KINGMAN - Take one look at the stocky 5-feet-10-inch, 175-pound Kael Juelfs with the knowledge he's only entering high school. You won't be mistaken when you take him for a football player.
"I love playing with a team," Juelfs said. "There's nothing better than performing with a group of guys who have your back. I've been playing since I was a kid. Football is fun to play and fun to watch."
Juelfs will attend Lee Williams High School and is expected to compete in basketball and track as well. While he's been active in the Volunteers' summer workout programs, the start to his high school football career is temporarily on hold.
He broke his wrist recently and according to his father, Joe, they're hoping Kael will be ready to go by the first week.
Lee Williams is getting prepared for its second year of varsity football and its first with a junior class. Though the school population is increasing, Juelfs' ability and football IQ are going to give him the opportunity to play varsity.
"We were hoping he would play a lot on varsity," said LWHS assistant coach Ray Smith. "And he still might. He's not just a great athlete - he's the hardest worker in the weight room. He's worked his tail off."
Juelfs played defensive end at White Cliffs Middle School, but the Lee Williams staff is moving him to linebacker to take advantage of that football IQ.
"The biggest thing is his coachability," Smith said. "When you talk to him, it's not like your talking to a deer in headlights. You know he gets it."
Those WCMS teams are going to be hard for Juelfs to forget, regardless of his success in high school. Those Wolves teams went 13-1 and won the Mohave County Bowl two years running. It was last year's 26-0 win over Mohave Valley in that game Juelfs will most likely remember for the rest of his life, already calling it his most memorable sports moment.
"My buddy and the team's buddy, Josh Graffius, passed away last summer and we won it for him," he said. "We all had the best game of our lives."
An all-around performer, an excellent student and young man who thinks of others - Lee Williams has a foundation builder with Juelfs.
"He's a gem," Smith said. "He'll be a great leader."
Cobanovich brings leadership and fun
Whether it's on the volleyball court or on the softball field, Khori Cobanovich is used to being the "coach" on the floor for her teams. She played catcher at White Cliffs and was the captain for Wolves volleyball.
But it's when the seasons start getting long that Cobanovich's ability to light up a room come in real handy.
"Khori was one of those kids who would do or say something that could turn a horrible day into a great day," said WCMS volleyball coach Nona King. "She is full of life, has a great sense of humor and was a pleasure to have."
The injury bug has hit Cobanovich, too. She sprained her ankle recently but has returned to the court and is playing at the open gyms at Lee Williams. Though her time with Lady Vols coach Traci Rosenbach has been limited, the first-year coach at LWHS has already been impressed.
"Khori has great court awareness," Rosenbach said. "She reads the ball very well and is not afraid to take charge of the court. She's determined and very coachable."
Whether it's volleyball or softball, Cobanovich likes to be in control.
"Khori took the leadership of the team and ran with it," said WCMS softball coach Karin Vance. "She directed the team, and she makes the players around her better."
Cobanovich said she plays catcher because she's involved in every play, and on the volleyball court, she makes no bones about not only wanting the make the varsity squad but wanting to be the Lady Vols' leader.
"Volleyball takes a whole team and I like to be a leader," she said. "Volleyball needs leaders who talk all the time to create team effort."
Cobanovich's presence should be bright for Lee Williams because of her attitude toward achieving her team's goals.
"Khori really listens to what is being said and takes it to heart," Vance said. "She shows great discipline and respect."