DFJ Female Athlete of the Year: The Finalists
(IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER)
Alayna Finucan, Sophomore, Webster City High School
Alayna Finucan is already one of the best volleyball players in the history of the Webster City program. By the time she’s finished? There could very well be no doubt about who resides at the top of the pedestal.
As a sophomore last fall, Finucan collected 520 digs from her libero position, which ranked second in Class 4A. She’s already gone past 1,000 digs in her career. Think about this: Only a few Lynx players have ever reached that benchmark, and she’s on pace to crack the 2,000 mark by the time she graduates.
And the first-team all-North Central Conference performer is versatile. If she needed to be a hitter, she’d be dang good. She can serve, and she can lead.
Finucan was also a force for the Lynx softball team this summer, garnering second-team all-NCC accolades. She hit .400 and swiped a team-high 11 bases.
Grace Hoversten, Senior, Webster City High School
You could argue that no Hamilton County female athlete made a bigger jump from the previous year than Webster City senior Grace Hoversten.
A solid contributor on the volleyball and basketball courts throughout her career, she took her performance in both sports to the next level during her final campaign, and she reaped the rewards.
Last fall, Hoversten was a leader for the WCHS volleyball squad in the front row with 204 kills and 93 blocks, 66 of those being solo snuffs. Her power was refined and the Lynx were the beneficiaries of her improvement.
On the basketball floor, Hoversten was a rebounding machine. She set a single-game school record with 24 caroms in a win over Pocahontas Area last December and her 212 rebounds on the season ranked fifth in Class 4A.
She averaged 9.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per game.
Taylor McKinney, Senior, Webster City High School
It might as well be called the Taylor McKinney Webster City Girls Basketball Record Book, and make no mistake: No one has ever done it better in a Lynx uniform.
Over the course of four years, McKinney set 5-player records for points (1,340), field goals (469), 3-point field goals (188), 20-point games (19), 30-point games (5) and 40-point games (1). There are plenty of single-game and single-season records as well.
As a senior, McKinney earned her fourth all-North Central Conference honor — a unanimous selection to the first team — after averaging 17.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.4 assists per game. It earned her a Class 4A all-region honor as well.
McKinney snagged a fifth all-NCC accolade on the softball diamond as well. The first-team choice was a wizard at shortstop, making the difficult look ordinary on a nightly basis. At the plate, she hit .281.
Jenna Miller, Junior, Webster City High School
Quiet and at times unassuming, Jenna Miller simply goes out and does her job regardless of the season.
A three-sport varsity contributor in volleyball, basketball and softball for Webster City, the junior found success in each season. But on the softball diamond was where she really shined.
A first-team all-North Central Conference player, Miller started every game inside the pitcher’s circle for the Lynx and put together a 7-7 record with a 4.32 ERA. She struck out 79 batters. At the plate, Miller hit at a .244 clip out of the clean-up spot. She bashed two home runs and drove in 10 runs.
In volleyball, Miller compiled 298 assists as a setter to go along with 111 digs.
A basketball reserve, Miller supplied the Lynx with 3.0 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.
Adalie Schwandt, Senior, Webster City High School
Her energy and smile were infectious, and her talent was a staple for Webster City on the volleyball and basketball courts throughout her career.
Adalie Schwandt earned her spot as a finalist for the DFJ Female Athlete of the Year by being a consistent figure for both programs during her senior year.
Locked in the middle of the front row alongside Grace Hoversten, Schwandt cranked out a team-high 248 kills and also collected 49 blocks, 36 of which were solo. When WCHS needed a point, the odds were good that the set was headed Schwandt’s way. She also had 152 digs, a versatility that ensured she rarely left the floor.
She collected all-North Central Conference recognition following the season.
A forward for the Lynx basketball team, Schwandt averaged 3.7 points and 4.2 rebounds per game while shooting 38 percent from the floor.
Kelly Stoakes, Sophomore, Webster City High School
The closest thing to a Tony Gwynn clone that the Webster City softball team has seen in a number of years, Kelly Stoakes was born to stand in the batter’s box and ruin the day of opposing pitchers.
As a sophomore this summer, Stoakes earned her second straight unanimous first-team all-North Central Conference honor after hitting .462 with 18 hits, one of which was a home run, and 10 runs scored. She proved she could make the transition from the outfield to behind the plate with relative ease, and then moved back to the outfield and was a natural.
But Stoakes isn’t just a one-trick pony. She also contributed in basketball and volleyball.
As a starting shooting guard on the basketball court for the Lynx, Stoakes averaged 4.7 points and 2.5 rebounds per game.
Stoakes had 54 digs on the volleyball floor last fall.
WINNER ANNOUNCED IN THURSDAY’S DFJ