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2:18 PM Sun, Oct. 21st

Duo know there's no 'I' in team

Burgess, Huffer ready to play ball for Bulldogs

SHAWN BYRNE/Miner<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 --><br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Gabby Huffer participates in a KMS softball drill, and fellow KHS incoming freshman Skyler Burgess rolls out to pass during summer school football class at KHS.

SHAWN BYRNE/Miner<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 --><br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Gabby Huffer participates in a KMS softball drill, and fellow KHS incoming freshman Skyler Burgess rolls out to pass during summer school football class at KHS.

KINGMAN - Though Gabby Huffer and Skyler Burgess attended different middle schools, they share a common passion of putting teammates first.

Burgess was a three-sport athlete for White Cliffs Middle School, where he played football, basketball and baseball. He's looking forward to his first football season at Kingman High.

"Football is fun to play," Burgess said. "It's great working as a team and meeting other people."

KHS coach Rob York foresees Burgess as a quarterback and cornerback and likes what he's seen from him this summer.

"Skyler is athletic and coachable," York said. "He's getting better every day."

When on the football field, Burgess prefers the offensive side of the ball.

"Offense helps me get along with other people better," he said. "It's fun to see what others can do and help the team out as much as I can."

However, it was his prowess defensively that made him stand out to WCMS basketball coach Tami Howland.

"Skyler's very strong defensively," the coach said. "I could put him on the toughest player on the other team and he would do a good job stopping him."

Sports are about people for Burgess, and it is easy to foresee him as a coach one day when he speaks about what he wants to accomplish.

"I want to be able to meet new people and go as far with the teams as I can," he said.

Huffer's decision

Huffer played volleyball, basketball and softball for the Kingman Middle School Bobcats, but she's going to limit herself to two sports at KHS. She is going to play volleyball, but when the spring sports schedule comes up, she'll have a decision to make.

"I still haven't decided between softball and tennis," she said.

When Huffer is in uniform, she wants to help her teammates have a good time.

"I try to help them to have fun and enjoy the sport," she said. "Winning is always a good thing as long as you have fun."

Both KMS basketball coach Katie Niemi and KHS volleyball coach Traci Rosenbach have seen Huffer's willingness to go the extra mile.

"Gabby's an awesome hustler and is the most coachable," Niemi said. "She never complains and is just really a great kid."

Rosenbach also coached Huffer years ago when Huffer first took up tennis. The coach has been equally impressed with the incoming freshman's effort.

"You can tell she wants to be out there," Rosenbach said. "She seems to always give 100 percent."

The plan for Huffer on the volleyball court is to make her a future setter for the Bulldogs, though she can play anywhere KHS needs her.

"Gabby has good hands and we want to train her as a setter," Rosenbach said. "She can serve, hit, set, pass and should be a really good player if she keeps practicing and playing."

Academics play a big role in the Huffer family, and Gabby is no exception. She said she would be taking honors classes throughout high school with the goal of wearing a white robe when she graduates. She hopes she can play volleyball after her high school career.

"I'd like to go to a school in Arizona so I can stay close to my friends and family," she said. "But any school that gives me a scholarship, I'll go there."