The Mid-Columbia Athletes of the Week for May 5, 2012.
Alex Shuster, Jr., Kiona-Benton
She’s got a blazing fastball and a wicked changeup, and you might need a seatbelt when she throws her screwball. But this elite club player is most at home when playing catcher.
That didn’t stop the Ki-Be junior from striking out 15 batters during a doubleheader sweep of Mabton. She helped her own cause at the plate, going 5-for-6 with two doubles and five RBIs.
“I think there’s hope. We could still possibly go to districts,” Shuster said of Ki-Be’s first two league wins.
Districts or not, she’ll still have another year to wreak havoc on the SCAC East.
Favorite food: Mom’s tacos
Favorite athlete: Shawna Wright, UW catcher
Most like to meet: My uncle Brian, who passed away before I was born
Famous relatives?: Oney Wheeler, country/bluegrass musician
Unusual talent: Hurting myself a lot. I’m a klutz. We have prom coming up, and I’ll be wearing a short dress with all kinds of bruises on my leg
Favorite class: Ms. Flanagan’s English class
Halftime snack: My mom’s ham wrap
Favorite movie: A Walk to Remember
Favorite TV show: Jersey Shore
Be on reality TV: The Pauly D Project
Last book read: Some Girls Are, Courtney Summer
Career plans: When I’m older I know for sure I’m going to be a coach
Favorite field: Disney Softball Diamondplex at ESPN Complex in Kissimmee, Fla.
Best quote from Ki-Be coach Dave Thornton: He always tells us our excuses are invalid
Favorite restaurant: Texas Roadhouse
Dream vacation: Italy or Hawaii, or road trip with friends
Million dollars: First I’d pay for my education, then I’d put some in savings and probably buy a house for me and my family
Luke Thompson, Sr., Hanford
Now that he’s a senior, Thompson is able to kick back a little and enjoy the fruits of being the top singles ace. After four years of work under Falcons coach Bill Fletcher, he’s earned a scholarship to Eastern Washington University and a pretty good shot at his first 3A state singles title.
“I’d be kind of disappointed if I didn’t win every single match,” Thompson said. “Last year, I was up really big on Jordan Smith (of Mercer Island), but I ended up losing. This year I think I can beat him.”
He’s done nothing but dominate opponents so far this season, winning the No. 1 singles title at the Tri-City Invite on April 18 and then again at the Inland Empire tournament last Saturday in Spokane.
Even though Thompson might be the best 3A singles player in the state, he may play doubles at EWU.
“I’m better at doubles,” he said, noting that he could play both for the Eagles. “They offered a scholarship and a guaranteed playing spot.”
Favorite food: Pepperoni pizza
Favorite nonsport activity: Making Youtube videos. There’s one that’s a spoof of The Hunger Games
Favorite athlete: Roger Federer
Unusual talent: I actually won some money at CBC for some short stories I wrote
Favorite class: Calculus 3
Halftime snack: I usually eat pretty much anything.
Must-have on the road: iPod
Favorite movie: Sherlock Holmes, Game of Shadows
Outside reading: Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson
Best song on your iPod: Kings and Queens, 30 Seconds to Mars
Career plans: Study computer science and get a Masters in Fine Arts
Favorite court: I like playing on grass courts, but as far as I know, there’s only one place (in Baker City, Ore.) that has one.
Dream vacation: Somewhere with good surfing.
Million dollars: Find some way to make it a lot more.
Coaches nominations: Nominations should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and must be received by noon Sunday.