Dayton stars to move onto college
Three Dayton High seniors — track and field standout Zach Hawley, volleyball setter Shalia Powell and basketball star Angela Sikora — are going to pursue athletic careers at the collegiate level.
Hawley, one of the top shot put and discus performers in the state, is headed for Cornell University. He’s the second Dayton track and field performer to go to Cornell, following in the footsteps of Kathy Arias, who came back to the area after one year at Cornell.
Powell, a top-notch setter for the Dust Devils, is headed for St. Andrews University, an NIAA school located in North Carolina. Sikora is attending Grays Harbor Community College.
Hawley is having a sensational season. He broke the school record for the shot put (59-5 3/4)) and is second to Josh Koch in the discus (168-6). He’s coming off two wins at the Carson High Invitational.
Being accepted at Cornell is a dream come true for Hawley, who carries a 4.1 GPA.
“I’m very excited,” Hawley said in a phone interview. “It’s a bit surreal, a little Dayton kid going to New York.
“I was looking a lot at Stanford, but I didn’t get a good feel there. When I went to Cornell people were nice. When you think New York you think of stuck up people. Ithaca is about the same size as Carson City when school is in session. It had a real small-town feel. I didn’t meet a single person that I didn’t enjoy.”
Hawley said he’d been looking at Cornell for quite some time. He said it’s a good fit academically. He’s enrolling in the college of Arts and Sciences, and the DHS senior said he’s looking toward engineering.
Though his focus has always been shot put and discus, Hawley said he would look into throwing the hammer and javelin.
“The hammer has always interested me,” he said.
Powell had 125 digs and 341 assists for Monica Halverson’s club this past fall. It was her work with the Silver State Club’s 18-Tornado that caught the attention of St. Andrews coach Holly Mandeville.
“We are really excited to have Shalia join our program next fall,” Mandeville said via e-mail. “I got an e-mail from the recruiting coordinator at her club, and as soon as I saw her video I thought she would be a great fit. I am looking for her to step into the role as a setter on the varsity team.
“Just from her visit I can tell that she has a positive attitude and knows what it takes to play setter. While speaking with her prior to playing (working out) with my current team I told her some of the things I look for in a setter. I felt like she did all of those things while practicing with the girls.”
Powell said Mandeville wanted her to work on her jump setting, and leadership was a key to playing the position.
“I haven’t done a lot of jump setting,” Powell said. “I’ve been working on it during club practices and tournaments. It helps play at a faster tempo. Hopefully I’ll have it down by the time I get there in August.”
Leadership, according to Powell, will come once she will get acquainted with her new teammates.
“I’m on a new team and I don’t know many of the girls,” she said. “We have to develop that chemistry.”
And, she’s looking forward to establishing new roots.
“I visited the campus over spring break,” Powell said. “I liked it (the area). I’m looking forward to getting away from Nevada for a few years.”
Unlike California which doesn’t offer any scholarship money for student-athletes, the state of Washington does. Sikora said she’s getting a break on her tuition.
Sikora was the lone bright spot on Dayton’s squad which struggled to win games. She averaged 19.5 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.
Sikora met coach Chad Allan during a club basketball tournament in Oregon with Jam On It. She was hooked right away.
“It’s so beautiful up there,” Sikora said of her recent visit. “I liked the campus. It was pretty; a lot of trees.”
Sikora said she doesn’t know how Allan is going to use her.
“I’m thinking probably shooting guard,” said Sikora, who has 3-point range.
Sikora doesn’t play a spring sport, so she has been working on improving her game.
“I’ve been working hard on my defense and getting my shot off quicker,” she said.
And, it’s that work ethic Allan likes about Sikora.
“The number one reason why I recruited Angela was her work ethic and attention to improving herself,” Allan said. “Angela has all the tools needed to play at this level with ball handling, strength, ability to score and play defense. Her knowledge of the game and leadership qualities make her more than a special player but a special person.
“Angela will fit in nicely to our program standards of using our defense to create our offense while shooting shots you are comfortable with. I also love her competitiveness. Her biggest challenge on the court will be playing at a faster pace with stronger athletes. It will take her a while to adapt but I am confident in her ability to quickly pick it up.”