By Steve Williams
The court was home away from home for most of the school year for Kelley Wandell.
From late July with the first practice session in volleyball to late February and the end of basketball season, that’s where Wandell spent most of her afternoons or evenings the past four years – on the volleyball and basketball court in Clinton High’s gymnasium.
Kelley did have the last three weeks of October off in between the two seasons but said that time was really used for switching gears.
“I would go from passing, setting, and hitting to posting up, shooting, and rebounding,” she said via e-mail.
The 5-foot-11 Wandell was a dominant force around the net in both sports and a three-time All-District 3-AAA honoree in each.
For her standout play in both sports, she has been named Clinton’s female Student-Athlete of the Year for 2015-16.
“This title truly means a lot to me,” said Wandell. “I have worked extremely hard over my four years of high school athletics to be the best I can be no matter what and this title is a symbol of all of my hard work and dedication.”
Kelley also was voted the district’s Offensive Player of the Year in volleyball and she accepted an Academic Presidential Scholarship to Maryville College, where she will be a volleyball team member for the Scots this fall.
The middle hitter was team captain her senior year and received team Academic Awards her junior and senior seasons.
“Basketball and volleyball have always been a big part in my life and have shaped me into who I am, so it is hard to say which one is my favorite,” said Wandell. “Like I said before, I try to be my best in both sports so I’m not sure which one I’m better at, but I’ve heard from many people that they think I’m better at basketball.
“I chose to play volleyball because it is more of a challenge for me and I believe it will really help me grow as an athlete. If there is a chance to play basketball and my knee checks out good I will definitely be considering that as an option.”
Wandell could be sneaky in basketball and sometimes slip out and put up a 3-point shot. But with a six-foot wingspan, she was most effective around the goal. Her career stats reflect that too as she totaled 815 points, 715 rebounds and 130 blocks. She had over 12 double-doubles her senior season.
Her volleyball skills sometimes were evident on the defensive end of the floor in basketball as she would reject shots with authority.
Wandell was named team MVP her senior season and also earned Academic Coaches Awards.
She leaves Clinton still owning a school record for boys and girls that most likely will last for a good while – 21 rebounds in one game.
Kelley also stood tall in the classroom throughout high school, taking all Honors and AP classes. She graduated with honors and ranked No. 8 in her class with a 3.975 GPA.
Wandell, who was awarded the Army/ROTC Outstanding Athlete Award in May, plans to study sports medicine with a special interest in orthopedics and helping athletes.
L&N Academy honors Glatt and Bretscher
Juniors Rory Glatt and Emily Bretscher are L&N STEM Academy’s male and female Student-Athletes of the Year.
Glatt lettered in tennis, while Bretscher is an outstanding diver.
“Rory’s excellence on the court is enhanced by service to the school and community,” noted L&N STEM Academy Office Manager Tim Powell. “He is active in School Government Association, a regular volunteer at his church and plays violin with a group to entertain assisted living residents.”
Emily is a state record holder, state champion and recently qualified for the 2016 Olympic Diving Trials, said Powell.
Bretscher, L&N’s junior class president, also is “a high academic achiever and active mentor to new students,” according to Powell.