Kodiak Daily Mirror - Clark named the NLC player of the year
Clark named the NLC player of the year
by Derek Clarkston
Jun 13, 2014 | 37 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kodiak’s Kaitlyn Clark bats in a high school softball game in May at East Addition Park. (Derek Clarkston photo)
Kodiak’s Kaitlyn Clark bats in a high school softball game in May at East Addition Park. (Derek Clarkston photo)
Kodiak won the Northern Lights Conference softball title and also cleaned up in postseason awards.

Junior catcher Kaitlyn Clark was named the conference’s most valuable player, while four of her teammates were named to either first or second team.

Senior Kaia Yatsik and juniors Celeste Chichenoff and Dannika Catt earned first-team honors, while senior Kassidy Ellison was selected to second team.

“I’m just real proud of them,” Kodiak coach Sam Catt said. “They work hard at practice and it is nice for them to get the recognition that they deserve for showing up and working hard every day.”

Catt said Clark was surprised that she was voted the top player in the five-team conference. Catt, though, was not surprised. The fourth-year coach said Clark is the best catcher in the conference and had the highest batting average on the team this season.

“She has a really good arm — she threw out a lot of baserunners and a lot of teams didn’t even attempt to steal on her,” he said. “The other thing she does really well is she frames pitches … she has gotten really good at that in the last year.”

This is the first year the conference has awarded a most valuable player award. Clark was on the second team last season.

“To me it is a pretty big deal to have all the other coaches in the conference recognize her abilities,” Catt said.

Yatsik, a right-handed pitcher, earned first-team accolades for the second consecutive season. She won all of Kodiak’s 10 games this season and helped guide the Bears to their first NLC title since 2009 with a 6-2 record.

“She had an up-and-down year, but she had spots where she was brilliant and almost un-hittable,” Catt said.

Chichenoff was one of Kodiak’s offensive leaders and made several flashy plays at shortstop this season to earn her first all-conference accolades.

“She had a really great year at shortstop and a much-improved year at the plate — her batting average was really good this year,” Catt said.

Dannika Catt was placed on the first team for the third consecutive season. Her father and coach, Sam, moved her to the leadoff spot and switched her from left field to first base this season.

“She scored a lot of runs this year and got on base a lot,” Sam Catt said.

Catt said his daughter led the team in runs and stolen bases.

Ellison starred at second base and earned second-team accolades, while being in the top three in batting average of the team.

“She just made heads-up plays all year,” Catt said.

Contact Derek Clarkston at sports@kodiakdailymirror.com.

Northern Lights Conference awards

Most valuable player — Kaitlyn Clark, Kodiak

Coach of the year — Steve Schoessler, Skyview

First team

Kaia Yatsik, Kodiak; McKie Needham, Homer; Maggie LaRue, Homer; Serena Prior, Soldotna; Cat Schoessler, Skyview; Celeste Chichenoff, Kodiak; Dannika Catt, Kodiak; Sam Reynolds, Skyview; Amber McDonald, Soldotna.

Second team

Kenley Kingrey, Soldotna; Havan Shaginoff, Kenai; Pam Jantzi, Homer; Kassidy Ellison, Kodiak; Christina Glenzel, Kenai; Victoria Oberts, Skyview; Riley Walls, Homer.

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