The Versailles Republican Sports
April 2, 2009

'08-'09 Lady Indians are honored at Milan's basketball awards program

Gary Franklin, Sports Writer

Milan Lady Indian Varsity Coach Jeff Stutler opened the girls '09 basketball awards celebration expressing appreciation for all efforts put forth in promoting the girls basketball program in the Milan schools at all levels.
Coach Stutler called fifth grade girls team coach Bobby Davis to the stage for comments about his team and season. Coach Davis thanked his wife and kids and the young ladies who had participated this year, along with their parents. Calling his team to the stage, Davis introduced each member. He stated, "The team was just three points shy of being champions in their first season, and that he was very pleased with their first efforts in organized basketball.
Former Lady Indian, Michelle Franklin, the sixth grade girls coach, was assisted by Michelle Henry. As Coach Franklin called her team to the stage, she relayed that the team consisted of 24 girls. She emphasized that with this kind of interest at the sixth grade level the Milan Lady Indian basketball program should be strong for many years to come.
In continuing, Coach Franklin thanked the girls' parents for transporting them to Tyson Auditorium, where they played their games on Sundays. Each member of the team was presented with a certificate of participation and a team photo.
The Milan seventh grade team included only six members, and were coached by Billie Brayton. In many games some of the eighth grade girls were asked to fill in on the seventh grade team
After coaching the eighth grade girls, David Voss found that cell phones appeared to be of the girls' best friends. He added, the teams season record was 4 for 10 and that the six losses were all by four points or less.
The eighth grade team included 11 members with three or four of them getting a chance at more playing time when they were allowed to help fill the seventh grade's team roster when needed.
In closing his comments, Coach Voss reminded the girls that the next step to the high school level would require them to continue to work over the summer on their own to improve their game skills.
Coach Stutler thanked the coaches and players and their parents for continuing to develope the Milan girls basketball youth program. He then called MHS Lady Indian Reserve Coach Karisa Voss to the podium to speak about her team.
Coach Voss' first order of business was to call her team to the stage, where she shared some of the season's highlights and spoke of the many improvements made by the girls as the season progressed.
Coach Stutler called assistant Leslie Vertz to the stage where she and Coach Voss helped pass out the high school awards.
Coach Stutler spoke of respect and admiration he had for this year's team. He went through each game of the season as it unfolded and the key points of those games that had great effect on each outcome.
Coach Stutler related to some of the inopportune events that had occured to the team that greatly hindered them from reaching the plateau they aspired to. At times the team was short at least one key role player due to sickness or injury.
Coach Stutler praised the work ethic of his team, adding that as a coach and also as a father, how much pride he felt in his daughter Kelly's drive and determination to participate in the game she so loves.
"I watched her many times get up so that she could hit the gym and practice on her own at 5:15 spite of the pain and many challenges faced as a junior and especially in this her senior year."
Stutler concluded, "I would be glad to take this talented group anywhere. That is except Las Vegas!"
The comments drew chuckles from those in attendance, but obviously after observing all the bad luck that engrossed the Lady Indians over the season, it held more truth in the message than was grasped when stated.
The Milan Lady Indian Varsity team of '09 included: freshman Shaina Reed, sophomores Elaina Voss, Stephanie Kirk, and Arielle Noel, juniors Ciera Ison and Brittany Lewis, along with seniors Kelly Stutler, Kayla Stutler, Rebecca Haugh, Jessica Wessler and Montana Winters.
Team voted recipients of the '09 season awards were:
JV Award
Co-Most Improved
Tatijana Marsee - freshman
Stephanie Kirk - sophomore
Varsity Awards
Most Improved
Montana Winters - senior
Most Valuable Player
Kelly Stutler - senior
110% Award
Kelly Stutler - senior
Other Achievements
Senior - Jessica Wessler
609 career points for 7th overall, All Conference, All Sectional and All State Honorable Mention.
Other Achievements
Senior - Kelly Stutler
1071 career points for 2nd overall and 231 assists. Her 146 3 pointers for MHS girls all time leader. Two-time All Conference, three time All-County, four time All Sectional, Academic All-State and All State Honorable Mention.
Coach Stutler in closing out the program again thanked all who were instrumental in helping to build the Milan Lady Indian basketball program. He reminded the eighth grade girls, looking to play at the high school level, when next season rolls around that attitude has very much to do with success.
Senior Kayla Stutler on behalf of the seniors spoke of gratitude to all for their support and presented gifts to each of the coaching staff on behalf of the team.

The 2009 Milan Lady Indian Basketball Award s Program award recipients pictured from left include: Tatijana Marsee, Stephanie Kirk, Jessica Wessler, Montana Winters and Kelly Stutler.