Nooksack Valley's Lainey Kimball is SBLive's WaFd Bank 2A/1A Senior Girl Athlete of the Year

All-1A Northwest Conference performer in three sports also won WIAA championships in basketball, softball for Pioneers
Nooksack Valley's Lainey Kimball won WIAA championships in basketball and softball during her career, and three overall.
Nooksack Valley's Lainey Kimball won WIAA championships in basketball and softball during her career, and three overall. /

Word of advice to the activity-minded student body at Eastern Washington University for the next four years:

Lainey Kimball is coming to take your intramural-sports soul.

And she has championship spirit - and pedigree - behind her.

The headliner for the two-time WIAA Class 1A girls basketball championship squad at Nooksack Valley High School was University of Washington-bound Devin Coppinger, the reigning Washington State Girls Basketball Coaches Association (WSGBCA) senior player of the year.

But Kimball was vitally important to the Pioneers' two-time title-seeking bid as the performer who did all the little things - rebound, defense, dive for loose balls, growl at opposing players - to succeed. She was named the WSGBCA's Class 1A MVP.

"She has a fire," Nooksack Valley volleyball coach Kate Emmons said. "And nobody is going to put out that fire."

Lainey's mother, Halli, who used to be on the Pioneers' volleyball coaching staff and is now a school-board member, had the most noteworthy observation about her daughter's relentless attitude.

"She came out (of the womb) absolutely crazy," Halli Kimball said with a laugh.

"My husband grew up in a military family - very by the book - so it was difficult for Lainey growing up. I told him, 'Don't break her spirit.' She was a little out of control, but everything she did was with 100 percent effort."

By the time Lainey Kimball got to high school, she had found ways to channel that energy in a productive manner - with an assist from her best friend's father.

"Devin's dad (Mike) was one of my first coaches," Kimball said. "From a young age, he taught ne how to use that and funnel all of that energy in a good way - and how it could benefit me."

One of the biggest ways was in communication. Kimball has never had an issue expressing her opinion on the court or field.

"I would say as much AAU sports and super highly-competitive teams I have played on, I am more used to intense game situations," Kimball said. "And when I am trying to get something across to my teammates, it is louder because it is necessary ... and they respond well to it."

Kimball backed that up with her play, winning a WIAA title in softball as a sophomore, and the two basketball crowns in Yakima.

Now, she will go off to college as just a student, turning down scholarship opportunities to continue in volleyball basketball and softball.

"It was a very difficult decision for me," she said. "My entire life since sixth grade has been non-stop sports. There was no such thing as an offseason ... so I am excited to figure out who I am beyond being an athlete."



School: Nooksack Valley.

Sports: Volleyball, basketball, softball.

Next step: Will attend Eastern Washington University where she will study elementary education.

Senior-year highlights: Was 3A/2A/1A Northwest Conference first-team selection at outside hitter in volleyball (4.7 digs, 3.9 kills per set; .224 kill percentage), leading Nooksack Valley to a Class 1A District 1 runner-up finish and sixth-place finish at the WIAA tournament. Named to 1A all-state second team by Washington State Volleyball Coaches Association. … Was 3A/2A/1A Northwest Conference first-team selection (11.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.8 steals per game) at forward in basketball, leading Nooksack Valley to a league title, District a title and back-to-back WIAA tournament championships. Named to 1A all-state first team by SBLive WA and was selected to play in Washington State Girls Basketball Coaches Association (WSGBCA) senior all-state game as classification player of the year (teammate Devin Coppinger was overall state MVP). … Was 3A/2A/1A Northwest Conference second-team selection at center field in softball (.414 batting average, 13 extra-base hits, 29 runs, 22 RBI).

Career accomplishments: Three-time all-3A/2A/1A Northwest Conference volleyball selection (first team in 2022-23; second team in 2021), and led school to back-to-back WIAA tournament appearances, including fifth-place showing in 2022. … Two-time all-3A/2A/1A Northwest Conference first-team basketball selection (2023, 2024), and played in three WIAA championship games (2022-24). ... Two-time all-3A/2A/1A Northwest Conference second-team softball selection (2023, 2024). Led school to WIAA championship in 2022 and was named to all-tournament team as a third baseman. … Earned 12 varsity letters total.

School/community achievements: 3.97 GPA taking honors courses; National Honor Society member; Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) member; served as senior-class vice-president, and was student-body representative her first three years; earned three student-service school awards and academic–based scholarships for EWU; volunteered as Sunday School and Vacation Bible School youth teacher through Valley Church; volunteered as local youth volleyball, basketball and softball coach, and organized three-day volleyball summer camp as part of senior project; volunteered as flood clean-up worker for ex-CFL lineman T.J. Ackerman in 2021.


Todd Miles