More than semi-good - Coeur d'Alene Press: Sports

More than semi-good

Trojans' King shines on the court and the soccer field

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Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 12:00 am

POST FALLS - When Katie King started playing soccer in seventh grade, it was just a way for her to stay in shape for her true love - the sport of basketball.

"It actually ended up being something I enjoyed," King said. "And I ended up being semi-good at it."

King, along with the rest of her Post Falls High teammates, will take the field on Thursday at 3:30 p.m., to host a 5A Region 1 tournament game against the Lewiston Bengals. With a win, they'll advance to the regional championship game and with another win the following Tuesday - the school's first state tournament appearance in program history.

"It's been really fun," said King, a four-year letterman and starting defensive center midfielder. "It's been definitely life changing. I never thought I'd be so involved with soccer, but it's been a lot of fun."

As a youth, King said she didn't play soccer as her basketball schedule was year-round.

In her time at Post Falls, King has had three soccer coaches, with current coach Briggs Anderson in the second year at the helm. The Trojans are 15-11-5 under Anderson.

"Definitely Briggs is the best coach I've ever had," King said. "He just cares more and puts more energy into the team. We practice a lot harder and he trains us about as equally to the boys, which is something that not a lot of people see girls as - equals - and it makes a big difference."

In her first two years with coach Rob Rowe (freshman season) and Becky Thompson (sophomore), Post Falls went 11-16-7.

"Each coach has came in with energy and motivation," King said. "So it hasn't been that hard to have to adapt to their styles."

King had to adapt to a different style of play earlier in the season - sitting out with an injury.

Against Lake City, King suffered a broken nose during the first half when she was inadvertently elbowed by Timberwolf Jennifer Snow - forcing her out of the game.

"I got elbowed and it wound up breaking my nose," King said. "I came back in, not knowing it was broken and wound up spraining my ankle toward the end of the game, but it really hasn't stopped me from playing. I only sat a couple of games because I didn't want to re-break it (my nose)," King said.

"She's the type of player that with a broken nose, sprained ankle, sick or whatever - she's going to find a way to fight through it," Anderson said.

Anderson said that even with her ankle the size of a cantaloupe, King kept playing through the pain.

"It's really, really tough for me to sit out," King said. "It took a lot of people to tell me to sit out because I'm not one to willingly sit."

"She believes in finding a way to be a leader on and off the field," Anderson said. "She's got a huge heart and gives 110 percent every time on the field. When she does make a mistake, she doesn't dwell on it. She helps the younger players and makes sure the freshmen are involved in practices - which is equally important as far as team building goes."

Should the Trojans advance to state, matches will be played at Lake City and Coeur d'Alene high schools Oct. 18-20.

"This is the best team I've ever played with," King said. "Everyone works well together, is welcoming and has the same goal at the end of the day. We all practice really hard, but more than anything - we deserve it."

King will be in her third season on the Post Falls varsity girls basketball team, which came a game away from qualifying for the state 5A tournament last February, losing 58-48 in a play-in game at eventual state champion Lewiston.

"Basketball has always been my favorite sport," said King, who is 5-foot-3 guard in basketball. "But it changes depending on the season I'm in. If it's basketball season, that's my favorite sport. Or if it's soccer season, it's soccer."

"Her best attribute as an athlete is just her toughness and will to win," Post Falls girls basketball coach Marc Allert said. "Her toughness is the biggest thing for her and sets her apart from everyone else."

King suffered a sprained ankle in the regional championship game last year at Coeur d'Alene, but returned a few days later in Lewiston in the state play-in game.

"If you asked her about it, she'd say she was fine," Allert said. "She ended up hitting two big 3-pointers toward the end of the game, but she couldn't move so we were taking her out on defense. No matter what, she's going to play through all that stuff. She's a stubborn little fart, but you appreciate that as a coach."

As far as competition, Allert compares her to another Trojan guard - Marcus Colbert.

"That's what she's about is winning," Allert said. "Whatever has to be done, she will do. Things just go better when she's in the game because no matter what, she's going to make us better and get people into the right spots and she harasses the other team on defense. For us, she disrupts the other team and keeps us in our flow - and can do that without shooting the ball."

"One of the best things about her, is she's such a competitor," Allert said. "She's the worst loser and hates to lose and will put everything on the line and sacrifice her game to make the team better. She might not be the best player other than being the toughest, but I'd take a team full of Katie Kings - because we'd have a great chance to win."

She credits her father, former Post Falls High standout Bob King, for helping get her interested in sports at a young age.

"He's always there to support me at my games," King said. "He got me into playing them at an early age and is very supportive."

Her brother, Anthony "A-Train" King, also keeps her motivated on and off the court.

"With him not being able to participate in sports, it definitely helps encourage and motivate me to play them more," King said. "He really picks me up when I don't feel like playing. I just look at him in the crowd, and it definitely picks me up."

King also played as a freshman on the Post Falls softball team in 2010, which won a state championship - the school's first. After her sophomore season, King opted to take a break to participate in track instead.

"I'd played softball forever," King said. "But I just decided to take a year off. It was a pretty difficult decision to make, but I decided to try something new and tried track."

It didn't work out as well as she intended.

"I didn't like it," King said. "But I figured you might as well try something new while you've got an opportunity."

She said she'll return to softball this spring.

Should the opportunity occur to play at the college level, King is open to either playing basketball or soccer.

"She wants to look at medical school, so it (basketball) is something that she's not looking to pursue," Allert said. "She's got other aspirations other than just playing basketball."

At the top of that list - likely remaining injury free for the rest of her senior year.

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