Athletic Knights make history, become champions

Note: This story was written by Lake Havasu High School journalism student Daisy, and first appeared in the April 28, 2015 edition of the "Lake Havasu White Sheet."

Athletes at Lake Havasu High School spill blood, sweat and tears for the love of their sport. Catching up on make-up work during away trips in order to stay on top of grades, long, grueling practices in any type of weather, rough losses and hard-earned wins all add up to what it means to be a student athlete. At LHHS, athletics are significant. Many traditions surround the sports programs here, including the homecoming football game, pep assemblies, the Golden Anchor, and, of course, the Golden Shovel (SHOVEL, SHOVEL, SHOVEL!)—and there has been recent big news involving Knights athletics.

The Colorado River Region (CRR) was established two years ago when LHHS Assistant Principal, Round Table Principal and LHHS Athletic Director Roger Burger suggested the idea of creating it to his coaching staff and fellow athletic directors. “The idea was to develop a unofficial River Region, like Yuma does with a City Championship.

Since the AIA did away with regional tournaments, we would fill Regional Championships and keep track of common games and opponents along the River,” Burger explained. They began with a trial year two years ago, and once that went well, they decided to establish it and create criteria for the championships. Last year was the first official year for the unofficial regional championships, and guess who took home the gold?

Well, Havasu has done it again this year, with boys track, girls track, volleyball, baseball, softball, boys swimming and girls swimming. Tennis and golf were not scored for this championship, but Burger assures, “We have always been very strong in those sports.” He also mentioned, “Next year we will hopefully be playing everyone in CRR to establish at least one game to determine overall champion.”

It was not easy to earn the title, though. “We were behind Kingman and then the track team had a big push, along with baseball, to move us over the top. Both River Valley and Havasu softball teams have undefeated records with CRR teams. Havasu did not play River Valley during the year. Due to the criteria established with tie breaker, smaller schools get the edge and we also look at State Power Rankings,” Burger expanded. Congratulations to all of our regional champions at LHHS.

In other athletic news, the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) has chosen LHHS student Ryder as Student Of The Year, an honor given only to one boy or girl in the entire state of Arizona. Ryder was “in shock because there were so many great candidates.” He was chosen due to his display of strong character and a rigorous application process. LHHS student Ricky was recognized by the AIA as Unified Athlete of the Year, out of nominations from Division 1 and Division 2 schools all over Arizona.

LHHS student Charlee, sophomore and returning varsity softball player, made Knights history on Monday, April 20, when she hit for the cycle during a varsity game against Kingman Academy. A cycle is a pretty amazing feat in the world of baseball and softball. It entails hitting a single, double, triple, and home-run in one game, and Charlee is the first to do it in the history of LHHS athletics. She even managed to hit it in order, starting off with a home run and ending it with a single.

“To be honest, I was unaware there was even a name for hitting all around the bases, and I was perfectly content with the home run I hit in my first at-bat!” Charlee admitted. When she hit the final single needed to complete the cycle, all she was trying to do was get on base. It did not occur to her that that last step onto the bag would etch her name in the history books.

Charlee describes, “I felt like I was on Cloud 9 when I heard Mr. Burger announce I had just officially hit for the cycle. I was in awe to think that it was myself who actually did that, especially since I have not been very satisfied with my batting in the games beforehand . . . Knowing I made Knights history is just an indescribable feeling; it has given me the confidence to go on to do great things in the sport of softball. I am greatly honored and so thankful that I am able to leave my own ‘mark’ in the history of Knights athletics, where I will never forget it!”

Burger mentioned that the hit was a “big help in defeating Kingman Academy at home” and was “fun to watch.” Charlee thanks her teammates for always cheering her on and being there for support, and added, “I just wanted to also acknowledge my teammates for getting me in that position and for all batting through the line-ups so that I even had enough at-bats to complete the cycle!”

At Lake Havasu High School, we take our athletics seriously. Being an athlete is so much more than simply playing an organized activity, and our students have proven that. They have proven that anything is possible, that history can be made with one swing of a bat, that one kid can take the gold, and that, together, we can be champions. We believed that we would win, and in so many ways, we have.