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Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016

Leaving her mark

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Katie Hogan * Scott City David Jenkins, staff
Recent Scott City graduate Katie Hogan may be heading to Miami for college in a just a few days, but her impact on the Lady Rams' sport program won't soon be forgotten.

A two-sport star, Hogan has been a key factor in leading the Lady Rams through one of their best four year stretches in school history.

It's after a stellar senior season where she continued her attack on the Scott City record books that she has been named the 2012 Standard Democrat Female Athlete of the Year.

"As a whole I think it went well," Hogan said of her senior year. "There's a few things I would have done differently, but you can't really think about those things and you have to accept it and move on.

"I spent time with good friends and made new ones. That's what it's all about."

Hogan's swan song at Scott City began with high expectations as the Lady Rams volleyball team was considered favorites to capture their first Class 2 state championship since 2009.

The Lady Rams looked well on their way to fulfilling those dreams when they wrapped up an undefeated regular season on their way to their second Class 2, District 2 title in three years.

Unfortunately for Hogan and the rest of her squad, their season came to an abrupt halt when eventual state champion St. Pius defeated them 2-1 in sectionals.

Though she was denied her second state title, Hogan ended her senior campaign with stellar numbers that included 350 kills, 98 blocks, 46 aces and 188 digs. Besides being named the Standard Democrat Volleyball Player of the Year alongside teammate Mikah Simpson, Hogan earned spots on Missouri's State Volleyball Association All-State team as well as being selected first team on the Southeast All-Region team.

On her team's early exit from the playoffs, Hogan admitted that the pressure of lofty expectations coupled with an undefeated regular season got to the squad once the postseason rolled around.

"I think my senior year it didn't get to us as bad until we got to that game against St. Pius," she said. "Then we just didn't play our style of ball. We made silly errors that we normally wouldn't make.

"I think it was more anxiousness and nerves that we wanted it so bad that we were almost scared to mess up."

While the expectations weren't near as high for the Lady Ram's basketball team, Hogan was able to stay relatively healthy and help her team fight through an injury plagued year.

After winning the Class 3, District 3 title the year before when they advanced to the state quarterfinal, the Lady Rams were handed a 56-30 loss to West County in the district semifinals to end their year with a 16-10 record.

The loss to West County would be the final time Hogan suited up for Scott City and marked her second straight early exit from the playoffs.

"Whenever we lost against West County I remember the final two minutes being down by 20 and just looking at the clock thinking what, are we doing?," said Hogan. "Why did we cause this? Knowing you have to play your heart out when you know you're going to lose is heartbreaking."

Once again Hogan's season numbers put her among the top in the region as she averaged 17.5 points, 12.3 rebounds and 7.4 blocks per game. Besides earning a place on the All-Standard Democrat Girls Basketball Team, she earned Missouri Sportswriters and Sportscaster Association All-State Basketball first team honors along with being selected to the Sports Writer's All-Region team.

Hogan said her approach during her senior basketball campaign was more disciplined than her junior year.

"I knew coming into the season we had lost a very good rebound/put back person from last year," Hogan said. "Coach (Ricky Keller) kept telling me I have to be more aggressive and this year I tried to take more good shots, more quality shots and not to force things."

Keller's advice must have paid off as he said Hogan's put together her best overall season while taking on more responsibility this year.

"I felt like she was more of a leader this year," he said. "She let the game come to her a little more instead of trying to press. I can't really speak for volleyball, but with basketball I think it was more about the team winning than her getting stats.

"She wanted her points obviously, but that's not what she was worried about. Her scoring was actually down from her junior year, but it was probably her best all-around year her senior season."

After reaching the 1,000 point mark for her career midway through her junior season, Hogan kept the points coming in her senior campaign and leaves the school with three of the girls basketball team's biggest records.

After starting all four years, Hogan holds career marks for the Lady Rams in points (1,718), rebounds (1300) and blocks (900).

While most area basketball fans expect a 6-2 girl to dominate the paint for her squad, Hogan was able to defy expectations and move her game outside. Never afraid to go outside the arc, Hogan often freed up the inside as she was double-teamed wherever she went.

"People just expected her to dominate the post but she never really played the post," Keller said. "She was definitely a better outside shooter than probably most girls in the area.

"She shot 52 or 53 percent for her career from the 3-point line, which is outstanding for someone who's 6-2."

With her high school days behind her, Hogan is focused on the next step in her career as she prepares to attend and play volleyball for Miami Dade College in Miami, Fla. this fall.

"It's a whole new beginning with new teammates and getting a fresh look," Hogan said. "Me and Mikah Simpson have been teammates since sixth grade on every single team in volleyball. Now I get to be with new teammates and experience new things, new types of coaching and different ways."

Hogan said she's been preparing for the jump to college by playing volleyball throughout the summer as well as working out with a trainer daily. While you can get away with the occasional mishap in the high school game she knows the college game requires you to be next to flawless on the court.

"With college they're more precise about everything," she said. "There's hardly any errors unless someone hits the ball too hard. There's no setting problems or hitting into the net. All those girls don't make those mistakes.

"The stakes are much higher to improve your game and to learn in certain situations you can't just hit it as hard as you can. You have to be smart about it."

Though moving 20 hours from your hometown can be daunting, Hogan expects a smooth transition with the little help of a friend.

"It's kind of hard going in to a new school and not knowing anyone," she said "But I do have one friend down there and we're roommates.

"Knowing that one person is probably going to help out greatly because she can give me pointers and tips on what she had to learn from the year before."