CanTroSports "Fab Five" Female Athletes of the Year (2012-07-09)
To effectively select the inaugural CanTroSports "Fab Five" male & female athletes of the past school year, several criteria were considered and evaluated.
Each athlete selected was obviously at the top of the performance list among their peers in each of their respective sports. In some cases, excellence displayed throughout the three seasons of the school year was the determining factor. Unfortunately, the "three-sport athlete" in our area is becoming less and less easy to find.
While playing three available sports was not a requirement to be selected, if an athlete did not compete throughout the year for their school, there had to be a definite level of domination in the sports that they did play.
Perhaps no individual fits that description better than the CanTroSports Female Athlete of the Year, Troy's Casey Norton.
Norton started off her junior season by winning the NTL Cross Country Coaches' Invitational. With the individual title out of the way, Norton prepared for the District meet, where she was the returning runner-up. Casey earned the 2nd-place District medal once again, and made the most of her third straight trip to the PIAA meet, bringing a State medal back to Troy with a 22nd-place finish.
Norton followed up her impressive Cross Country season with an equally-astonishing performance in Track & Field.
Casey wasted little time in showing what she was capable of in all of the distance events. In Troy's 3rd meet of the season, The Molly Dry Invitational at Mansfield University, Norton won the 1600 meter run, breaking Troy's school-record in the process. In the 800 meter run, Norton finished in 2nd place, but again broke a Trojan track record.
Later in the season, Casey won the 3200 meter run by 40 seconds over the runner-up at the Lock Haven Invitational, an event loaded with strong competition. She repeated her dominance at the District IV championships, winning the 3200 District title by 37 seconds over her closest competitor.
Norton entered the PIAA meet as the 6th seed in the 3200 meter run, then proceeded to crush her own personal best time of 11:23 by more than 10 seconds, earning a 5th-place State medal for the Trojans.
Canton's Morgan Palmer is the next member of the Fab Five, earning a spot with her performances throughout the school year.
In volleyball, Morgan was a 1st-team selection to the NTL All-Star team, as well as on the District IV Class A team. Palmer was an important part of the girls' basketball team, and despite a late-season injury, was named to the Honorable Mention NTL All-Star list for the 10-win Warriors. In softball, the senior catcher powered the Warriors' offense, batting .592, with 7 home runs and 33 RBI. Palmer was named a 2nd-team All-Star by the NTL coaches, and will continue her softball career at Lock Haven University this fall.
Troy sophomore Kayla Stephani makes the Fab Five after having been named to the NTL All-Star 1st-team in both soccer and softball. A defensive All-Star selection in soccer, Stephani was a major factor on Troy's NTL championship team. She is a central piece on Troy's very young basketball team, and was named an All-Star as an outfielder for Troy's NTL West title-winning softball squad. She batted .368 for the Trojans, with 18 RBI and 14 runs scored.
Troy's Katie Jackson is the next selection for the Fab Five. Jackson, a mid-fielder for the Troy soccer team, was selected as the Player of the Year by the NTL coaches. The senior led the Trojans to the NTL title, as well as to an upset victory in the District playoffs. Katie then picked up her second NTL title of the year, leading the Trojans to an NTL West softball championship. Jackson, a senior centerfielder who led Troy with a .442 batting average, 23 hits and 19 runs scored, was named an NTL West 1st team all-star.
Our next selection for the female Fab Five is Troy senior Emily Hunsicker. As a forward on Troy's NTL title-winning soccer team, Hunsicker totaled 17 goals on the season, including 2 games in which she recorded a hat-trick, and another 5 games in which she scored 2 goals. She was named to the NTL All-Star 1st team. During Track & Field season, Hunsicker displayed her athleticism in multiple events. As a hurdler, Hunsicker took 2nd at the NTL Large School meet in the 110 hurdles, and 3rd in the 300 hurdles. She also placed 2nd in the long jump. Hunsicker qualified for the District Meet in all three events, but also found success throughout the season in the triple jump, sprint events, relays and even in the shot put.
Other athletes who were considered for the list include:
Louisa Shedden (Troy) - was an NTL 2nd-team selection for soccer, scoring 10 goals on the season, as well as a consistent point-earner on the track, specializing in the 100, 200 & 400 meter runs.
Rachel Holmes (Canton) - was a standout for the Warriors in both volleyball and basketball.
Chelsea Heatley (Canton) - one of the few three-sport girls in our area, the junior was Canton's ace in softball & contributed to both the basketball and volleyball teams.
Kelsey Bristol (Troy) - look for big things in the coming years from this athletic freshman on the volleyball and basketball courts, as well as on the softball field.
Faith Ceely (Troy) - like classmate Bristol, Ceely will be a huge contributor in three sports (soccer, basketball and softball) for the Trojans over the next three years.