Chadron State welcomes the newest Lady Tiger, celebrates career of senior
By Zach Spadt, for The Voice News - April 20, 2017
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Con Marshall, Chadron State College
Mitchell’s Havannah Newens drives to the hoop for the Lady Eagles earlier during her senior season.
Newens recaps her career with the Lady Eagles
MITCHELL – Havannah Newens recently completed her eligibility at Chadron State College, but is excited that another Lady Tiger Celeste Cardona will be replacing her on the Lady Eagles’ roster.
“I can’t imagine passing the torch to someone more deserving,” Newens posted on Facebook on April 12. “Can’t wait to see how you do as an Eagle.”
Cardona is taking a bit easier path to the Chadron State women’s basketball team.
When Newens committed to Chadron State coming out of Mitchell High SChool, she did so for the school itself and its sports and recreation management program.
“I came here on an academic scholarship, but I still wanted to play basketball,” Newens said. “I tried out for the team in April. I didn’t know for sure if I would make it.”
Newens made the team as a walk on and was a four-year member of the Lady Eagles’ program.
She later earned an athletic scholarship to go along with her academic one.
Newens, who completed her basketball eligibility earlier this year, still is grateful to Mitchell head coach Brock Ehler.
“My senior year was Coach Ehler’s first at Mitchell,” Newens said. “He’s one of my favorite people ever. I attribute him for me being able to make the team at Chadron State.”
Throughout her athletic career for the Lady Eagles, Newens continued to excel in the classroom.
“I was honorable mention Academic All-Conference for three years,” Newens said. “You are a student-athletes first. I wore that award as a badge of honor.”
During Newens senior season, she finally earned a full-time starting role as a shooting guard as she started 24 of Chadron State’s 25 games.
“Starting was definitely a highlight,” said Newens, who played sparingly her first three years at Chadron State.
Chadron State coach Janet Raymer said Newens was always a contributor throughout her time at Chadron State even if she wasn’t playing that many minutes.
As a senior, she averaged 5.4 points per game, 1.7 rebounds per game and 1.6 assists per game.
She attempted a team-high 118 three-point shots and hit 32 of them.
“Havannah stuck with it even when things weren’t going her way,” Raymer said. “She is tough. Her hard work and dedication have fueled her improvement throughout her career and she was able to show it this year. She was an asset in keeping stability on the court and executing game plans. Her understanding of the game and her competitive spirit will be missed.”
Another highlight of Newens’ time at Chadron was all the traveling her team did throughout the RMAC.
“I got to see a lot of cool places and meet lot of people from a lot of different place,” Newens said. “I gained a lot of friends.”
Newens hopes to graduate in December with a sports and recreation management degree with a leadership emphasis. Newens would like to be a graduate assistant coach at the college level to start her professional career.
“I want to work in professional sports doing player personnel,” Newens said. “This might be scouting and recruiting.”
Celeste Cardona signs to play basketball for the Lady Eagles
MITCHELL – Mitchell senior Celeste Cardona had a good problem she had to solve before May’s graduation.
Cardona received multiple scholarship offers to run and play basketball for several different universities.
Last week she finally chose one as she signed to play basketball for Chadron State College.
“We are very excited to add Celeste to our program,” CSC head women’s basketball coach Janet Raymer said. “She is a fantastic student and competitor with high character. Her athleticism and drive will bring her success at Chadron State.”
The Lady Tiger guard admitted the whole process was kind of a whirlwind.
“I visited four colleges in a week,” Cardona said.
Choosing between playing basketball and running was not an easy decision, Cardona said, but due to a back injury she suffered from running, she decided that playing basketball for would the best.
“I got away from running because of my injury,” said Cardona, who was a state cross country champion. “I’m obviously still recovering from that. I was leaning more toward basketball because the pain wasn’t as bad.
“I focused more on that during the summer and I fell in lover with it.”
After being a part of a two-time district champion basketball team, Cardona said the scholarship to CSC was the “icing on the cake.”
Despite coming up short at the state tournament, Cardona is still pleased with her and her teammates’ performance over the past few years.
“Our girls competed every day,” Cardona said. “To learn that at a young age is important. When I go to Chadron, I’m going to work even harder to be a part of that.”
Cardona said she is thrilled to compete with a new group of players at the next level, although she already knows Morrill’s Jessica Harvey, who has also signed with CSC.
Cardona is carrying the philosophy that has led her to this point of her career.
“I’m going to leave it all on the floor,” Cardona said.
Darren Ivy, The Voice News
Mitchell standout Celeste Cardona signed last week to play basketball for Chadron State College.
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