On the Ignacio Volleycats’ bench as team manager this past fall, but frequently seen working on her basketball handles by dribbling volleyballs when her services weren’t requested by head coach Thad Cano, it was clear that for the upcoming winter there was but one thing on the mind of Sky Cotton.
Well, two: Successfully rehabilitating an injured knee, and reaching the 2015 State Championships.
The second goal unfortunately was denied – in the Region III Tournament, by Meeker – her, but the first…. Well, one could say her inclusion in the Colorado Coaches of Girls’ Sports All-State Games proved she achieved it.
Named to the ‘Blue’ crew in the Class 2A showcase, held Sunday morning, March 22 at Arvada West High School, IHS’ senior point guard saw plenty of action early for head coach Alan Baer of Akron, with MHS catalyst Sydney Hughes suiting up for the Red (under Hoehne’s Beth Kreutzer).
But after a second-half fall jarred said knee, Cotton was pressed into primarily supporting her one-game teammates (AHS’ Jordan Baer and Karli Christensen, Iliff Caliche’s Shayln Johnson, Peyton’s Sarah Logar, Byers’ Andrea Poliakon, Yuma’s Katrina Terrell and Ridgway’s Rane Dickerson) from the proverbial pine, and the Blues came up just short in losing 45-42.
Additional members of the Reds were HHS’ Aspen Anderson and Cydney Kreutzer, Rye’s Bryna Burns, Burlington’s Bailie Hinkhouse, Oak Creek Soroco’s Jessica Rossi and Evergreen Clear Creek’s Anna Schwecke.
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Cotton was also a First Team All-San Juan Basin League choice, with Shane Seibel named Coach-of-the-Year after guiding IHS to a 17-5 finish and the overall championship of the dual-classification circuit (Norwood’s Greg King was named COY from amongst the loop’s 1A teams).
IHS freshman forward Hilda Garcia, who paced Ignacio in scoring average, was also a First Team selection along with Dickerson, NHS’ Jordan Williams – named Player-of-the-Year – and Ouray’s Jackie Saunders.
Second Team distinction went to NHS’ Makayla Gordon, Mancos’ Jessica Gutierrez, RHS’ Brynne Skalla, Dolores’ Taylor Elder and Nucla’s Erin Staats.
Lady Bobcat junior forward Ellie Seibel received Honorable Mention All-SJBL along with Mancos’ Taylor Goff and Norwood’s Ashley Sutherlin.