At the end of nearly every Kodiak girls basketball home game this season, the chant “put Summer in” echoes through the gymnasium.
The yelling comes from three high school boys: Jakob Arnold, Jonas Anderson and Sam Kirchenschlager.
“They are hilarious,” said senior Summer McKechnie, who is the object of their chant.
The trio even painted “put Summer in” on their stomachs during one of Kodiak’s home games this season.
Kodiak coach Amy Fogle even got a chuckle out of the demonstration; however, she said it didn’t persuade her to “put Summer in.”
“That is what is great about high school athletics,” Fogle said. “Seeing kids get involved and seeing the kids support their teammates.”
McKechnie usually comes into games in the final moments when Kodiak is up big. The crowd always erupts when she approaches the scorers’ table; she is the human victory cigar.
The backup guard has played in 14 of Kodiak’s 24 games and has scored 11 points this season. A record-setting setter on Kodiak’s volleyball team, it doesn’t bother her that she is not on the court playing. She is simply grateful to be on the team after missing the past two seasons.
McKechnie played on Kodiak’s junior varsity team as a freshman. Her shoulder kept popping out of place and a trip to the doctor revealed a torn labrum.
She underwent surgery to repair the labrum, which forced her to sit out both the volleyball and basketball season her sophomore year. McKechnie returned to the volleyball court her junior year, but decided not to play basketball, because she didn’t want to re-injure her shoulder.
After a successful senior volleyball season, and having no issues with her shoulder, McKechnie felt it was time to return to the hardwood, a sport she grew up playing.
“I was really stressing out about not making it because I didn’t have any experience. I had never played varsity before,” she said. “I was just grateful that she (Fogle) put me on the team to be part of it.”
Fogle had seen what McKechnie brought to the volleyball team and didn’t hesitate giving her a spot on Kodiak’s 10-player roster.
“I knew Summer would be a great teammate. I knew Summer would be happy to be a part of the team,” Fogle said. “I could just tell that in even two days of tryouts.”
McKechnie has enjoyed the ride. Kodiak enters today’s 4A state championships with a perfect 24-0 record — the only large-school undefeated team remaining.
“I love it,” McKechnie said. “I love being part of the team.”
Contact Mirror writer Derek Clarkston at email@example.com.