Central’s Poston finishes career with strong year

By Tommy Keeler Jr.

WOODSTOCK — When Katelyn Poston was a freshman, Central assistant girls basketball coach Sarah DiNardo-Swartz asked the players, ‘Who is going to break my [all-time scoring] record?'”

Poston didn’t answer out loud, but it was a goal she really wanted to achieve.

“I didn’t raise my hand, but mentally I was like ‘Oh, I’m going to try my best,'” Poston said.

Three years later, Poston broke the record (finishing with 1,656), just part of what was a stellar career for the Central standout.

Poston had three pretty solid years at Central, but this season may have been the best one yet.

She helped lead the Falcons to the Group 3A state semifinals in girls basketball, was named to two all-state teams in girls basketball, and broke the school record for points. She also had a very strong start to her softball season until she came down with mononucleosis, ending her high school career.

Those accolades and more helped Poston earn The Northern Virginia Daily’s 2014 Female Athlete of the Year.

“I had what I feel was definitely my best year in basketball, and I started off having a great season in softball until mono wanted to break that for me,” Poston said. “I’d much rather take it during softball than basketball, so I was grateful for that at least. I definitely feel I made my mark for Central and set the bar pretty high for future girl athletes.”

“KP is just blessed with some natural athleticism,” Central girls basketball coach Mallory Skarupa said. “She’s successful in many sports because of this basic foundation and her mentality: if she says she’s going to do something, you have to be pretty thickheaded to not believe her.

“When she puts her mind to something, watch out.”

This year started off a little differently for Poston as she tried out for the golf team for the first time.

Poston said she tried golf for the first time during a family vacation in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina last summer, and after playing with her friend and Central golf standout Ben Kline, decided to try out for the team.

“It was a really exciting and fun experience. I got to create new relationships with people that I never really interacted with or been around,” Poston said. “I learned that sometimes the things that frustrate you the most are the things that you can’t seem to get away from. Golf’s one of those things, it makes you so incredibly mad when you’re playing, but you always want to go back and play more because at the same time it’s so relaxing to be out in nature and to be able to hit a ball.

“Even if it’s a terrible shot, the next hole you could have the best shot of your life.”

Poston said she felt like she became an even better vocal leader this season in basketball. There’s no question she led on the court, where she averaged 19.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.8 steals and 2.6 assists per game.

She led the team to the state semifinals, where they lost to eventual state champion Spotswood. In the Region 3A East semifinals, Poston led the Falcons past John Marshall with a 49-45 win in overtime.

At the end of the game Poston took over, scoring the last nine points of the contest, including all of the overtime points, and came up with a big steal at the end to help seal the victory.

“My defense has always been the weakest party of my game, and somehow I stole the ball from that girl and I have no idea how,” Poston said. “It was just one of those things where I got in a zone that I’ve never really been in.

“It was one of the greatest games I’ve ever played in my entire life.”

It was definitely a great basketball season for Poston, and the top highlight came on Dec. 11 as she broke DiNardo’s record and was presented the ball by DiNardo.

“The fact that she was the one that was able to present the ball to me and witness me being able to break her record was pretty awesome,” Poston said. “And something I’m definitely never going to forget and always going to be grateful for.”

Poston started her softball season off well. She hit .414 in the first 10 games, which saw the Falcons get off to an 8-2 start. Poston led the team in runs scored and RBIs before she came down with mono and her season came to an abrupt end. Poston still earned second team All-Conference 28 softball honors.

Central went on to a 17-4 record and advanced to the regional quarters, and Poston said it was tough not being there with her teammates.

Poston said she will attend Lord Fairfax Community College next year, and she wants to use the time to see if she still misses playing sports. If she does, she wants to walk-on to a Division II school and play basketball at the next level.

Skarupa said if Poston does play basketball in college, there’s no doubt she’ll be successful.

“She’s always done a great job of stepping up and becoming a leader in various situations– on and off the court,” Skarupa said. “Once she decides it’s something she wants, it’s only a matter of time before that becomes a reality and that goal is attained.”

Even if her basketball playing career is over Poston said she wants to be a coach someday, and also plans on being a teacher and a principal.

Poston recently had her No. 2 basketball jersey retired and has certainly left her mark at the school. She said she’s happy with what she accomplished in her four years at Central.

“It’s awesome to know that my name’s going to be one that’s going to have to be mentioned again one day and that when people think of Central High School basketball they’re going to think Katelyn Poston for a while,” she said. “I think that’s an awesome accomplishment. It’s something that I never could have dreamed being possible going in as a freshman, but I couldn’t be any more proud of myself, and I’m definitely blessed beyond belief. God blessed me with so many abilities, and I really feel like I used them to my fullest potential.”

Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com Follow on Twitter @tkeelernvd