Merced County Times Newspaper
The Power of Positive Press

Stone Ridge Christian sports standout signs with CSU Pueblo 

 

By MICHAEL BRIGGS

Special to the Times

 

Only a mere 24 hours after surpassing 1,000 career points for the Stone Ridge Christian Knights basketball team, Caitlyn Cole inked her letter of intent to play collegiate softball for Colorado State University Pueblo in front of friends, family, and faculty on Feb. 2. 

Cole lettered in three sports for the Lady Knights during her tenure, boasting an impressive resume which includes everything from team MVP in volleyball and softball to a Section Championship in each respective sport and a State Volleyball Championship in 2019. 

This year is still being written in real time but currently the Lady Knights are 19-2-1 on the hardwood for the season, and 7-0 in league with a playoff berth coming rapidly. All this is highlighted by Cole’s 1,000 career points and a couple of tournament MVP’s to her credit. Her sporting accomplishments are accompanied by an equally dynamic academic record which includes a 4.0 GPA, Homecoming Queen accolades, and the coveted 2021/2022 Valedictorian distinction. 

“I knew she had not only the physical ability to play the game at the collegiate level, but the mental wherewithal to excel at it,” said Coach Ken Shaw. “This is the beginning, and at the collegiate level it can at times feel like a job, but if you love it, then it’s not work.”

When asked why she ultimately chose to attend Colorado State University Pueblo, Cole revealed: “The head coach Bianca Duran had a lot to do with it, I loved how she was not only looking for good athletes, but good people as well.” 

Cole has certainly left an enduring legacy at Stone Ridge and while the school is known for both Volleyball and Softball, it is perhaps Basketball that she has had the biggest breakthrough in, as she is a major fulcrum in the maturation of a program that hadn’t had much success in before her arrival. 

When asked who played the biggest role in helping her get to this moment, she proclaimed; “My mom. She spent so much extra time with me and she never complained about it. She was just happy we wanted to do so well.” 

Cole went on to emphasize an anonymous quote her mom told her that was instrumental in helping her to achieve such unbridled success: “If you want to play well while everyone is watching, you have to practice hard when no one is watching.” 

Caitlyn’s mother, Cathy Cole, added: “I’m proud of her and all the hard work and dedication she has put in thus far, and to see that body of work pay off and lead to this moment.”

Caitlyn Cole of Stone Ridge Christian High School, at center, along with her younger sister Cali, left, and mother Cathy, right, celebrate her signing with Colorado State University (Pueblo).
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