O’Boyle keeps Chadron State all in the family
     2014-05-08      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Kay Grote/Gering Citizen Gering High School senior Katie O’Boyle signed to play basketball at Chadron State College next year. She is pictured with Gering girls basketball coach Adam Freeburg and her parents, Barbara and Tom O'Boyle. 
That Katie O’Boyle is going to play athletics in college is no surprise, with both her brothers playing football at Chadron State College after they too completed multi-sport careers at Gering High School.

But joining Patrick and Danny at Chadron State was not the primary reason Katie – whose sister Emily, Patrick’s twin, also attended CSC – was eager to head up Highway 385 and become an Eagle in her own right.

On April 23, in front of about 30 friends, family members and teachers, O’Boyle signed a national letter of intent to play women’s basketball at Chadron State.

O’Boyle, a 5-foot-11 post, averaged eight points, seven boards and one steal per game for the Bulldogs, who finished the season with a and a basket away from winning the District B-6 championship game to Sidney.

“I went up and watched one of their games and I really could see myself playing there,” O’Boyle said. “Just the fact that my siblings went there, and knowing that they had such good experiences there, kind of made it an easy choice.

“I had a couple other offers to play, but as soon as the Chadron opportunity came, it was something I couldn’t pass,” O’Boyle said.

O’Boyle plans to major in education, with her sights set on becoming an English teacher and coach.

“I didn’t want to go to Chadron just because of my siblings going there, and I wanted to try to do my own thing,” O’Boyle said. “But I think it’s going to help a lot by having Patrick and Danny up there, just so I can feel comfortable.”

O’Boyle was all-state honorable mention two times and placed on the Western Conference First Team and the All-Region First Team once. She will play in the West Nebraska All-Star Game this summer and is also an academic all-state selection. Her brothers, Patrick and Danny, play on the Chadron State football team. Her older sister, Emily, also attended Chadron State.

“Katie is very coachable and she has strong communication skills on the floor,” Chadron State women’s basketball coach Tim Connealy said. “She’s strong and athletic around the basket.”

O’Boyle said when Connealy called to offer her a roster spot, he said O’Boyle showed herself as being a unique player during her tryout for the Eagles.

“He offered me a roster spot and he said they are having major changes come to the program this year,” O’Boyle said. “There could be the opportunity where I could redshirt. My goal right now is just to go in and work my tail off, and hopefully if I get the chance to play I’ll take it.

“He said that I was really strong down low and I use the ball well down low, but he can also see me bringing the ball up some and playing outside. So I think going in, with the workouts he’s going to give me, I’m just going to try to improve my game all around.”

Gering girls’ coach Adam Freeburg said O’Boyle is not only a well-rounded player but a great leader as a person.

“It’s hard to put into words what Katie has been to this program, not only how she competes but how she acts, you can tell by how much support she has here how many lives she has touched over her high school career,” Freeburg said.

Freeburg also pointed to O’Boyle’s work ethic as being exemplary.

“I think the thing that people will always remember is just how hard she competes. She wasn’t always the most talented, she couldn’t jump the highest, she couldn’t run the fastest, but she always found a way to get it done. And that just speaks volumes of her.”

Also on April 23, Mitchell High School senior Tate Harvey signed a letter of intent to attend Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, Iowa, to run cross country.

Harvey finished 18th in the Class C boys’ state cross country race in October, making him part of the Tigers’ runner-up team finish that included senior state champion Levi Avila.

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