Whether on the volleyball or basketball court, Lynden Christian's Jasmine Hommes was simply dominant during the 2011-12 season.
But what Hommes meant to her teams off the court and as a leader may have been the difference in LC's volleyball and basketball seasons.
"There was a point in the season when we were 6-8," Lynden Christian girls' basketball coach Curt DeHaan said during the winter. "Jasmine was injured the first game of the season and just came back. When your expectations are high and (the season) hasn't gone as well as some would think, there's some adversity - some challenges. Sometimes in those situations you can have people point fingers at one another. I thought (Jasmine) and Demi (Luna) did a great job of leading throughout. They helped the team to get where they were. Because of their leadership, we were able to turn the corner."
For her outstanding season, Hommes is The Bellingham Herald's All-Whatcom County Girls' Athlete of the Year.
Following the 6-8 mark, Hommes' return to the lineup bred a 13-game win streak that carried Lynden Christian all the way to the Class 1A State Tournament semifinals, where they fell to Freeman 37-36.
While Hommes was sidelined with her injury, she did everything she could to keep the team together.
"I didn't feel like a coach, more like a big sister," Hommes said in a phone interview during the winter. "I mean, me and Demi tried to keep the family together and really wanted good chemistry. (The injury) really challenged my leadership. You're a true leader off the court when you're always there. It really put into perspective that being able to play is truly a blessing."
Hommes' leadership abilities didn't solely extend to the basketball court. LC volleyball coach Kim Grycel has always been impressed with Hommes' ability to share the spotlight for the betterment of the team.
"One of the most impressive things about Jasmine is with all the awards she has received, she is the most selfless person," said Grycel in a phone interview during the fall. "I think the tradition we have established is a credit to the girls year in and year out that come in and work hard for me. (Jasmine) put the team first and worked really hard in practice to make the whole team solid."
The work paid off on the court, as Hommes guided the Lyncs to a fourth-place finish at the Class 1A State Tournament and a 10-3 Northwest Conference record.
Grycel acknowledged how important Hommes' hard work at practice was in developing other girls' skills.
"Yeah, you know, we would be going up against other teams, and they would always be charting her," she said. "(Hommes) had to work hard, and she knew the importance of developing the other girls. She knew it would make the rest of the team strong. Some other players only think about themselves, but (Hommes) is the type to put the team first. She definitely has that coaching mindset and understands the importance of the team."
It's a trait coaches at Montana State University - where Hommes will play basketball in winter 2012 - will surely enjoy.
Hommes was one of the most dominant outside hitters during the volleyball season and earned a first-team All-NWC selection. She ranked second in the NWC in points during the basketball season with 16.4 per game. She was a All-NWC first-team selection and a 1A All-State honorable mention.
Reach Andrew Lang at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-756-2862.
GIRLS' ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
2011-12: Jasmine Hommes, Lynden Christian
2010-11: Jasmine Hommes, Lynden Christian
2009-10: Haley Locker, Ferndale
2008-09: Brandi Benner, Lynden
2007-08: Courtney VanBrocklin, Mount Baker
2006-07: Bronwyn Crossman, Squalicum
2005-06: Meghan Dahl, Ferndale
Reach ANDREW LANG at email@example.com or call ext. 862.