UAF signs SkyHi's Hill

Posted: Friday, April 22, 2011

Skyview senior Jaxon Hill signed a national letter of intent this week to play volleyball next season for the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Clarion File Photo
Clarion File Photo
Skyview's Jaxon Hill tips the ball during a game last fall.

Hill, who was named the Northern Lights Conference Southern Division Most Valuable Player this year in leading her squad to a 17-4 mark, said the athletic scholarship is for everything but tuition and books.

Because she gets A's and B's in school, Hill also received an academic scholarship to cover tuition.

"I have to pay for my books. That's all," Hill said.

Hill, the daughter of Shane and Camille Hill of Clam Gulch, also realizes a goal she set when she made Skyview's varsity squad as a freshman.

"My goal as a freshman was to be able to play all-around by the time I was a senior," she said. "I was hoping for a volleyball scholarship. I'm glad I got the chance to make it happen."

Hill said her family and Skyview's coach, Sheila Kupferschmid, were instrumental in inking the scholarship.

"Skyview is going to miss her," Kupferschmid said. "She's been a role model to the rest of the student body, as well as the athletes. We won't be able to fill Jaxon's shoes. No way."

Hill helped Skyview to fifth place in the state as a sophomore, then as a junior she became the featured component in Skyview's offense, earning NLC first-team honors in the process. She also helped Team Alaska to first place in the Arctic Winter Games last year.

"She's just a worker," Kupferschmid said. "I would refer to her as a workhorse."

Hill did some strength training as a freshman, but really got into training with weights as a junior, when Eric Pomerleau started teaching the strength training course at Skyview.

"It's really hard workouts," she said. "There's only five girls. The rest are football players. He doesn't take it easy on us."

Hill received interest from several other schools, but she said she chose UAF because the school is relatively close to home and because of the full-ride scholarship.

At UAF, Hill will play in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference at the NCAA Division II level. She will join with junior and former Skyview teammate Jennifer Holland in trying to improve on the Nanooks' 7-17 record last season. Holland was one of three named a Defensive Player of the Year for Fairbanks last year.

Hill said coach Phil Shoemaker doesn't want to put her at a specific position yet.

"Right side, outside, middle, I'm OK with any of them," Hill said.

She also has been a versatile athlete for Skyview, playing basketball, soccer, softball and track.

"Basketball helped me be more aggressive because it's a contact sport," Hill said.

Hill plans to study wildlife biology at UAF, with an eye on attending veterinary school.

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