Athlete of the Week: RaeAnne VanTol — ‘Epitome of a team player and a defensive player’
By Bill Tamburrino
For RaeAnne VanTol, it was nothing out of the ordinary. Against Del Norte High School the 5-foot-11-inch tall senior center scored 10 points, controlled the offensive boards, shared the rebounding honors with Paige Conroy and played stellar defense.
“RaeAnne is very steady. She is consistent,” said Coach Erin O’Connor. “I hope that we don’t take her for granted, but she is so reliable. We stress team play and defense, and Rae is the epitome of a team player and a defensive player.”
To say that RaeAnne plays aggressive defense is a gross understatement. She was called for five personal fouls on defense. Again, nothing out of the ordinary.
Rae (as her teammates and coaches call her) averages 11.6 points a game and she gets them the old-fashioned way — from offensive rebounds and in the paint. She has yet to hit a 3-point goal because, when she runs to the offensive end of the court, she goes right to the bucket and looks for a pass or a rebound.
Rae leads the team with 141 rebounds and blocked shots (9). She is also unselfish. She has 17 assists.
Rae hits the books even harder than she hits the court. She has a 4.33 grade point average and plans to attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the fall.
“I plan on going out for basketball but I want to concentrate on academics,” she said, adding that she plans to major in animal science.
Rae thinks the best aspect of playing basketball is “going out there and playing as hard as you can. You can get rid of your frustrations and have fun by playing hard and working hard. Just leave it all on the court.
“I have learned that basketball is a team sport. Everybody on the team is important and has a job to do. The team is only as strong as its weakest player. Every player must do their best for the team to succeed.”
RaeAnne gives credit to her mom, Judy, and her dad, Tom, for their support.
“They have been there for me since I started playing in the third grade,” she said.
For her efforts and consistency, RaeAnne VanTol is the Ramona Sentinel Athlete of the Week.
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