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Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

Allison Blurton: Three sport standout

Sunday, July 16, 2006

(Photo)
Allison Blurton, S-D Female athlete of the year
SIKESTON -- Amazing athlete and great attitude. Those are words commonly used to describe the Standard Democrat Female Athlete of the Year, Allison Blurton from Sikeston.

A quiet leader who let her play do the talking, Blurton was a key part of Sikeston High School's softball, basketball and soccer teams.

Coincidence or not, the basketball and soccer teams set new records this season in wins with major contributions from Blurton.

On the basketball court, Blurton was one of the top players in the area last year. Leading Sikeston to a record-breaking 18 wins, Blurton averaged 17.3 points, four rebounds and three steals per game for the Lady Bulldogs.

Blurton was named to the first team of both the All-Conference and All-

Region teams this season. Blurton, who has signed to play basketball and softball for Three Rivers Community College next season, received high praise from Lady Raiders head coach Jack Childress who stated that he felt Blurton was the best high school basketball player he had seen all year.

On the soccer pitch, Blurton helped Sikeston win a team-record 10 matches in the spring. Blurton led the Lady Bulldogs with 13 goals and was a second team All-Region selection.

Blurton's year began rather ominously as she recovered from a shoulder injury and only played in five softball games for Sikeston.

Blurton was 6-for-18 batting including two doubles and a triple for the Lady Bulldogs. Blurton also stole three bases in limited action.

Sikeston was not the same softball team without Blurton, who in her junior year was a first team All-District selection. If her junior stats are any indication, one understands the fall off.

In 21 games played in Blurton's junior year, she batted .476, led the team with 31 hits and 14 RBIs, had five doubles, 15 walks, scored 22 runs and stole six bases. Blurton also went 5-1 on the mound for Sikeston.

Defensively, Blurton played an outstanding shortstop and committed only three errors on the season. Blurton had 41 assists and 26 putouts from shortstop.

"I never thought that one player could make that big of a difference on a softball team," said Sikeston softball head coach Tiffany King on only having Blurton for only five games. "We were definitely a different team without her. Alli is an excellent athlete but I believe her hustle, attitude and determination are what separates her from other female athletes."

King went on to describe a conversation she had with Childress when Blurton signed with Three Rivers.

"I was speaking with coach Jack (Childress)," said King, "and he said how he heard that Alli was a great basketball player, but that she might be an even better softball player. Then he went on to state that another person told him that at soccer she is even more amazing. It just goes to show you how special an athlete Blurton is. She just amazes at how she can really dominate three sports if healthy. Alli is just an incredible all-around athlete."

Choosing between the sport of her choice is a tough decision for Blurton.

"I would say my favorite sport is softball," said Blurton, "but it is funny because I believe that I am best at basketball. I don't know what it is about basketball, but I seem to have more passion for the game. It might be because I have played basketball the longest, I don't know. I can't leave out soccer because I really loved our last season. I am not the greatest at soccer but I really enjoyed my time with my teammates and coaches."

Quickness is the key to Blurton's game no matter the field of play. It was a thing of beauty to watch Blurton receive a pass on the basketball court and go coast-to-coast, zig-zagging through defenders for a lay-up or to see her stretch a single into double on the softball field.

On the soccer field, Blurton was a blur at her forward position. If the ball was anywhere near Blurton and it was a foot race with a defender, there was not any doubt who would control the ball. Blurton's quickness was at a different level in high school.

"Alli was just an amazing athlete," said Sikeston head soccer coach Derrick Long. "However, her greatest asset was her positive attitude. Alli is a coach's dream. She is the kind of player that listens to instruction and puts it to work. You don't have to explain things to her over and over. Just a joy to coach, never complained.

"I don't think she had ever played soccer in her first year on the team. But she had the quickness and the desire to improve. You have got to love that about a player. I know soccer is not her main sport but she gave it all out on the field. I can't say it enough, she is just an amazing athlete."

Always a team player, Blurton is going to miss her teammates and her coaches at Sikeston.

"My teammates were much more than that," said Blurton, "they were my best friends. I enjoyed our time together and I am proud of the way we played. We didn't win any championships or anything, but we gave it our best. The coaches just made the sports that much enjoyable. I learned a lot from coach King, Johnson and Long. I just like to thank them all for helping me earn a college scholarship. I really appreciate all their help."