To The Hoop

Shyvlie Blaney scores two points against Tensas Friday.

Most high school seniors like to cut their schedules back their final year in anticipation for the next level of education.

Not Delta Charter senior Shyvlie Blaney.

If there is a sporting event going on at Delta Charter, chances are Blaney's name is going to be mentioned quite a bit.

That, along with being a straight-A student taking college courses.

Shively planned on cheerleading and playing basketball and softball before her senior year began.

"But soccer came into the mix and I was like, 'well, it's my senior year, why not?," she said. "I wanted to play that for the fun of it."

Delta Charter soccer coach Christal McGlothin started Shively at fullback, but saw enough to put her into the goal.

Shively had not played soccer since the eighth grade.

"After my first game in a tournament Coach McGlothin told me she wanted to try me in goal and I was like, 'OK, I've never played goal so it was weird at first, but she said I did good,'" Shively said.

Shively has learned to become a quick-change artist her senior year.

"It's been fun," she said. "It's keeping me busy. I'm always doing something. And it's been a good experience."

Blaney earned post-season honors last year in basketball after averaging 14.6 points and 3.8 assists per game.

Blaney is averaging 22.4 points a game through 17 games this season. As one of only two seniors, she is also averaging 4.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists a game.

"It's been as good as it's going to get with corona," Shively said. "I'm thankful to play the games that we have, surrounded by a good coach and good teammates makes it better."

Blaney, the daughter of Boo and Stacie Blaney, said this school year has been different on the court and on the field being a senior.

"It's put everything in a whole new perspective," she said. "I am not taking it for granted. I'm playing it game by game."

Blaney would spend countless hours in her driveway when she was young, pushing herself with ball-handling drills and wearing out the basketball goal in her front yard.

Blaney was named Louisana Girls Ranking Player of the Week in January after scoring 34 points in a win against Tensas.

Delta Charter girls coach Ronald Ellis, who arrived at the school the same year Blaney enrolled in 2014-15, said Blaney is one of the best shooters, boys or girls, he has been round.

"'Shy' is a hard worker and a leader," Ellis said. "She has a great work ethic."

"I've played basketball since I was little," Blaney said. "My mom started me out young. The first year I came here, Coach (Ronald) Ellis came here the same year and he's been working with me ever since. I fell in love with the game of basketball as I got older. I always played softball and then I took a break because I wanted to focus on basketball.  I played softball during the summers, but I picked high school softball back up this year. I wanted to do everything I can and have fun with it."

Shively, who played in a basketball and soccer game the same day, admitted the schedule can get hectic.

"It's been crazy busy all the time," she said. "Most days I have three practices. I will go to basketball until 5, soccer until 6:15 and then to softball. But I'm a busybody. I would rather be doing something than being at home."

Shively said taking college courses has actually been beneficial.

"Most of my classes are college classes I take on line so I'm able to do those during the day," she said. "In the morning I pack all my bags for sports because I know I have to be here at this time, here at this time and here at this time. I just plan accordingly day by day. Practice times can change every day, so I never really know. But I'm a pretty organized person."

Shively said playing three sports at one time has not been as difficult as some would believe.

"Soccer and basketball are kind of the same in that you have to be quick with your hands," Shively said. "You have to be quick with your hands in both sports in the positions I play. They are different sports, but the same in some areas."

There is a common denominator.

"You always have to stay focused and know who you are going up against," Blaney said. "In basketball you have to know who is going to be defending you and how you are going to defend them. In soccer I have to worry about defending the people coming at me all the time. It all comes down to focus."

Blaney said she felt she had to just blend in when she joined the soccer team.

"At first in soccer I went in thinking, 'OK, there's not going to be anybody that's going to look up to me here.because I'm new,'" she said. "But now my coach classifies me as a leader because I have younger girls coming up to take my position in the future. So they are asking me questions about what to do in different situations. So I consider myself a leader in soccer as well."

McGlothin wasted little time putting Blaney in goal,

"We had been trying to find a goalkeeper because I was having to use one of my best defenders and striker," McGlothin said. "Shyvlie is one of those that no matter what you ask her to do she will not bat an eye and give it her best. She has been very beneficial to us and has been really good with the up-and-coming goalkeepers."

Blaney has the same mindset in softball,

"I try to work hard at every practice not only to earn my spot but to show I'm ready and able to play," she said. "You always have to be on your toes at all times, ready to react."

Blaney doesn't worry about there being a big letdown after being so active in sports.

"Sports aren't everything," she said. "I plan on going to college, graduating, going to law school and then moving on to do my internship and then open my own firm. I'll play intramural sports, but I don't think there's a letdown because of everything I plan to accomplish after high school."

Blaney actually ran long distance in track years ago, but track conflicts so much with softball that she had to skip running track. Tennis has been the only girls sport she has not participated in at Delta Charter.

Delta Charter softball coach Jeannie Beach is excited to have Blaney on her team.

"She can play in the outfield and infield," Beach said. "The great thing about Shyvlie is that she brings so much energy to the team."

While possibly not missing the sports as much, Blaney admitted she will miss Delta Charter.

"I'm going to miss the people here for sure," she said. "They have been such a great support system like no other. I'm  constantly having people texting me saying I'm doing great and to keep going and that they are keeping up with me. I like going to a gas station and people saying. "'Hey, you're the girl who plays basketball at Delta Charter.'"

Blaney said the people at Delta Charter are her second family.

"It doesn't get any better than Delta Charter School," she said.



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