by SEAN BLEVINS
Times Sports Editor
ADA – Success is Courtney Sumner’s three-sport lifestyle. Ada’s High School is ambitious and adventurous as it comes on and off the field.
There are a few Ada sports records that will stand by the time Sumner graduated. She digs her name into the school’s record books in real time because she now owns the professional dig log for the volleyball program. On the basketball court, 366 points separate her from her career record, which she expects to surpass where she had 402 a year ago. She was the Northwest Conference champion in the long jump when she was a sophomore.
Sumner’s volleyball prep career is complete. She played a libero center for her club’s fifth-grader, but did not return to that role until this season. She was a right-sided hitter in her sophomore year and played outside batting last year.
“I always knew she was one of our best backs with her bangs, even early on when she was in the fifth grade she was hitting the floor,” volleyball coach Ada Kylie Woodruff said of Sumner, who played in college for her all four years.
The switch to the libero occurred because Woodruff believed it was the next necessary step in Sumner’s growth as a leader. This decision paid immediate dividends. The Bulldog’s total win last year has more than tripled. Earlier this season, Sumner broke the program’s record with 42 holes per game, then followed it up with a 47-hole performance less than a week later. She’s sitting at 407 career pits after Tuesday’s game.
“No matter where the ball goes, I’m confident I can get there,” Sumner said. She regularly ends up with floor burns due to her willingness to plan anything.
Woodruff said Sumner’s ability to read the floor set her apart from anyone else. It brings unparalleled energy and drive. It was an honorable mention for all the conferences last year and you are likely to get even more honors this year with the season you are in.
Volleyball holds a special place in Sumner’s heart – but her mind is set on playing basketball at the next level – preferably for a school close to home.
Sumner is great at volleyball, but she said her true love is the hoop. She only needs 367 points to beat Morgan Dumbo’s mark of 1,367 points.
Her former Ada coach for the past three years, Morgan Bass, said Sumner has been the top ball player on the girls’ basketball program from day one. She has been the best shooter and top scorer on the team since she was a student and has worked tirelessly to hone the craft.
“It’s always been a great competitor, and we’ve seen the competition get stronger by the year,” Bass said. “We constantly talked about using her small frame to her advantage. Because of her speed, she can easily get past defenders.”
Bass said Sumner’s combination of size and speed is part of what makes her a force on both ends. She is skilled at getting thefts and can score from anywhere. This devious guard has earned eight titles across the 2nd team in each district, and the 2nd team in all counties as a junior. It was an honorable memory for all conferences as a sophomore and sophomore.
Sumner will take more responsibility on her front page as a senior captain under new coach Zach Reeker.
He said he tasked Sumner with getting her teammates involved more because everyone knew she could score. She had a very busy, but fruitful summer in tournaments for Ada and the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) team, the Dayton Lady Hoopstars.
Basketball and volleyball aren’t the only sports you want to break records in. Sumner said she is looking forward to the spring track season because she is just five inches away from achieving the school’s long jump record.
She added that she believes the 4×4 relay team has a high chance of going state and breaking the school record, which is still three seconds away from doing. Sumner has received some track interest from area colleges, but has made it clear that she prioritizes playing college basketball.
Although her life revolves around year-round sports, she is more than just an athlete. With an average of 4.0 points, Sumner is one of nine Ada students in line for honors. She remembers a lot of late nights over the past few years doing her homework after midnight after not coming home from sports events or workouts until then. I made sure to get everything done and get it right even though there was a minimum amount of free time.
Sumner said she wants to become an elementary school teacher after her playing days, so she will major in early childhood education in college.
She’s as goal-oriented as a high schoolgirl as you’ll find. The fire lit under it would get hotter. You will go through anything on its way to greatness. You will be a freshman in the game forever. She is one of Ada’s most accomplished people and her story is still being written.