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Athletes recognized for leadership

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By Courtney Lucas 
Staff Writer

Cuesta has chosen two basketball players for its January athletes of the month.

Tayler Thompson
Photo courtesy of cuesta.edu

Tayler Thompson from the men’s basketball team and Kaylee Williams from the women’s basketball team were selected by their coaches for their leadership.

“Coaches tend to nominate players who not only did the best that season but who are the leaders of the team; people who do well athletically but also add something to their team,” said director of athletic communications Pete Schuler. “Both athletes have … made themselves better within the last two years, and I think both coaches see that.”

Thompson, a 6’9” power forward, has been playing basketball since the fifth grade and credits his experience for his success on the court.

This season was Thompson’s first as a starter and he has kept that spot throughout the season so far.

“A 6’9” guy who is averaging 10 points and 10 rebounds a game, I definitely think many teams are trying to make a spot for him on their team next year,” Schuler said. “Thompson has been the leader the whole way.”

Thompson won the title of athlete of the month despite some setbacks. “It feels good to be recognized,” Thompson said. “I rolled my ankle in the beginning of this season, so that was frustrating but I’m excited for the rest of our season.”

Cuesta Men’s basketball is currently 17th in the state.

Cuesta’s women’s basketball is currently ranked 20th in the state with Kaylee Williams as their starting guard.

Kaylee Williams is Cuesta's January female athlete of the month. Photo courtesy of cuesta.edu.
Photo courtesy of cuesta.edu.

“I mainly chose Kaylee because of her hustle,” said women’s basketball coach Rusty Blair. “She is a player who you will never see being lazy and always playing her best on the court.”

Williams won first team all conference last season and has kept up the hard work this season.

“Kaylee is a lockdown defender who is a shooting guard and can play either a 1, 2, or 3,” said Schuler.

After starting off the season strong, Williams had a minor setback in the middle of the season when her appendix burst and she was forced to have an appendectomy.

“Our chemistry got a little messed up [on the court],” said Williams. “But they held it together and still did well without me.”

Williams said that she struggled to recover from her injuries, but her coach thinks that she recovered quickly.

“Williams has bounced back and is actually playing better [after surgery],” Schuler said.