Quality performer: Jolicoeur is Sierra Sun’s female athlete of the year from North Tahoe
TAHOE CITY, Calif. and#8212; When it came down to raw athleticism and performance, two student-athletes stood out among the Lakers’ senior class during the 2009-10 school year.
For their standout skills and efforts, Kea Jolicoeur and Parker Laughlin have been selected as the Sierra Sun’s Athletes of the Year from North Tahoe High School.
Here’s a closer look at this year’s female selection.
Coaches have trouble stopping once they begin listing Jolicoeur’s positive qualities.
A major contributor on the Lakers’ soccer, basketball and track and field squads, the senior is as tough as they come, they say, with the talent and work ethic that helped her excel in all three sports.
and#8220;If Kea were a football player, she’d be a middle linebacker,and#8221; said Skip Piechocinski, Jolicoeur’s track and field coach, and a coach with the Laker football team. and#8220;Size doesn’t matter. She’s aggressive, she’s talented and she works hard. She gets that look in her eye as a competitor. And she doesn’t like losing. She is one tough individual.and#8221;
To illustrate her toughness, Piechocinski recounted a couple of instances when Jolicoeur pulled through in the clutch despite competing with injuries. She hurt her wrist last year before the state championship track meet, yet competed in the shot put anyway and placed second. She did the same thing to end her senior year, as she injured her knee at regionals running the 4×200 relay, then went ahead and placed third at state in the shot put despite the pain and#8212; recording a throw of 33 feet, 6 inches.
and#8220;She still gutted it out and did well,and#8221; Piechocinski said. and#8220;She’s a tough kid. A great kid.and#8221;
Scott Conn, Jolicoeur’s head basketball coach the past two seasons, agreed about her toughness, adding that the point guard also boasts natural leadership qualities on the floor.
and#8220;Kea was definitely the floor general playing the point guard. Fast as grease lightning,and#8221; Conn said. and#8220;And it’s not very often you find someone with the will and determination to play through pain like she did. It was constantly a challenge to see if she was truly OK to play because she would always say, and#8216;Yes, put me in, I’m ready.’ I believe that if she had a broken leg she’d still be telling me she could play.and#8221;
Conn said Jolicoeur was one of the fastest players in the league. That allowed her to penetrate to the basket and dish off to open teammates in the post.
and#8220;I can’t say enough about her as a basketball player, but I could say even more about her as a person,and#8221; Conn said. and#8220;She’s just an absolute joy to be around. She has a fantastic attitude. She’s the type of lady you wish you had 15 of.and#8221;
Then there’s soccer and#8212; perhaps Jolicoeur’s strongest sport of all.
A rock-solid goalkeeper, Jolicoeur was voted to the All-League second team at the position. But really, no one played the position better than she did.
and#8220;She has a very strong presence on the field,and#8221; said North Tahoe girls soccer coach Jon Rockwood, describing what makes Jolicoeur such an effective goalie. and#8220;She’s very confident. And I think at the goalie position in particular, you can’t be passive back there. You’ve got to be a loud, authoritative player, and the North Tahoe team listened to her. She could organize the defense very well, and she had an incredible ability to read plays and position herself.and#8221;
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