By Mike Beas
The three-sport athlete capable of moving seamlessly from one season to the next is the exception, not the rule.
And yet it’s here Danville senior Kooper Stone, well, rules.
Stone, a 6-foot middle hitter who helped the Warriors’ volleyball team complete the regular season with a 21-9 record and No. 23 ranking in Class 3A, also is part of the school’s girls basketball and track and field programs.
A forward in hoops, Stone averaged 7.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game last winter for a 21-5 squad that won the Sagamore Conference title with a spotless 7-0 mark. She went on to place fifth in the high jump at the Zionsville track sectional with a top effort of 4 foot, 8 inches, while also taking seventh in the shot put with her best of 33 feet, 3¾ inches.
Earlier, she finished runner-up in high jump and fourth in shot put at the conference meet. Prior to postseason action in volleyball this season, Stone had 77 kills, 44 blocks and 31 digs.
Stone’s achievements also extend into the classroom; her 4.022 grade-point average ranks her 14th in Danville’s senior class of 185 students.
“Even though volleyball is not her main sport, she’s there. Kooper just kind of sees a bigger picture,” said Warriors volleyball coach Danielle Shepherd. “It’s not just about the sport. It’s about everybody’s development as a person.
“Kooper’s biggest asset is that she is a strong encourager. She’s always very mindful with her approach to younger players to see how they’re doing. She’s just always checking in with everybody.”
Stone, who is on pace to graduate with 12 varsity athletic letters, did a Q&A with ICON:
Q: Growing up in Danville, was there an athlete you looked up to that helped shape your athletic career?
A: I guess the first person who comes to mind is Ella Collier because she was a senior when I was an eighth-grader. You could just tell she was a leader on the team, which gave me something to strive for because it’s something I thought I was capable of doing.
Q: How difficult is it playing a sport in all three seasons?
A: I’ve done three sports since the eighth-grade. To me, it’s not difficult, and I just don’t accept me not doing my best. It’s a lot of prioritizing and time management.
Q: What are your plans after graduating from Danville High School in the spring?
A: I am going to Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne for basketball. I committed there in July. I know it’s cheesy to say, but it just felt right. Just the atmosphere, it reminded me of Danville. It just seemed familiar to me. I’m going to major in sports media communications.