LAKEVILLE, IN. – LaVille’s Lucy Sherk has been selected the Dale E. Cox Female Athlete of the Year for 2023.
Sherk participated in three sports – Volleyball, Basketball, and Trac kand Field – during her prep career, earning 10 varsity letters.
"Being involved in sports growing up was so much fun," explained Sherk. "I loved the environment and being able to be around a great group of people and making friendships over the years. I loved having a set workout schedule and even though at times I was sore and tired of exercising so much, looking back on playing sports I will forever be grateful for everything I did with my teams."
This is the 19th year of the Dale E. Cox Athlete of the Year award. The annual award was started in 2005 in honor of the longtime educator, coach and athletic director.
"I was very excited to know that all my hard work paid off," Sherk said when asked about how she felt when she was named the 2023 recipient. "And I was able to be awarded the athlete of the year award."
In the fall, Sherk played on the volleyball team, where she finished with almost 250 kills during her career to go with over 130 blocks.
Being a three-sport athlete means several opportunities to put on the Lancer uniform and represent not only yourself, but your team and your school.
"Putting the LaVille uniform on these past four years has meant a lot to me," Sherk said about wearing a LaVille uniform. "Being able to represent LaVille and play my hardest while wearing the uniform was such an amazing experience."
We had the chance to ask Lucy if she could recall a memorable moment during her career in each sport she played.
"In volleyball, going to camp the past two summers," noted Sherk. "And while it was extremely hot, it was so much fun being there with my team and staying up late talking and laughing with everyone and talking to coach Pat (Gring) every night."
During the winter months, Sherk moved from one hardwood sport to another as she roamed inside the paint on the basketball floor in what is Dale E. Cox Gymnasium.
As Sherk and her teammates geared up for their senior season, a new coach came along with a different perspective as LaVille Lady Hoops prepared for the 2022-23 season.
The 5 foot 10 inch post player was privy to be part of the best girls basketball season in recent history.
Sherk helped lead the Lancers to a 19-7 overall record, the first winning season since 2017-18. She averaged 11.2 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per outing. Sherk also helped LHS win the 2023 TCU Bi-County Basketball Tournament title for the first time in 30 years. LaVille also advanced to the IHSAA sectional championship game for the first time since 2012-13.
As the season progressed, LaVille girls basketball also had one of the best defenses in the state, regardless of class.
Finishing the season with the 13th best overall defense and the fourth best in Class 2A, the Lancer 'D' allowed 32.7 points per game.
According to Sherk, communication was a key aspect over the course of the season.
"The 'it' factor in our defense was our communication," Sherk said about team defense. "Switching on screens was something new for the team and we all had to adjust to that so being able to talk through things together on the court and push each other to the spots we need to be in helped us get our success."
That defensive success was a major reason for LHS getting back in the winner's circle at the TCU Bi-County Basketball Tournament.
"Winning (the TCU) Bi-County was by far my favorite memory in basketball," said Sherk. "Finally being able to accomplish something I wanted since I was in 7th grade was such an amazing feeling. I loved going to practice everyday and being with my team all season and having talks on the bus after a win was so much fun too."
According to Lucy, her future plans are to go to Ivy Tech and participate in the nursing program so she can get her associates degree and become a registered nurse.
Following back-to-back seasons indoors, Sherk switches to track and field, where she has led the throwers program.
Among her memorable moments in track and field, include, "Our team talks up on the hill while we were practicing was one of the most memorable things about track and being able to win sectionals three years in a row in shot put.
"Looking back on the accomplishments through my sporting careers was bittersweet," continued Sherk. "When I achieved something whether it was on my own in track or as a team in volleyball and basketball it was so much fun to celebrate and take in the moment while it happened but now looking back on those moments it’s sad to think that I will never being able to achieve something like that or have that feeling again with my team. I will achieve different goals throughout my life and those teams will be great but being able to achieve something with a group of girls that all have the same goal as you is something that I will forever miss."
In her spare time, Sherk participated in National Honor Society, Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA), Fellowship of Christian Students and Unified basketball.
As we closed our time together, we asked Sherk about any final words of advice she may have or any comments.
"Don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t achieve something or you can’t do something," concluded Sherk, "Because if you put the work in and you try your hardest you can do anything you put your mind to."
And as for Lancer Nation?
"Thank you to everyone that helped me achieve my accomplishment over the years, thank you to my coaches and teammates for always being there for me and believing in me, thank you to my family and friends for always supporting me and thank you to Lancer Nation for being a great fan base to perform for."