Junior receives $1,000 as WISH TV athlete of the month


Lyndsay Valadez

Junior volleyball player Lauren Cullison responds to sports anchor Charlie Clifford in an interview at a celebration of her award. Cullison was not only named athlete of the month by WISH TV, but was awarded $1000 in scholarship money.

The people in the Cardinal’s Nest are talking quietly, waiting for the scholarship winner to enter, which would be their cue to chant her name.

“Lauren, Lauren, Lauren,” the crowd of family and friends chanted.

Phone and professional cameras are pointing, waiting to catch the moment of shock on her face. And in walks junior Lauren Cullison, confused with what’s happening.

Cullison was awarded a $1000 scholarship as she was named October athlete of the month by WISH TV. WISH TV and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers team up to present these awards in a special way. While WISH TV decides on the recipient, IBEW provides the money, and both of them attend the surprise party. At SHS, friends and family of Cullison gathered in the Cardinal’s Nest to help in the presentation of the award as a surprise.

“I didn’t know what was going on,” Cullison said. “I saw a huge camera in my face and a bunch of people cheering.”

Although she says she was confused at first, by the time she figured out what was going on, she gave credit to her family and friends for supporting her financially.

WISH TV sports anchor Charlie Clifford says that this is one of the reasons aside from her sports accomplishments that they chose her — her humbleness.

“It’s great when you get a star athlete that doesn’t know they’re a star athlete,” Clifford said. “I think that’s really refreshing.”

The star-athlete performance Clifford refers to is the record-breaking accomplishment Cullison has achieved just this past month. Cullison beat her volleyball coach Chelsea Hoffman’s previous record of 399 kills with 404 kills along with making another new record of 31 kills in a single game. After achieving these and receiving a full ride to the University of Indianapolis earlier in the year, Cullison says she is proud of herself for all of her work.

“I knew that everything I had done all season and everything I had worked for had finally paid off, and I had gotten something for it,” Cullison said.