Karlie Krohn has already began the push for a one-time-only name change for this year’s Senior Night for the Hoquiam High School girls’ basketball team.
Krohn believes she has a title that’s better suited for the evening.
“It’s going to be a Karlie Night,” Krohn says with a wide grin.
And why wouldn’t it be? It makes perfect sense. After all, the Grizzlies feature just one senior this year and that’s Krohn.
But if you think the pre-game festivities will be over quickly due to having just a solo honoree, you’d be very wrong. What Krohn has meant to the program over her four years is well worth some lengthy recognition whether it’s called Senior Night or Karlie Night.
“She’s definitely a one-of-a-kind girl,” Hoquiam girls basketball coach Mark Maxfield said.
The highlights are plentiful – four-year starter, the team’s leading scorer the last two seasons, team captain this year, a 3.99 student. (Credit being out sick for a week and failing to properly prep for a biology final during her freshman year with keeping her from academic perfection.)
Throw in numerous additional on the court accomplishments throughout her high school playing career and you have more than enough evidence to support Maxfield’s claim.
“I’ve been coaching since 1974. So I’ve coached many years off and on in many different sports, both boys and girls, and she’s probably one of my top five favorites in 40 plus years of coaching,” Maxfield said. “She is just a special kid. She is just fun to be around. She’s jovial, but she’s also serious. She’s very competitive. She has great morals and values. She just makes everyone around her better.”
The one skill it appears Krohn lacks, however, is that of recruiter as she’s failed to get any of her classmates to join her on the court.
“I’ve tried,” Krohn said. “No one has played with me for a long time. All my coaches say it’s because I stink and no one wants to play with me.”
Hardly the case as Maxfield stated his lone senior is both the glue that holds everything together as well as the engine that drives the team.
“How she goes we go. It was like that last year, but particularly this year, it’s very true,” Maxfield said. “She does so much for us on the court. She has an unorthodox shot, but it goes in so you don’t change it. She runs the court real well. She rebounds. She handles the ball, and then it’s just that locker room chemistry. You can have really good teams, but if the chemistry is not good what’s the point? She provides that chemistry for us.”
According to Krohn, the last time she played on a team with someone who was in her own class she was in fifth grade while playing for an AAU squad.
Since then it’s only been her – which has its perks.
During a blow-out victory against North Beach, Maxfield emptied his bench at the end of the third quarter. When one of his reserve players fouled out late in the final frame he needed one of his starters to re-enter the game.
Those on the bench wanted to let a game rock-paper-scissors decide the outcome.
Krohn had other plans.
“I got up and told them I was the senior and checked back in the game,” said Krohn, who plans to attend Washington State University next year and pursue a degree in veterinary medicine.
It’s a tactic Krohn admits to applying on a variety of occasions this season.
“It’s actually been really fun this year (being the only senior),” Krohn said. “I just love playing with this group. I’ve played with the juniors for so long it’s like they’re in my class. I just love being out there with them.”
Maxfield commonly encourages class competition during practice, leaving Krohn basically on an island. It’s a challenge she doesn’t shy away from, but tackles head on.
“The thing about leaders is they accept that responsibility,” Maxfield said. “And she not only accepts it, she likes it. Karlie responses to it. It’s second natural to her. It’s who she is.”
Krohn and the Grizzlies have just two regular season home games remaining, hosting Elma on January 23 before closing out the regular season slate against Montesano on February 2 – the latter of which should fittingly be Karlie Night.