By Brad Morris
ASHVILLE — Jenna Horsley has always been known as a sharp-shooter, but to have the type of senior season she desired and earn an opportunity to play at the next level, the Teays Valley guard knew that she needed to expand her game.
“I wanted to become a more verstaile player,” she said. “I really worked on my defense a lot for this season and it finally came togeyher with getting a lot faster and quicker.
“Then, on offense, I worked on being able to drive to the basket more, draw fouls and added a mid-range game with being able to pull-up and knock down jumpers.”
Horsley, a three-year starter, helped the Vikings to a 17-win season and a berth in the district tournament for the first time since 2019. Horsley was recently recognized for her season by earning the Jeff Sheets Award, presented to the top senior girls basketball player in Pickaway County.
“It’s a huge honor to win this award and also winning it during the 50th anniversary of girls basketball here at Teays Valley,” she said about becoming the 18th Viking to claim the award. “It’s nice to see your hard work recognized, but I also know this wouldn’t have been possible without all the support I get from my teammates, coaches and family.”
Horsley, along with fellow senior Ashley DeWeese, were forced to take expanded roles during their sophomore year as a trio of players moving to other districts left the Vikings thin in experience for first-year coach Trevor Younkin.
“We had to lean a lot on Jenna, on Ashley and also Aimee Watson as sophomores,” Younkin said. “What I really admire about them is they never stepped back from that role one time and they ran with it.
“There were times where I was leaning on those girls as much as they were leaning on me as the coach, and I can’t say enough good things about them and what they mean to me, especially when I took over the program.”
Horsley led the Vikings by averaging 11.5 points and being one of the top three-point shooters in the league.
“If we didn’t have Jenna on the team then we would not have won 17 games,” Younkin said. “Her effort, dedication and commitment to Teays Valley is just phenomenal.
“Her shot is one of the prettiest that I’ve ever seen, whether it was in boys or girls basketball, and she has good range. She hit some deep threes last year and again this season that give you a life as a team.”
Horsley discussed working on her consistency from behind-the-arc.
“I work with a shooting coach and we work very hard on form shooting and being in the right form to be able and knock down shots,” she said. “I’m a confident shooter and once I get going, I really appreciate the way my teammates feed me the basketball.”
Horsley noted wins over Fairfield Union and Bloom-Carroll, a pair of Division II district runner-ups, as highlights to the season, along with defeating Westerville North 58-40 to clinch a berth in the Division I district tournament.
“We were disappointed we lost to Fairfield Union over there the first time, so we came in super motivated, focused, got out to a good start and kept everything going,” she said. “We went to watch Westerville North in its first tournament game with Dublin Scioto and felt that was a good matchup with us. We really had a good week of practice, preparation and it paid off with how well we played as a team.”
Horsley has signed with Capital University to continue and play basketball. She plans on majoring in early childhood education.
“Capital has a great location, great coaching and I really connected with them. It felt like home,” Horsley said. “It’s a really good fit for me, both academically and athletically.
“My mom is a teacher and I enjoy working with kids at basketball camps, so I feel like becoming a teacher is what I really want to do in life. I want to impact the lives of kids and help them grow as people.”
ABOUT THE AWARD: The award was renamed this year in honor of former Teays Valley coach Jeff Sheets, who amassed a 313-103 record in his 18 seasons leading the Vikings. Teays Valley won nine Mid-State League titles, five Central District crowns and finished as a regional runner-up twice during his leadership of the program. Sheets went on to serve as superintendent of Teays Valley and is currently serving as superintendent of Westfall.
Jeff Sheets Award winners
1982 — Melissa Azbell, Westfall
1983 — Teresa Musselman, Westfall
1984 — Teena Keith, Teays Valley
1985 — Holly Hastings, Teays Valley
1986 — Laura James, Teays Valley
1987 — Amy Wright, Teays Valley
1988 — Paula Everts, Teays Valley
1989 — Lesley Wilson, Logan Elm
1990 — Amy Colborn, Teays Valley
1991 — Ursula Stonerock, Circleville
1992 — Trina Muzingo, Teays Valley
1993 — Gail Adams, Logan Elm
1994 — Julie Good, Logan Elm
1995 — Mindy Fusetti,Teays Valley
1996 — Bridget Oberer, Teays Valley
1997 — Anna Musselman, Teays Valley
1998 — Laurie Barr, Teays Valley
1999 — Kristin Griebel, Circleville
2000 — Tara Wright, Westfall
2001 — Ashley Palmer, Circleville
2002 — Kelsey Schleich, Westfall
2003 — Samantha Hood, Teays Valley
2004 — Kristen Tisdale, Logan Elm
2005 — Amanda Angles, Westfall
2006 — Keri Callihan, Teays Valley
2007 — Andrea Anderson, Logan Elm
2008 — Casse Mogan, Circleville
2009 — Kellie Willis, Circleville
2010 — Alyvia Clark, Logan Elm
2011 — Emily Robinson, Logan Elm
2012 — Caitlin Cain, Teays Valley
2013 — Taylor Saxton, Logan Elm
2014 — Rebekah Branham, Circleville
2015 — Mallory Grabans, Teays Valley
2016 — Shayna Harmon, Teays Valley
2017 — Jordin Blakeman, Circleville
2018 — Jill Congrove, Logan Elm
2019 — Reagan Willingham, Teays Valley
2020 — Abby Hatter, Logan Elm
2021 — Kenzie McConnell, Circleville
2022 — Jenna Horsley, Teays Valley