We have not entered the fourth week of my top-30 current athletes at Yukon High School. It’s time to unveil Nos. 11-15 as I count down to reveal my No. 1 athlete at YHS.
To recap last week, No. 20 was girls’ rugby player Kamryn Seale, No. 19 was boys basketball, football player and track star Carvell McKinley, No. 18 was girls’ rugby player Shandree McNatt, No. 17 was boys’ basketball player Karsten Berg and No. 16 was baseball and football player Nollan Koon.
Here’s a look at Nos. 11-15:
- Kalie Winstead, senior, girls’ soccer
Kalie Winstead is perhaps one of the more underrated athletes at Yukon High School. Winstead provides Yukon girls soccer coach Steve Scott with a lot of security as she mans the net as the goalkeeper for the Millerette soccer team.
The senior keeper had a strong junior year last spring, as she was a big reason for the Yukon girls advancing to the 6A state playoffs. Not only does Winstead stop many shots from entering the goal against the Millerettes but she allows her coaching staff to be more aggressive with putting more players on the offensive side of the pitch.
Going into her senior year, Winstead will be counted on to be a leader both on-and-off the field for Yukon. She has verbally committed to play college soccer at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, so the weight of the recruiting process will be gone and allow her to focus on helping Yukon get back to the postseason and make a deep run in 2018.
- Elijah Ankrom, senior, boys’ cross country and boys’ track
Elijah Ankrom has had an up-and-down career during his running days at Yukon High School. As a sophomore Ankrom made a splash at the 6A state cross country meet with a top-five finish.
The senior harrier was expected to have another big year and even contend for a 6A state championship as a junior but did not fulfill those expectations. Compared to the average high school runner, Ankrom still had a solid junior season but based on his standards, he had a disappointing year.
Going into his senior year, Ankrom will look to have another breakout season for the Millers and finish his career with another top-five placing at the 6A state meet. Ankrom will also be counted to be a leader in the long-distance portion of the boys’ track team this spring.
- Ashlyn Basler, senior, girls’ basketball
Ashlyn Basler was a bright spot in a tough year last season for the Yukon girls’ basketball team. Basler was the leading scorer for the Millerettes as a sophomore but got off to a slower start than expected as a junior. However, once she found her groove, Basler turned it around on the offensive-side of the court.
Basler’s ability to get in the lane and make outside shots made her a force to be reckoned with for the Yukon girls. As a junior, Basler was also not afraid to go into the paint and help her teammates in the rebounding department.
Going into her senior year, Basler will be counted on to be a team leader both on-and-off the court for the Millerettes. She will be playing in a new system and under a new head coach in Roy Wyckoff, so expect Basler to have an even more impressive year as a senior for YHS.
- Tyler Dechant, junior, boys’ basketball and boys’ track
Tyler Dechant is one of the most athletic students roaming the halls at Yukon High School. Dechant has that rare look to him when you see him, you just think “athlete”.
Dechant came into his own last year as a sophomore in the spring on the boys’ track team. While Vernon Turner was turning everyone’s heads in the boys’ high-jump competition, Dechant was doing some impressive things in the boys’ long-jump competition.
As a sophomore, Dechant didn’t see a lot of playing time on the varsity boys’ basketball team but he was a standout on the junior varsity squad.
As a junior Dechant will play a much bigger role in the boys’ basketball program as a first-year head coach Kevin Ritter will count on Dechant to be a key cog in his line-up this winter. On the track, Dechant will be looked at to help carry the Millers with his performances in the boys’ high-jump among other events he will compete in this spring.
- Catherine Birkhead, senior, volleyball
Catherine Birkhead has a chance to help lead the Yukon volleyball team to new heights this fall as a senior. Birkhead played a big role on the Millerettes last season but her role will increase as a senior.
Birkhead had a strong junior season for Yukon a year ago but like the entire program, Birkhead expects more out of herself as a senior.
The excitement level is high around the Yukon volleyball program this season and Birkhead is one of the reasons why. If Birkhead can have a strong year for the Millerettes on the volleyball court, look for Yukon to have a big year in 2017.