By Lou Kavanaugh Times Herald
The Washington Times-Herald
---- — MONTGOMERY — Barr-Reeve has had some amazing success in sports and academics in the last few years and this spring another honor was bestowed on the school.
This time it was the selection of Micah Bullock as the 2013 Class A Arthur L. Trester Award for Mental Attitude on March 29. Bullock became the fourth Barr-Reeve student to receive this special award.
Last fall, Bullock’s first cousin Jenna Knepp also won the Mental Attitude Award as Barr-Reeve won the Class A volleyball state championship. In the spring of 2010, Bullock’s second cousin Christian Duncheon also won the Trester Award in the Class A state basketball title game when the Vikings lost to Bowman Academy.
The other mental attitude award winner goes back a few years, as Kristi (Kavanaugh) Griffin won it 1998. It was the first ever run to the state by a Barr-Reeve volleyball team when the Vikings played Clinton Prairie.
Bullock, who won the latest award in March as the Vikings lost 70-66 in overtime to Marquette Catholic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse wasn’t prepared for the prestigious honor.
“I had no idea that I had won it until they announced my name,” Bullock said. “I did see my parents down on the floor and wondered why they were on the floor, but I was so disappointed that we did not win the game that I really was not thinking about the award. This award is special to me and means a lot. I guess Barr-Reeve has not been known to win state championships, but we have won several of these awards.”
Bullock has recently played in the North/South All-Star Game at Vincennes University and also played in the East/West All-Star Game at Tecumseh.
He said he has some offers to play college basketball and it appears he has recently made the decision to attend Olney Central College in Illinois but the signing has not been announced at this time.
Jenna Knepp who won the Mental Attitude Award at the state volleyball finals in the fall of 2013 and just happens to be a first cousin of Micah Bullock. Knepp’s dad (Devon) and Micah’s mom Wanda are brother and sister.
According to Knepp: “This award is special to me and with my cousin Micah also receiving it has added so much more. That day at the state volleyball finals I was on cloud nine with winning the championship and was not really thinking about the award and when they announced my name, I was overwhelmed. I did not see my parents down on the floor until after they announcement of my name. It was truly an amazing day for me.”
Knepp recently signed to play basketball at Indiana University East in Richmond, Indiana. Although IU East wanted her to play both basketball and volleyball but Knepp will concentrate on just basketball. Jenna also played in the East/West All-Star Basketball Game at Tecumseh.
Christian Duncheon won the Trester Award in the spring of 2010 at the Class A State Basketball Championship at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. That year the Vikings had the unenviable task of playing Bowman Academy which was in Class A but probably should have been playing in 3A with their enrollment and they also had several Division 1 players on that team.
“I remember when the game was over I looked over in the stands and noticed my parents were not in their seats where they had been during the game and wondered where they were,” said Duncheon. “Just before we were to go on the platform for the presentation of the medals they announced that I was the winner and then I saw my parents were on the floor. It was an honor for me and was glad I was able to represent the school in this way.”
Duncheon graduated from Barr-Reeve in 2010 as a valedictorian in his class. He will graduate from the University of Southern Indiana/Evansville in pre-med in May and will enter the Indiana University Medical School this fall. He will have four years of study there before doing clinical and residence.
Duncheon has already worked in the Emergency Room and is getting a feel for what goes on. “I am not sure where I will end up but will go where the job takes me.”
Griffin was the first athlete from Barr-Reeve to win the Mental Attitude Award and it happened in the fall of 1998 on Barr-Reeve’s first trip to the state finals in volleyball. Barr-Reeve lost to Clinton Prairie in one of the last events held in the old Market Square Arena.
Griffin remembers when they called her name she was still emotionally drained from the match and it was hard to comprehend that she really had won the mental attitude award.
Griffin recalls, “I remember they were calling for my parents to come down on the floor and mom and dad were way up in the stands and it took a while for them to get down to the floor. I think we were all surprised that I had won.”
Griffin graduated from Barr-Reeve as a valedictorian in her class of 1999 and graduated from the University of Southern Indiana Summa Cum Laude in 2004 after playing all four years as a starter on the volleyball team and coaching for a year before graduating.
“In our first year we were 12-13, but in our sophomore we were 27-4 and continued to improve each year,” Griffin said. “We were the first team in the history of USI to win the conference tournament and represented the school in postseason. Many of the girls on that team are now coaching in the college ranks. After college, I started coaching at Jacksonville State in Jacksonville, Ala. and there we won the school’s first ever conference title and advanced to the NCAA tournament.”
After four years at ISU, Griffin took some time off, married husband Justin and then got out of coaching to get closer to home. Then an opportunity arose at Western Kentucky University where she is currently the assistant volleyball coach at a Top 25 Division I program.
“It is within a few hours of both our parents and now that I have a son it is nice to be close to both of our families. I still have fond memories of that year when I won this award and I do keep in touch on how Barr-Reeve is doing.”