As a whirlwind year in the world of sports comes to a close, several local student-athletes are deserving of individual recognition.
Huntsville’s Alyssa Fielder capped a record-setting high school volleyball career by helping the Lady Hornets snap a five-year playoff drought on their way to a bi-district title, and will be staying home to play collegiately at Sam Houston State. Shay Harris earned District 23-3A Offensive MVP honors as a sophomore after helping lead the New Waverly girls basketball team to an area championship, and is already off to an electric start to her junior campaign.
But after excelling in three sports for the Alpha Omega Academy Lady Lions, setting a handful of personal and school records along the way, Jessica Kohers has been named The Item’s 2020 Female Athlete of the Year.
Kohers, who shared the same honor with New Waverly’s Sierra McCann last year, balanced volleyball and cross country commitments in recent months — and did not disappoint.
After finishing third in the TAPPS 2A cross country championships each of the past two years, Alpha Omega moved up a classification, providing Kohers with a new level of competition. She didn’t miss a beat, setting personal and school bests on her way to a third-place finish in at November’s state meet.
“It just felt the same,” Kohers said. “Even though we moved up a level I was still running my race. I just want to beat my best time and do the best I can, so I try not to worry too much about other people.”
On the volleyball court, Kohers earned all-district and all-tournament honors, while playing a vital role in her team’s run to the TAPPS state playoffs.
“We had six seniors this year, and I've played with them since I was in middle school,” Kohers said. “That was really fun. It's kind of sad that it's over now, but I know we'll still keep in touch.”
Like countless student-athletes, Kohers’ 2020 track season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic — stripping her of the chance to defend a state championship and two silver medals won the previous year. This spring, she’ll be looking to make up for lost time.
“It motivates me a lot,” Kohers said. “We missed out on the most important meets last year, and I'd like to do a lot better.”