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Nominees for The Southern Illinoisan’s Girls Scholar-Athlete

Ally Gischer, Benton: Gischer, a senior, shared valedictorian honors with Derek Oxford. Gischer excelled in softball and basketball at Benton. She will be playing softball at Missouri Baptist University next year.

Jane Holle, Nashville: A senior, Holle earned 11 varsity letters in her prep career. She graduated with a 3.9 GPA. Holle earned an academic scholarship to Kaskaskia College.

Adrienne Winemiller, Hamilton County: Winemiller led the Lady Foxes to their first regional volleyball title since 2006 last season. She was the Black Diamond Conference’s basketball MVP. She also made the Southern Illinoisan’s track honor roll in four events. Winemiller graduated with a 3.9 GPA and will be studying nursing at Rend Lake College this fall.

Emma Nehring, Murphysboro: Nehring graduated with a 4.11 GPA. She received an academic scholarship to St. Louis University.

Natalie Taake, Century: Taake was Century High School’s valedictorian, graduating with a 4.0 GPA. She was also class president. Taake lettered four years in volleyball, softball and basketball. She plans to attend Southeast Missouri State University to study accounting.

Bryleigh Buchanan, Harrisburg: A junior, Buchanan has already earned three letters in both track and volleyball. She set the school high jump record this year while finishing third in state. After three years, Buchanan has a 3.85 GPA and is ranked 23rd in a class of 127.

Tarynn Mays, Du Quoin: Mays, a senior, was the Class 1A triple jump champion this year. She also medaled in the long jump. At Du Quoin, Mays competed in track, cross country and basketball for four years. She graduated with a 3.97 GPA. She will study engineering at the University of Illinois. She will also be a member of the Illini track team.

Maddy Bruce, Marion: Bruce graduated with a 4.23 GPA, finishing in the top 10 of her class. She plans to attend the University of Illinois next year where she will study engineering and be a member of the track team. Bruce competed in soccer, track and cross country at Marion. She was all-state in track in 2014 and 2016.

Niusha Daneshdoost, Carbondale: An Illinois State Scholar, Danesdhoost finished her prep career with a 4.5 GPA. She was president of Carbondale’s National Honor Society and ranked in the top 10 in her class. She qualified for the state tennis tournament all four years, placing seventh in doubles this season.

Abbey Livesay, Shawnee: Livesay earned four letters in softball, basketball and volleyball during her prep career. In the meantime, she maintained a 3.6 GPA. She plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Makayla Smothers, Herrin: Smothers competed in volleyball, basketball and softball for four years at Herrin. He led the state in doubles this year as the Tigers advanced to super-sectional play. She maintained a 3.94 GPA. Smothers earned a basketball scholarship at John A. Logan College.

India Wade, Mounds Meridian: Wade was the salutatorian of her class and a member of the National Honor Society. He scored more than 1,000 points in her basketball career. She will be a member of the Shawnee College basketball team this winter.


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