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Pilot-Tribune's 2004-2005 All Area Girls Basketball Player of the Year

Monday, March 14, 2005

Schumann's versatility, stats made her an easy choice

It's not unusual to watch Newell-Fonda senior Jenn Schumann knock down five or six three-point shots consecutively during pregame warmups.

That doesn't happen often with 6-foot post players, especially in the prep ranks.

But Schumann has worked hard on all facets of her game. From hitting threes to post moves inside to driving to the hoop, Schumann is the complete package when it comes to basketball.

For the second straight year, she is the Pilot Tribune's All-Area Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

This season, she led the Mustangs to the region finals for the second consecutive year and helped the team post a 22-4 record.

The six-footer led the area in scoring, averaging 18.2 points per game, 9.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.3 steals. She shot a blistering 56 percent from the field, including 20 of 53 from beyond the arc for 38 percent.

"Jenn had some phenomenal performances this season," said Newell-Fonda girls basketball coach Dick Jungers. "She was a student of the game and truly understood the X's and O's, and that doesn't happen for a lot of high-school players."

Schumann finished her Newell-Fonda career as the school's leading girls basketball scorer, finishing with well over 1,000 points over her four-year varsity career.

She also set a single-game scoring record when she netted 38 points against Alta on Senior Night in Newell in late February.

According to Jungers, Schumann was a key to the Mustangs' 67-10 record over the past three seasons.

"Jenn never put individual goals ahead of the team," the coach said. "She didn't pout if she had a bad game and she would do whatever it took to win. That's a compliment to her personality and what she's all about."

Despite all the team and individual accomplishments for Schumann, there has also been some bitter disappointment.

Last season, the Mustangs were beaten by Rock Valley in the region finals.

Three weeks ago, Newell-Fonda lost a heartbreaker in the region finals to George Little Rock after not scoring a point in the fourth quarter.

"The hardest part for me after that game was knowing I would never put the Mustang uniform on again," Schumann said. "Our goal was to get to the state tournament, and falling short of that still digs at my heart."

Schumann, along with senior forward Andrea Larsen and senior guard Kristen Culp, were starters each of the past three seasons.

According to Schumann, they've been playing together for the past seven years.

"Our first tournament together was back in fifth grade," Schumann said. "We called ourselves 'The Pink Flamingos,' and we all thought we were really cool going out there with our pink shirts.

"Every year, we got to know each other better on and off the court, and we just kept improving as a team."

At home, Schumann said, her immediate and large, extended family was always sports oriented. Her mother Jayne and father Dale both played high-school basketball in Newell, where they first met.

Jenn is the oldest sibling in the family, but she remembers following her cousins, Rob and Jason Sarchett, and the Carlton brothers, excel on Newell-Fonda boys basketball teams.

"I was always looking to challenge them when we played pickup games," Schumann said, chuckling at the memory. "But they were great, because they'd always teach me different post moves and other things about the game that I still use."

Schumann's first varsity start was the last game of her freshman season. The rest is in the Newell-Fonda history books.

Opposing coaches, meanwhile, might be glad their squads won't have to face Schumann again. But they've also admired her play over the past four years.

"She has a lot of strength as a post player and had the ability to wear people down by the fourth quarter," said Storm Lake-St. Mary's coach Ryan Berg.

"She really knew her post play and was always in good position under the basket. Once she got an entry pass, she would either get a good shot up or get fouled. And if she wasn't playing under the basket, she could hit the three or take you off the dribble."

Added Alta coach Jeannie Henningsen: "Jenn had the ability to post up or hurt you from the outside. The first time we played (Newell-Fonda) this year, we doubled up on her. The second time, we played a straight man-to-man against her and she was just unstoppable."

Schumann's accomplishments over the past four years, meanwhile, haven't escaped the notice of college coaches.

"Every night when I get home there are letters waiting from various schools, and I'll get a phone call or two almost every night," she said. "It's fun in a way, but it's also very stressful. I still haven't made up my mind where I'll be playing next year."

Schumann said she has narrowed the suitors down to Buena Vista, Southwest State in Marshall, Minn. and Des Moines Area Community College.

"I'm really going to miss my teammates next year because we've been playing together for so long," Schumann said.

"Playing for Newell-Fonda is something special. The community supports its teams so well, and I've gotten to know so many great people through basketball.

"Over the past few years, every time I've gone to the grocery store or other places, people come up to me and say, 'nice game last night.'"

"I'm looking forward to the future, but I'll really miss not playing at home."

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