Log In

Reset Password

Kibel’s versatility lifts local programs to new heights

Joel Priest/Special to The JournalDolores' Allie Kibel dribbles around Ignacio's Avaleena Nanaeto on Feb. 4 at DHS.
Senior provides leadership for Dolores and M-CHS teams

For Dolores High School senior Allie Kibel, It hasn’t mattered whether she’s donned the red and black of her alma mater or the orange and black of Montezuma-Cortez, one thing has remained consistent – leadership that has carried programs for both schools to lofty achievements.

The 2022 graduate factored into a renaissance for three programs, playing in high-leverage positions for each of her athletic teams over four years. She took leadership roles as catcher for Anthony “Hippo” Frost and the M-CHS softball team, point guard for Tiffany Hill’s DHS basketball squad, and most recently, center midfielder for Reese Smith’s M-CHS soccer program – three positions that require steady play and sharp decisions.

Kibel’s consistency earned her numerous all-league honors across her career, regardless of the name of the school on the uniform.

“It’s been a blessing to have been able to create a bond with all of my teammates.”

Softball – her biggest passion of the three – met unparalleled success over Kibel’s four-year career, with 58-30 record and a trip to the state tournament in 2021. In spite of missing a few contests this fall, Kibel finished among her team’s leaders in hits, runs, stolen bases, and RBIs, all while catching a couple of the most prolific pitchers in the region – senior Taiah Wilson and junior Lizzie Likes.

The bonds with her teammates run deep, back to the early days of her athletic career.

“It’s been great to keep playing with some of the girls that I’ve played with since I was little,” said Kibel, “to see how far we’ve all come, and to make history together has been really special.”

Among the many on-field successes, the M-CHS soccer revival might rank among the most satisfying for Kibel – especially after losing her sophomore and junior seasons due to a lack of program. Her Panthers won the Intermountain League title and qualified for the 3A state postseason in the process – major achievements for a program that had two winning seasons over the previous decade.

Dolores' Allie Kibel dribbles around Ignacio's Avaleena Nanaeto on Feb. 4 at DHS.

Kibel earned a reputation as a set-piece specialist, scoring six goals and providing three assists for the Panthers offense.

“Sports have always been a huge part of my life,” said Kibel, “so being able to participate in this history is pretty cool.”

She played a significant role for the Bears basketball program since stepping onto the floor as a freshman, the last season that Dolores hoops qualified for the regional tournament. Kibel led her team in scoring both during her junior and senior campaigns.

Kibel hopes to keep playing beyond high school, and has been in active contact with coaches to fuel her collegiate playing ambitions. Academically, she envisions a future in pediatric nursing. “I feel prepared for college, thanks to all of the support I’ve received from the teachers at Dolores High School, especially (government and history teacher) Michael Nielson and (biology teacher) Dave Hopcia.”

Kibel likewise credits her coaches, Frost, Hill and Smith, for her personal development as a student-athlete. “They’ve worked to help put us in places where we can be most successful individually and as a team.”

Meanwhile, the next wave of Bears and Panthers have looked up to Kibel’s work ethic and leadership for guidance for the programs’ next steps. “I’ve wanted to make sure that I’m encouraging my teammates – I’m not going to sit back and quietly follow,” said Kibel of her contribution to her various teams.

“I’ve learned that you never give up, even when you don’t go the way you want them to,” reflected Kibel, “and to celebrate your successes just as much as you learn when you stumble.”