As a middle blocker, Lakewood Ranch High School senior Loni Shamble has one of the toughest positions on the court. But the 17-year-old has shown her skill at the position, hitting well and averaging five blocks per match. “She has become a leader on the team,” coach Perri Hankins says. “She has vocally tried to pull the team together and push the team in practices and games.” Here’s an inside look at this week’s Athlete of the Week.
How long have you been playing volleyball?
Since my freshman year. I’m more of a basketball player.
How did you get into playing volleyball?
My friends went to a volleyball camp, and I did it to tag along. I ended up making the team. I stuck with it because I liked it.
What do you like most about the sport?
It’s a totally different mind frame (than basketball), but I like how close my team is. I like the hitting aspect of it, too. I can use my strengths, being tall.
In your years of playing volleyball, what was your most memorable match?
Braden River (on Sept. 21) was my best game I’ve played so far. I had an adrenaline rush because they are our rival. I played a little bit more aggressively.
What other sports do you play?
I play varsity basketball. I’m a forward. I might try out for track this season.
What hobbies or interests do you have?
I love to sing. I’m going to try out for ‘American Idol.’
Who is your favorite musician or band?
Lady Gaga and Beyonce. It’s kind of cheesy, but I love them. My favorite band is Metric.
What is your favorite subject in school?
I like economics. It’s a class where you get to talk about stuff you are interested in, rather than sitting in a classroom and taking notes.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I would have super speed. No. 1, because I’m a terribly slow person and No. 2, so I could get where I wanted to go by running.
What’s your favorite food?
I love to eat popsicles. I can go through a box of popsicles in a day.
When you aren’t playing sports, what do you like to do?
I’m just a family-oriented person and a friend-oriented person. I just want to spend time with them, especially before I go to college.
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Food and fun
The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance and its Young Leaders Alliance have something to talk about: the organizations collected 764 pounds of nonperishable food and $1,295 cash to benefit The Food Bank of Manatee/Meals on Wheels PLUS.
River Club’s Cheryl Kaufman says she’s still pinching herself.
A little “Ho! Ho! Ho!” can go a long way this holiday season.