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Meeker tops girls star list

There's nothing meek about Meeker when it's time to take aim and blasta soccer ball toward the goal.

North Medford High senior forward Dolinda Meeker knows one way to play:fast and hard.

She proved that point emphatically this fall by using her lightning-quickspeed and reflexes to lead the lack Tornado's Southern Oregon Conferencechampionship team.

Meeker, 17, scored 19 goals and played a major role for coach Dick Darcy'steam with her defensive work as a fullback.

For her efforts, Meeker was named player of the year in the SouthernOregon Conference in a vote by league coaches.

It (the award) is extremely flattering, says Meeker, whotransferred to North Medford after spending three years as a soccer andbasketball all-state player for St. Mary's High.

I didn't expect to be player of the year, says Meeker. Itnever really occurred to me that I had that kind of year.

I didn't think they would give that kind of award to a rookie (first-yeartransfer player).

Darcy says Meeker is deserving of her MVP award.

She's a great player and a personable young lady, says Darcy.A lot of people wondered how she would fit in with our team.

But I knew she would fit very well since I coached her on the (Fighting)Irish (youth) team for two years. She has a real work ethic about her togo with her many skills. She's a neat kid.

Meeker was a first-team District 6 all-star in soccer for St. Mary'sin 1995 and '96. She was named a Class 3A second-team all-state player duringthe last two years.

I wondered how I would do going from a small school to a big schoolin terms of academics and sports, says Meeker. Most people thinkI transferred to North just for sports. But that's not true.

I wanted to try sports and academics at the big school and seeif it made any difference.

I really like it here at North, says Meeker. I havebeen accepted real well by the players and coaches.

Meeker speaks Russian fluently after taking the subject for three yearsat St. Mary's. She says she hopes one day to be an interpreter and translatorof Russian into English.

I took Russian because I'm part Russian and part Italian,she says.

Meeker hopes to play soccer, and perhaps basketball, in college.

I'd like to get a college education out of sports, but then I'mlooking forward to getting on with a new life, she says.

In girls basketball, Meeker is expected to be North Medford's startingpoint guard.

Meeker says playing point guard in basketball is somewhat similar toplaying forward in soccer.

My job is to distribute the ball around in basketball and get theball inside to Erica, says Meeker. It's the same role I playedin soccer, in a way.

She's an intelligent player capable of making big plays at anytime, says Darcy. She's very fast, and has a good base of skillsto go with it.

Meeker is one of three North Medford soccer players to make the firstteam in all-star voting by coaches. Others are sophomore defender JamieMacLaughlin and junior midfielder Lucianne Crenshaw.

Other first-team selections are forwards Ashley Brace of Ashland andStephanie Lucas of Eagle Point; midfielders Sarah Guetzloe of Mazama, MelissaKeevil of Ashland, Sonya Miller of South Medford, and Nora Ryan of Ashland;defenders Sarah Beggs of Klamath Union, Katie Farmer of Klamath Union andTrisha Tewes of Crater; and goalkeeper Anita Sagunsky of Klamath Union.

Gregorio Ruiz of Ashland was selected as Coach of the Year.

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