For The Tribune
Seymour’s Kayla Griffin is a seasoned veteran on both the basketball court and soccer field.
Playing both sports starting at 5 years old, she has come a long way since her athletics beginnings.
In both sports, Griffin has been a four-year starter, named team captain and earned all-Hoosier Hills Conference honors.
In basketball, she has played both inside and outside but prefers the low post.
“I think I like the block more, especially if I’ve got a smaller player on me,” Griffin said. “It’s easier for me to get my shot against a zone because I like to play in the middle more. I like to find the weak spots in the middle.”
Griffin said she likes to press when the Owls are on defense.
“We mix up our presses,” she said. “We have a bunch of presses we use against different teams to keep teams off balance.
“You have to have a game plan and be prepared to beat every opponent. We go over our scouting report the day before a game and take it home that night so we’re prepared for our opponent the next day and know what they’re going to do. Our goal is to know them better than they know themselves.”
Griffin is currently second on the team in scoring at 11.6 points per game.
Her high games this season were 22 points against Jennings County and 20 versus Austin.
The senior enjoys filling a captain role on the team.
“It’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot of responsibility because obviously, the coaches trust you, and your teammates have to trust you, too,” Griffin said. “You want to lead them in the right direction, especially the younger ones.”
On the court, Griffin believes good communication leads to better play.
“If you’re not communicating on a screen, somebody could get hurt or if you’re not communicating on a cut, somebody is going to get open, and you let your teammates down when you don’t talk,” Griffin said. “Teamwork and toughness is what we’ve got to do day in, day out, and that should take us far in the tournament.”
On the pitch, Griffin played a couple of different positions.
“My freshman year, I started out in the middle. I was a defensive midfielder,” Griffin said. “My sophomore year to senior, I went back to center back. I had to pretty much stop anything that came through everybody else and just make sure nobody got through to our goalkeeper. We play a flat-back four, so we have two center backs instead of a stopper/sweeper.”
She said she enjoyed the physical part of soccer.
“One of the reasons I actually went for soccer was because of the physicality of it,” Griffin said. “I got a few yellow cards in my day, but that’s OK.”
Griffin said she liked playing on the new turf field last fall.
“It was awesome. It was a lot of fun to play on it, and the speed of the game was much faster compared to out at Freeman Field,” she said.
The past two seasons, Griffin was a captain on the soccer team.
She said practice was important in both sports.
“Practice is huge,” she said. “Coach (Jason) Longmeier talks about it every day. Practice goes over to the playing field or court. You have to practice like you’re going to play or else you won’t see positive results.”
Griffin said she has enjoyed her time attending Seymour High School.
“It’s been a fun four years here,” she said. “There’s been some really good victories. We won (basketball) conference last year. That was fun. I’ll definitely miss all the friendships I’ve made. I love it here, all the opportunities you get. The teachers are awesome, and it’s fun.”
Name: Kayla Griffin
School: Seymour High School
Parents: Butch and Cheryl Griffin
Sports: Soccer, four years; basketball, four years
Athletic honors: In soccer, most valuable player award, All-HHC; in basketball, Hoosier Hills Conference champions 2015-16, All-HHC, Jackson County Player of the Year 2016
Organizations: D.A.R.E. Role Model, National Honor Society, St. Ambrose youth ministry
Plans after high school: Attend college to study criminal justice and law enforcement
Favorite food: Arroz Con Pollo
Favorite TV show: “Criminal Minds”
Favorite musician: Tim McGraw
Favorite movie: “Lone Survivor”
Favorite team: Indianapolis Colts