WHEATLAND – This was the last Platte County athletic team standing.
The Lady Bulldogs achieved great things this year and went farther than anyone thought they could have. After a 9-year drought, the varsity team boarded a bus and took their community to State with them in their hearts.
They played fierce competition in Casper, losing to Mountain View in the first match 25-17, 25-16 and 25-10 and then Lander Valley in the second match, 25-9, 25-20 and 25-21. Of the two teams that beat them, Mountain View was crowned the Wyoming state volleyball champion for class 3A and Lander Valley was crowned Wyoming consolation state champion.
They lost only to the best our state had to offer in class 3A. The girls together in the good times and the bad, never hanging their heads, never feeling sorry for themselves, but always taking every ounce of adversity and pouring it into a hot cup of learning and wisdom, building strength for their future.
Watching the team play in Casper, it was very evident that it was not the same team that began in August. There are 68 high school teams that play volleyball in Wyoming. Wheatland was one of only 8 that got to state in 3A, and only two teams walked away having won their final game.
There were amazing memories. The heart-stopping moments. The laughter, the shouts and the tears. Fans are going to miss those incredible diving digs, those carefully placed sets and those thundering spikes and of course the circle fly after an ace... not to mention Rory's mismatched socks.
The program says goodbye to Kami Henthorn, Rory Anderson and Bailey Benson. Three leaders who helped continue building the foundation for future greatness with this program. And with amazing coaches who gave of themselves in the adversity of a very strange athletic 2020 people saw the dedication and commitment that has not gone unnoticed.
To have your name in the state record books is quite an accomplishment. To record a name in a season game is wonderful, but to know you left a digital footprint at state is incredible.
State statistics for the Bulldogs:
Assists Grace Battershell 40, Digs: Kendall Schaffner 46 - Hadley Paisley 30, Serves: Ashlynn Huffer 100%, Hadley Paisley 100%, Kendall Schaffner 94%, Kills: Kami Henthorn 17, Kendall Schaffner 11, Hadley Paisley 10, Blocks: Kami Henthorn – 2, Kaycee Hockley 2, Rory Anderson 1, Serve Receive: Kendall Schaffner 98%, Brinley Heimsoth 92%, Hadley Paisley 89%, Alley Gunter 82%, Ashlynn Huffer 73%.
“To end your season at State is a huge accomplishment that hasn’t been achieved in Wheatland for 9 years,” said varsity coach Lindsay Schaffner. “You ladies have a bright future and we can’t wait to see your growth next year. Kami, Rory and Bailey we wish you the best! Go Bulldogs.”
All Conference and All State selections came out yesterday after the press deadline. These names will be posted on Facebook and in next week’s paper.