Hawley's Sam Newton a standout in everything
Evan Ren, By Evan Renhttp://www.reporternews.com/story/sport ... 688668001/
If there's anything Hawley senior Samantha Newton isn't good at, it may be a while before it's discovered.
Newton, who first made a splash on the Big Country athletic scene as an All-Big Country basketball selection in the spring of 2016, has since moved on to win the accolade in softball last spring.
She is now at the forefront of a spectacular run by the sixth-ranked Hawley volleyball team, helping the Lady Cats to a 20-4 record.
"I can tell you right now, if she's not good at something, it won't take her long to become good at it," said Hawley volleyball coach Amy Eckoff, whose program has reached consecutive regional final rounds in postseason play. "That's just because of her work ethic and she's such a competitor.
"If she's going to do something, she's going to be the best at it or work to be the best at it."
The numbers, across three major girls sports, back up Eckoff's assessment.
To date, Newton has tallied excellent numbers across a broad spectrum for Hawley volleyball, both on the front and back lines. While playing the net, she's tallied 214 kills (nearly nine per match) and 35 blocks.
On the back row, she's charted 31 service aces, 258 assists (10.75 per match) and 121 digs.
"The success Samantha has had didn't just happen for her because she is athletic," Eckoff said. "She has paid her dues and put in her time. She has done the extra things in the offseason. She has spent time in the weight room getting stronger. She has played in summer leagues to develop her skills. Samantha is constantly striving to be the best she can be for her team. She has definitely earned it."
And it doesn't stop with volleyball — not by a long shot.
As an all-Big Country softball pick, Newton hit .608 with two homers and 28 RBIs. She slugged .932, stole 15 bases, started at shortstop and won the District 7-2A defensive MVP award.
Her favorite sport, however, is basketball, for which she took all-Big Country Class 2A Player of the Year honors as a 10th-grader as well as being named to the All-Big Country Super Team.
Last season, as the District 8-2A MVP, the 17-year-old again earned a spot on the Super Team with solid all-around averages of 16.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 3.1 steals per game.
"It's very time-consuming," said the 5-foot-8 Newton of the amount of work she puts in to compete in multiple sports. "I don't have a lot of free time. I'm constantly in the gym or on the field to really work on my game."
Her effort has an effect on others.
"She's a good leader," teammate Hannah Rule said. "She pushes us to our limits and makes us a better team on and off the court."
As for her collegiate plans, Newton is hoping to play at the next level in basketball, but would consider offers in softball or volleyball.
At least one Abilene area college hoops program has expressed interest.
"I'm trying to play basketball somewhere, but I'll play whatever," Newton said. "I like all three."