orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

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June 6, 2014

Bridge City's Henry earns Leader Female Athlete of the Year

BRIDGE CITY — When you think of Bridge City’s Alexus Henry, you think of a young lady whose clock never quits running.

The Lady Cardinal senior-to-be, our 2014 Leader Female Athlete of the Year, had a junior year to remember in three different Lady Cardinal uniforms.

It was capped off in May when Henry won the Class 3A state championship in the high jump, going 5 feet, 8 inches in Austin.

That was just the bookend of a great year that saw her play on Bridge City’s playoff volleyball team and in the middle there was the trip to the 3A Regional Tournament in the Lady Cardinals’ magical run in basketball.

“The year was truly amazing from start to finish,” said Henry. “To cap it all off with a gold at State was awesome.”

Despite entering the track season late due to BC’s big run into the basketball postseason, Henry never missed a beat.

In the high jump, she won the event each time she stepped out there with the exception of the Texas Relays. She went 5-8 twice, including the State Meet and the District 21-3A meet.

She also led the Southeast Texas area in the triple jump, going a season-best 37-4 1/4.

She owns Bridge City school records in the high jump, triple jump, and the 100 and 200 meters.

“I was able to accomplish my goal in track and that was coming away with a gold medal,” said Henry. “Everything was flowing for me that day and I was able to get off with a nice run up and then I got some great height and was able to fly over the bar. There was some good competition there and I’m so proud to have come out on top that day. I couldn’t have done it, though, without some great coaching. Coach (James) Johnson, he’s the best. He pushed me to be my best and he’s just an amazing person.”

During last fall and winter, Henry was the key cog for both volleyball coach Becca Peveto and basketball coach Jennifer Willis.

After a rugged non-district schedule in volleyball, the Lady Cardinals dived into 21-3A play and fought through to earn a playoff berth.

Henry, with her tremendous leaping ability, led Coach Peveto’s crew in nearly every category.

She notched 398 kills and had 1,113 attacks. She also collected 443 digs to go along with 52 aces and 20 blocks.

“We fought hard to make the playoffs because our district was so tight and competitive,” said Henry. “We won some big matches the last couple weeks of district that got us in. It’s going to be interesting to see how it goes this year because I know we have the talent to get it done. I think we’ll be much better.”

Then came the basketball season, the Lady Cardinal campaign that turned a lot of heads around the area.

The Lady Cardinals, who had not made the postseason since the late 1990s, were projected to be around the bottom of the pack of 21-3A, but they made the skeptics look crazy, almost winning the 21-3A title by placing second and then advancing all the way to the regional semifinals after three big wins in the postseason.

Henry was the key force, whether it was dropping in a three-pointer, hitting the lane with her patented drives or getting key rebounds and key steals.

With the likes of Henry leading the way along with senior post Kelsey Fults, point guard Caylin Choate, shooting guard Bailee Bacon and power forward Kasey Frederick, the Lady Cardinals sprinted to a 33-5 season mark.

Henry led the team in scoring at 16 points a game and she also added six rebounds and five steals a contest.

“It was funny going into the season because so many people doubted us but we never doubted ourselves,” said Henry. “Our team had so much chemistry. Everyone had their roles and goals and met them in almost every game. We were like one big happy family.”

The playoff run was special.

“We had some tight moments in some of those games,” said Henry. “We were down at halftime a couple times but we always dug down and made big plays in the second half, especially in those fourth quarters, to pull them out.”

Henry feels BC has another possible good run in them next year.

“It’s going to be different because Kelsey (Fults) and Caylin (Choate) meant so much in what we wanted to do,” said Henry. “I think we’ll be okay. Bailee (Bacon) is back and I expect her to really explode next year and Kasey (Frederick), she’s our enforcer and we’ve got some younger ones that are ready to make their marks.”

Henry will add yet another item on her agenda as a senior as she will be a cheerleader.

“It’s something I really look forward too,” said Henry. “It’s going to be a challenge in the fall to mix that in with volleyball but I love a challenge. I just love staying busy.”

Busy indeed, for a super student athlete.

“I’m so looking forward to a great senior year and creating more memories with my family and friends,” said Henry. “You are only a senior in high school once and I want to always remember it before I go off to college and compete in track.”

Schools that have shown interest in Henry include Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Cornell and Army.

Right now, her focus is just wearing the Red and White and taking the Lady Cardinals to higher heights.

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