Monday, December 30, 2019



We love sharing success stories as it relates to our area.

Here are three good ones.


Hannah Lockin, daughter of Aurelia born and raised Doug and Rhonda, now of Des Moines, is a member of the “Final Four” Baylor University volleyball Bears.

Hannah, a juniorr, is not only a proficient starting setter for the team, but she recently was named AVCA Division 1 First Team All-American.

Lockin earns her second All-American honor after being named honorable mention a year ago. The 6-1 Des Moines Valley High School product was a preseason All-Big 12 selection in 2018 as well as All-Academic All-Big 12 First Team in 2018.

This year, along with her first Team All-American honors, Hannah also earned All-Region and a unanimous Big 12 Conference Setter of the Year accolades.

Lockin was a four-year letter winner for Valley High and led her team to the state tourney and the school’s first state semifinal finish. Also in high school, she was named to the 2016-17 Under Armour All-American second team and was Iowa Volleyball Coaches Association Player of the Year in 2016.

Hannah closed out her high school career totaling 1,434 kills, 902 assists, 767 digs and 195 blocks and was a member of the Iowa High Performance International Team.

More recently, she helped her team to the Women’s Final Four National Volleyball Tourney where the top ranked Bears fell in the semifinals to Wisconsin.

Lockin and two teammates, senior Shelly Stafford and junior Yossiana Pressley, made Baylor University history as the first ever Baylor players to make All-American first team status.

Lockin led her squad this year with 11.48 assets per set and has the team;’s lead in service aces. “Lockin’s ability to distribute the ball this season has been great,” said Baylor head coach Ryan McGuire. “Her ability to be a threat opens up Shelly and Yossi.”

Stay tuned to this success story as Lockin returns for her senior year and perhaps another Final Four appearance.


This blonde bombshell continues to make a name for herself as a leading member of the University of Sioux Falls women’s basketball team.

The daughter of Troy and Julie Hummel of Cherokee, Kaely prepped at Washington High School here and was a multiple-time all-state selection averaging 22 points a game for the Braves her senior year and scoring 64 points in two state tournament games.

It doesn’t seem possible, but Kaely is a senior this season for the Cougars and is off to another fast start. So far in 13 games, Kaely leads her team in points scored (17.9 avg.), field goals (14.6 avg. per game), three-point goals (7.1 avg. per game) and is second in free throws (37 of 45 for 3.5 per game).

Currently, USF is ranked 18th in D2 with an 11-2 record and tied for first in the NSIC south division with a 4-2 record.

Hummel is a preseason Player of the Year in the south diviision of the NSIC and is averaging 17.9 points per game, 2.2 rebounds and 2 assists. She is ranked fifth all-time scoring at USWF with 1,421 points and is ranked third in made threes with 230 and is a two-time all conference player as a second team pick her sophomore season and first team selections last year.

A note to young players - Kaely is an excellent role model. Got watch her play and learn how this game is meant to be played.


Payton Slaughter, daughter Brandon and Wendy of Cherokee, is enjoying a successful start to her young basketball career at Brian Cliff.

Surprised? Not me.

A year ago, Payton was playing high school basketball with her sister, Teagan, at Washington High School here. As a four year starter for the Braves, Slaughter put together a prestigious prep career with a boat load of accolades to include all-state, all-conference, all-district honors and established tons of school records here.

Today, the little fireball of basketball talent is currently starting on the Briar Cliff Chargers women’s varsity squad in her freshman season.

The Chargers are young and improving. In her last two starts, Payton scored 18 against Dakota State and had a career high 23 against Sterling (Kan) a week ago. Early in the season, Slaughter scored 11 against Olivet Nazarene and 15 against Clark before being slowed with a knee injury. She has since recouped and is helping lead this young Charger contingent.

At present, Payton is averaging 9.3 points per game and has 17 steals. She’s hitting 54 percent from the field (31-57) and 35 percent from three (9-26), while 69 percent from the free throw line (22-32).

A special place in this heart for the Slaughter sisters. Payton and Teag were my neighbor girls for many years as I watched closely as their careers evolved. More good things to come from this sister act. Count on it.


Beryl and Trace are smiling.

Storm Simmons, son of Carra, grandson of the late Beryl Simmons, son of the late Trace Simmons and nephew to Uncle Bill and Aunt Lynette, just won a national championship.

The Simmons’, a longtime respected Cherokee family, had one of its own claim a national title at the NCAA Division III Football Championship game in Shenandoah, Tx., when North Central College from Naperville, Ill defeated Wisconsin-Whitewater 41-14.

Storm, a 6-1, 226-pound junior member of the Carninals, is one of North Central’s starting linebackers following the footsteps of his late father Trace, who was a three year starter at linebacker for Morningside College in Sioux City. Trace was named to the All-North Central Conference football team as a senior in 1976. Prior to his college days, Trace starred at Cherokee and played for Coach Leo Hupke.

Storm’s mom, Carra, is an Akron, Ia. native.

We want to publicly thank Del Christensen, Trace’s college buddy, for giving us a heads up on Storm and his participation in the national title game.

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