YORK – When Hampton’s Kalynn Dahlke heard she was coming to York on Monday night for a surprise, she had no idea what her mom, Heaven, had cooked up.
When she arrived at Foster Park in York, she still had no idea what was going on, but she saw several familiar faces hanging around the gazebo.
When she was announced as the York News-Times Female Athlete of the Year for 2011-12, she still could not believe what she heard and as she accepted the award, she was still speechless.
Thing is she really shouldn’t have been surprised at all, her numbers and honors over the course of the past sports season said it all.
“My mom told me not to make plans for Monday night and when I asked her why, she just said we were going to York and there would be a surprise,” Dahkle said. “I don’t know how to even explain what I am feeling right now. It was nothing I was expecting.”
The winners of the Male and Female Athlete of the Year Awards must compete in three sports over the course of the high school season. Also taken into consideration is the leadership each athlete demonstrates on and off the court as well as statewide recognition for their efforts.
Dahlke was a standout on the volleyball court as she was first team All-State in the Omaha World-Herald. She was also recognized as first team All-Sate by other major newspapers across the state. She was one of the York News-Times All-Area co-captains and was first team All-Crossroads Conference, as well as an All-CRC Tournament selection by the York News-Times sports staff.
In basketball she was honorable mention in Class D-2 and in the Crossroads Conference, as well as York News-Times All-Area.
In track, Dahlke qualified for three events at this past weekend’s State Track and Field Meet at Omaha Burke Stadium where she finished runner-up in the high jump.
“I wasn’t really happy with my performance, because I really wanted to defend my title in the high jump, but I just plan to work hard and come back stronger next year,” she said. “All the hard work that I put in really is starting to pay off. If you are not willing to work, you will fall behind the other athletes.”
Dahlke added she is not afraid to speak up when it comes to her teammates and being a leader. “I am always the one who speaks up and tells the other girls what to do. I am always the one giving feedback and encouraging my teammates. I feel that it’s not always about winning,” she said.
When asked about being a three-sport athlete and the difficulties that come with that, Dahlke said that it’s a whole different atmosphere.
“We already started volleyball camps today and we have many additional camps to attend over the course of the summer. I have never attended a camp for track, but I would like to work on my high jump, the hurdles and the triple jump. I hope that maybe I will get to go somewhere this summer,” she stated. “You have to go to these camps because the atmosphere of high school sports has become so much more intense and it’s the only way you can keep up.”
Even though she is just a junior, her talents have not gone unnoticed by colleges across the state as the contacts have started.
“I hope to play volleyball and run track in college, Dahlke remarked. “If a Division I scholarship would come my way for volleyball, I would probably take it, even though I would not be able to compete in both.”
Next season she hopes the Hawks can get to the state tournament in both volleyball and basketball, and she really hopes she gets another chance at getting her Class D high jump crown back.
YNT Female Athlete of the Year Recipients
2005-06 J.J Hall, Exeter-Milligan
2006-07 Megan Allison, Cross County
2007-08 Megan Allison, Cross County
2008-09 Katherine Roemmich, Fillmore Central
2009-10 Carly Grenfell, York
2010-11 Heather Pribyl, Exeter-Milligan
2011-12 Kalynn Dahlke, Hampton