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Jersey #13: Lightning Struck a Third Time


Every once in a while, a jersey number is associated with greatness, but in an athletic program that does not retire numbers, one number can stand for several athletes. In the case of the Clearwater Christian College women’s volleyball, lightning has struck three times with jersey number 13. Three stellar examples of Christian athleticism have worn the number: Cathy Trask Knops, Laura Marvin, and most recently, Emma Kile. All three of these women are in the CCC Hall of Fame and all three have tried out for the national women’s volleyball team.

“The number 13 jersey has been quite lucky for CCC,” said women’s volleyball coach Vickie Denny, professor of exercise and sport science. All three women were shining examples of God’s grace and have done great things for Him after graduating from CCC. “These three ladies have a heart for God and are great examples of the Proverbs 31 woman.”

Cathy Trask Knops was a player in the 1990’s and served as the main middle hitter for the team. As such, she was a member of the first national championship team. “We won our first three national championships with Cathy wearing the number 13,” said Coach Denny. “She was a great all-around student leader at CCC.” After graduation, Cathy went on to earn her MBA and now lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two boys.

The second member of this illustrious trio, Laura Marvin, also played in the middle of the court. “In her own quiet way, she dominated the middle,” said Coach Denny. “We won two national titles with Laura, 2004 and 2006.” After spending five years at Hanalani Schools in Hawaii as a coach and teacher, Laura returned to CCC to take the role of assistant coach in 2012.

Most recent, Emma Kile was an all-star from the moment she stepped on the court. Her receipt of jersey number 13 was not intentional, but Coach Denny affirms that she wore it well. “I was #35 in high school. When I came to CCC, Coach Lou [Denny] handed me the #13 jersey and I was just happy that the number had 3 in it somewhere!” said Emma Kile. “I do think it is kind of ironic about the number, though!” A 2012 graduate, Emma is a 3rd grade teacher at Harvest Baptist Academy in Natrona Heights, PA. She also coached the girls’ junior varsity and varsity volleyball teams this year. “I have learned so much in just one season of coaching, and am learning so much through teaching.”

Emma anticipates her tryout this coming February in Colorado Springs for the National Team.