Bishop Kelley's Claire Kelley earns Gatorade Oklahoma Volleyball Player of the Year
BY MIKE BROWN World Sports Writer
Thursday, December 13, 2012
12/13/12 at 10:06 AM
Claire Kelley said it's a coincidence her last name is the same as that of the school - Bishop Kelley - where she plays soccer and volleyball.
"The funny thing is, I've gotten asked if my dad was the bishop," she said with a chuckle.
It's no coincidence that she is a standout athlete. Her father, Tom, was a standout basketball player for the Comets in 1973, the first year Kelley reached the state tournament. Her uncle, Charlie O'Brien, was a former big league baseball player.
On Wednesday, Kelley was named the Gatorade Oklahoma Volleyball Player of the Year. The award, given in conjunction with USA Today high school sports, exemplifies not only athletic excellence, but also academic achievement and high character.
"That's awesome, and very deserving," Kelley coach Jerri Berna said. "She's a great leader and just a great example of a fine human being all the way around. We don't have very many kids who come through here and start for four years and play on four state championship teams."
The 5-foot-8 senior had 947 assists, 908 blocks and 47 service aces, leading the Comets to a sixth consecutive volleyball state title in 2012. She also has played on three consecutive soccer state championship teams
Kelley scored 22 goals last spring, leading the Comets to their 13th soccer state title in 14 years. She has signed to play soccer at Arkansas.
"She is truly a great athlete and a good person," soccer coach Troy Tokarchik. "I can't think of a female athlete more deserving of this award."
Five other Comets have earned the award - Inky Ajanaku (2012), Katie Pickup (2000), Nichol Amberg (2001), Sarah Blum (2003) and Amy Lewis (2009).
A list of the Gatorade state players of the year in volleyball for Oklahoma:
1996: Cora Kincaid, Broken Arrow
1997: Ashley Frogge, Collinsville
1998: Sara Kincaid, Broken Arrow
1999: Sara Kincaid, Broken Arrow
2000: Katie Pickup, Bishop Kelley
2001: Nichol Amberg, Bishop Kelley
2002: Erin Goddard, Edmond North
2003: Sarah Blum, Bishop Kelley
2004: Christie Clark, Cascia Hall
2005: Michelle Boevers, Edmond Santa Fe
2006: Karissa Almgren, Edmond Memorial
2007: Paige Erickson, Jenks
2008: Kelsey Hancock, Edmond Memorial
2009: Amy Lewis, Bishop Kelley
2010: Micha Hancock, Edmond Memorial
2011: Micha Hancock, Edmond Memorial
2012: Inky Ajanaku, Bishop Kelley
2013: Claire Kelley, Bishop Kelley
Mike Brown 918-581-8390
The 5-foot-8 senior had 947 assists, 908 blocks and 47 service aces, leading the Comets to a sixth consecutive volleyball state title in 2012.