
Junior Cristin Burnett.
"If it weren't for Cristin setting the ball, our hitters wouldn't have had any kills," Robinson said. "She did a great job all year and I expect her to step up as a leader next year for us."
Senior Laura Steeby.
"Laura is probably the most coachable player I've ever been around," Robinson said. "Any time we needed anything, she was one we could count on and she was also very consistent in all aspects of the game."
Senior Jamie Cochran.
"Everything Jamie does, she does hard," Robinson said. "She hits the ball hard, she plays hard, she competes hard. She definitely deserved this award for the way she went up with aggression and tried to kill the ball."
Most Focused Award
Senior Kelleigh Gorup.
"Kelleigh kept the team focused no matter what," Robinson said. "Whether it was during a game or during practice when somebody's boyfriend walked in, Kelleigh was the one who kept our attention on the game."
Senior Briana Barron.
"Briana dove for every ball even if someone else could get it," Robinson said. "She was hustling on every play and she did an outstanding job in the back row for us."
MVP Senior Christina McCarty.
"This isn't really a surprise, but Christina was definitely our Most Valuable Player," Robinson said. "She was outstanding for us all season, she was our leading hitter and that was when opponents were trying to stop her and she was a great leader for us as well. She's got a lot of talent and I think she'll go on to play well in college."
The team also received its letters and pins at the banquet, and Robinson presented the five seniors with a framed photograph of their huddle before their final match of the season.
The Bobcats finished the season with a 17-22 match record.
Despite finishing below .500, the Bobcats achieved one of their biggest goals of the season when they beat Mill Valley in the first round of sub-state to advance to the second round.
McCarty and Burnett rounded out the season by receiving all-Kaw Valley League honors. McCarty was voted to the first team and Burnett received honorable mention as a setter.