Stopper that never stops

Skyview senior Dudley likes to keep schedule crammed

Posted: Tuesday, May 09, 2000

The next time adults in the area are tempted to complain about their hectic schedules, they should take a look at some of the central peninsula's children.

Take Skyview High School senior Kari Dudley, for example.

Friday and Saturday, Dudley did so many things in so many places that it would make even the most hardcore business traveler proud.

Things started for Dudley Friday morning when she went to school. After school, Dudley laced up her boots to play stopper for the Skyview girls soccer team.

After the game, she went to Anchorage to take in a concert Friday night. She stayed in Anchorage, played two instruments in the state high school solo and ensemble festival Saturday morning, then returned to Skyview for another soccer game Saturday afternoon.

Didn't all this running around bother her?

"I like being busy," Dudley said. "I don't like sitting around. It gets boring."

Jan Dudley, Kari's mother, said the pace of her daughter's life runs in the family.

Kari Dudley

In sports

Plays stopper and is a senior co-captain for the Panthers soccer team.

Played on a state all-star softball team last summer that finished second at a tournament in the state of Washington.

In band

Was given the John Philip Sousa Band Award and the Louie Armstrong Jazz Band Award this year.

Plays the clarinet, oboe and saxophone.

In school

Earns mostly A's in the classroom.

Will attend Eastern Washington University next year.

"I do believe it's a hereditary thing," Jan said. "My side of the family is really hyper. We've always been active."

While Dudley's modus operandi of constant activity seems natural to her, it leaves others scratching their heads.

"Some of these kids are involved in so many things, I start to lose track," Skyview girls soccer coach Tony Lewis said. "It's amazing she balances it like she does.

"I know I would have had a very tough time doing that when I was a high school student."

Kent Peterson, the band director at Skyview, adds that Dudley also has a job to worry about on top of her academics and extracurricular activities.

"She not only has to find time for her activities, but she has to balance that with paying for a lot of them," Peterson said. "I'm amazed at how much she does."

Dudley does more than do a lot of activities. She does them well.

In the classroom, she earns mostly A's. Dudley's mother believes the tone was set for her daughter's academic achievement at Soldotna Middle School.

Dudley started attending SMS after moving to the area from Montana before her seventh-grade year.

"I have to get good grades to stay in sports," said Dudley, whose father is Earl Dudley. "I've got to stay eligible.

"Plus, I would get in a lot of trouble with my parents."

In band, this year Peterson took the unusual step of awarding Dudley both the John Philip Sousa Band Award and the Louie Armstrong Jazz Band Award. The awards are usually given to two different musicians.

"She works hard and can always play her parts," said Peterson, adding Dudley comes in before school more than is required to practice with the jazz band. "She does a great job for both groups."

Dudley, who plays the clarinet and saxophone in jazz band and the oboe in concert band, didn't start playing multiple instruments until she was in high school.

"When I first started off (switching instruments), I was really confused," she said. "I did a lot of practicing in the first few years, and that helped."

In soccer, co-captain Dudley is the steadying influence on Skyview's defense from her stopper position.

Dudley started out her high school career at goalie, but as a junior she switched to the field full time. Let's face it. Goalie is not the ideal position for those who love constant activity.

"I just got tired of being in the goal," Dudley said. "It got boring back there."

The switch also benefited the Panthers.

"She just became too valuable to have in goal as other people started to emerge at that position," Lewis said.

The coach said Dudley's value was apparent in the Panthers' loss to Nikiski and their tie with Houston. The stopper missed the games with leg injuries.

"We want to keep her healthy," Lewis said. "As she goes, the team goes."

Lewis said Dudley also is invaluable as one of the three seniors on the squad.

"She helps out with the freshmen and sophomores we have on the team," Lewis said. "We need that help because there's 40 girls and only two coaches.

"I can only do so much."

Dudley recalls helping freshman Anne Verba this year. Verba was having problems with the ball going too high when she kicked it.

"I gave her some tips that coach Lewis had given me," Dudley said. "It seemed to work some."

In softball, Dudley made a state all-star team that finished second at a tournament in the state of Washington last summer.

"I felt like I played well," Dudley said. "I played the whole time."

Next year, Dudley plans to attend Eastern Washington University. She wants to major in something along the lines of physical education.

As with most high school seniors who are as involved as Dudley is, the question is not whether she is ready to leave, but whether the area is ready to lose her.

"I don't know if I'm ready for her to go," Jan said. "We're very close."

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