Senior looks forward to third varsity hoop campaign
By Mal Boright
December 12th, 2013
Fresh from an undefeated and championship soccer season, Champlain Valley Union High senior Kaelyn Kohlasch has little trouble switching sports from the booting of the sphere to the hands-on variety.
“The conversion is not too bad,” she told the Observer during an interview at CVU Friday.
In soccer, the running is for longer distances than the short stops and starts in basketball, but after a couple of days, all was normal, she said.
The defending Division 1 champion Redhawks have been in the gym since Dec. 2. The varsity was set to scrimmage at Hanover, N.H. Saturday and will open the season this coming Saturday against Colchester High at the annual Spaulding High Tournament in Barre.
CVU’s first four games are on the road. The home opener is Dec. 27 against its foe in the last two Division 1 finals, Rice Memorial High.
So, as a key member of last season’s undefeated basketball champs then an All-State defender with a critical assist on the lone goal in the championship soccer game, which is Kohlasch’s favorite sport?
“I like them both, a lot,” was the answer. “I have played club soccer since I was 7. Last year I played AAU basketball.” This is her third season on the hoop varsity squad.
For the basketball team, this is a new campaign with three valuable seniors gone and a solid crew of veterans returning. How do prospects look to Kohlasch after just four days of practice?
“I am excited,” she replied. “Our new players are good additions. They have been picking it up pretty quickly.”
Last year, the Redhawks—with their pressing defenses—could turn foes’ offenses into blundering blobs of protoplasm long enough to gain a 10-point run at a critical time in games.
“We like playing defense,” Kohlasch explained. “And we love the press.”
She also noted that the emphasis on defense served to keep minds occupied when occasional shooting woes could otherwise cause heads to hang.
“Our coaches (head coach Ute Otley and assistant Cathy Kohlasch, Kaelyn’s mom) keep our minds set really well,” she said. “They keep people focused.”
She said the team did not have big expectations going into last season, given some serious graduation losses.
“We just took everything as it came.” The result was a 24-0 mark and the big trophy.
And for this group, this year could bring more of the same: focus on each game and let the season play out.
Not only has Kohlasch had success in athletic endeavors, she has also scored high honors on the academic side.
Kohlasch said next fall she will be at St. Lawrence University and trying out for basketball in the wake of former CVU star Katie Edgerton, who had a solid hoop career for the Larries.
What advice would Kohlasch have for an eighth grader or freshman who might ask about how to have a good sports experience at CVU?
“Besides working on their skills on their own time, I would say listen to the coaches,” she said. “They know what is best for the team.”