GREEN RIVER– With hard work and humility, and a team full of friends and supporters, Green River High School volleyball stars Katie Banks and Madelyn Heiser were able to wrap up the 2018 season with post-season honors.
Banks, a senior, earned her third All-Conference honor and her second All-State honor, while Heiser, a junior, received her first All-Conference recognition. Though these are individual honors, they both recognize their teammates for their effort throughout the season.
“I am proud of the individual accomplishment, but I could not have done it without my teammates,” Heiser said.
Green River High School
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Though the girls did not qualify for state this year, it wasn’t without a good fight.
“There were wins and losses, but our team stuck together through it and continued to push,” Banks said. “We fought hard and gave it our best.”
When Hard Work is Recognized
This is the third consecutive year Banks has been recognized by the state for her performance on the court, which she said, “feels awesome”.
“I’ve put a lot of hours of my time into this sport because I love it so much, and it feels good to know that others are able to see that time that I’ve put in. It feels very rewarding,” Banks said.
Banks has also received two Wyoming High School Activities Association Good Sportsmanship Awards throughout her high school volleyball career, once her freshman year and again her senior year.
These awards are given to players who have been nominated by officials during matches.
Being a senior, it is time for Banks to say goodbye to the GRHS volleyball program, and she does so with a heavy heart. She said that the thing she will miss most about GRHS volleyball is the people involved.
“Obviously my teammates are amazing, and so are my coaches. I’m really going to miss every single person that came to practice with me everyday,” Banks said.
Up Next for Banks
Although Banks’ high school volleyball career has come to an end, she will still play club volleyball this spring, as well as spring tennis. Banks has played club volleyball every year since she was in seventh grade.
Banks has also been invited to play on the South All-Star Volleyball Team this summer.
Each year, coaches from the Wyoming Coaches Association choose the athletes they believe to be the top senior players from all classes in the state to play in the All Star Match in Casper.
Banks will go to Casper a few days before the All-Star game on July 20, 2019, to practice with the South team and prepare for the match.
Being selected as an All-Star player is considered to be an honor and an outstanding achievement.
As of now, Banks is not planning on continuing her volleyball career at the collegiate level.
“Obviously plans change all the time, but currently college volleyball is not in my plans,” Banks said.
Her current plan is to attend school to study speech pathology.
Favorite Moments from the Season
Banks earned Varsity letters all four years of high school, while Heiser has earned three Varsity letters, on her way to her fourth next year. They were also team captains together this year, along with fellow teammate Erika Wilson.
The two girls have played on a court together for three years as Lady Wolves, and one year as teammates on the Southwest Wyoming Volleyball Club team in 2017.
Banks and Heiser both agree that their favorite moments from this volleyball season were when they were having fun together with their teammates.
“This season, our team learned to work together, all while having fun,” Banks said.
Heiser said that from team dinners, to team bonding activities, “it was always a good time”.
“We were also really lucky to have three amazing seniors that made the season enjoyable and memorable,” Heiser added.
On the court, Heiser said her favorite moments were when her team was making successful plays.
“My favorite moments are when one of my teammates gets an amazing kill, block, or dig,” she said.
Another standout moment for Heiser was beating Evanston on the Lady Wolves’ home court on senior night.
The Lady Wolves swept the match, earning a 3-0 win over Evanston.
“We all came together and played amazing volleyball,” Heiser said.
Heiser is proud of how the team rallied together to overcome adversity when they needed to.
“We had a couple injuries during the year to some varsity players, but our younger girls were able to step up and play very well at the varsity level. There were many games that we played outstanding volleyball and really came together as a team,” she said.
Next Season is Full of Possibilities
Heiser is shifting her focus to basketball season now, but she is excited about the possibilities of next year’s volleyball season, which will be her senior year.
“Next year we will have a young group of talented girls and I’m really looking forward to that,” Heiser said. “They are very hard working and a great group to be around. We should be pretty good and have a shot at making it to state.”