Micah Walker and Cheyenne Faanes signed their national letters of intent to play basketball and volleyball respectively at the collegiate level. A crowd of nearly a 100 people gathered to the watch the Raiders’ duo put pen to paper and make their dreams of competing beyond high school a reality.
“This is one of the best parts of my job, especially for kids like Cheyenne and Micah,” Reed High Athletic Director Ron Coombs said. “They are not only excellent on the court, but in the classroom. They are both at the top of their class. They are excellent outside of school. It’s nice to recognize these kids. This is what it’s about.”
Walker has been a four-year standout for the Reed girls basketball team. She led Reed to a Northern 4A title this past winter, during her senior season, and helped Reed to three state tournament berths during her four years at the local school.
On Thursday, she signed her letter of intent to play for Cal-State East Bay. It is a Division II school in Hayward, Calif.
“My decision was definitely a combination of athletics and academics,” Walker said. “It’s a new program, just the coach’s second year, so it’s exciting that the freshmen will get a chance to make an impact ... I’m looking forward to the chance to play in a new environment and see where I fit in, to find a new niche.”
Walker averaged 17 points and six rebounds per game while helping Reed to a 26-1 this past season. She was named the High Desert League’s player of the year.
“She’s worked so hard. There’s no doubt she would play college basketball,” Reed girls hoop coach Sara Schopper said. “That was her goal coming in and it’s nice to see her accomplish it. She always gives 100 percent. She’s a natural leader. She’s helped hold up the Raider tradition. I’m excited for her and proud of her.”
Walker is the daughter of Rodd Walker and Bonnie Walker. The 17-year-old plans to study Political Science and Business in her college career.
“I’m thrilled for her,” Rodd Walker said. “I’m happy she gets the opportunity and the fact it’s a scholarship is pretty great too. I’ll try to make every home game. It’s only a three or four-hour drive. I’ve got a lot of vacation time saved up.”
Thursday’s other Reed honoree, Faanes, won’t be staying quite so close to home. The RHS senior will be attending McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, Illinois. The two-year school is in northwest suburban Chicago.
“They contacted me through my coach,” Faanes said. “They put it out there that they were looking for a libero and I was interested. The coach really sold me on how she presented everything. Volleyball is a passion of mine. I wanted to get away but still be close to home. But, I couldn’t turn them down. They’re pretty much paying for my school. It’s an opportunity to make new friends and see life outside of Reno.”
Faanes led the Reed volleyball team in aces and digs last fall. Her standout season earned her first-team all-league honors.
“I’ve been playing volleyball since sixth or seventh grade. About my freshman year, I decided I wanted to play in college,” Faanes said. “It’s a part of my life.”
Raiders volleyball coach Kristen Flagtvedt has seen Faanes grow as a player since she stepped on the RHS campus as a freshman. The Reed coach believes Faanes has worked to earn the opportunity to play beyond high school.
“She’s very coachable and self-motivated,” Flagtvedt said. “She’s worked hard to find the right fit, the correct school that fit her needs.”
Faanes is the daughter of Terry and Dawna Faanes. The 17-year-old wants to study Physical Therapy in college.
“I admit I wanted to see her stay closer to home,” Dawna Faanes said. “But this gives her a chance to experience a different part of the country, one she’s never seen before. It’s a great opportunity. She loves playing volleyball and she gets to continue that.”