PREP VOLLEYBALL: Bear River standout Callie Bickmore ready for Optimist All Star Game, to play at college level | TheUnion.com

PREP VOLLEYBALL: Bear River standout Callie Bickmore ready for Optimist All Star Game, to play at college level

After a stellar senior season in which she was named her league's co-MVP and led her team to the playoffs, Callie Bickmore will don her Bear River jersey once more at today's Optimist All Star Volleyball Game.

"I think it's going to be super cool to represent my school one more time and play with a bunch of girls I've played against, or seen, but never actually got to play with," said Bickmore. "It's a cool opportunity. I'm super excited."

The Optimist All Star Game will be the last time Bickmore competes in a high school game, but her playing days are far from over as she plans to attend and play volleyball at Northwestern College, a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics school out of Orange City, Iowa.

Bickmore, a 6-foot, 2-inch outside hitter, said Northwestern College was exactly what she was looking for.

"I heard about the school, called the coach and it just seemed like a really cool school," she said. "So I flew out there, checked it out and knew immediately this school was a perfect fit for me. I loved everyone there. It's just the right fit for me."

Northwestern College is a bit of a NAIA powerhouse, going 26-9 last season and reaching the Round of 16 at the NAIA National Championship Tournament.

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Bickmore said she plans to study elementary education at Northwestern College.

Bickmore's high school and club coach Matt MacDonald said Northwestern is getting quite a talent.

"She's a great kid. She works hard. She's really become an all around player who has built a pretty good skill set she will take with her," he said. "Definitely proud of her. She's come a long ways, and has definitely grown to love the game."

Making the Optimist All Star Game experience even more special is Bickmore will be coached by MacDonald, who heads the Optimist Small School North Team.

While Bickmore is excited for today's all star game and her future at Northwestern College, she said she will miss her Bear River teammates and the bonds they forged this season.

"We all connected and became super good friends, and it was really cool playing with that group of people," she said.

MINER IN THE MIX

Joining Bickmore on the Optimist All Star Small School North Team is Nevada Union senior Bekah McGill, a three-year varsity player for the Lady Miners, who is coming off a sensational senior season in which she earned All-Foothill Valley League honors as a setter and helped the Lady Miners reach the Sac-Joaquin Section D-III semifinals.

McGill and Bickmore will be joined on the North Team by players from Colfax (Jacy Dean, Sara Detwiler and Halle Neumann), Placer (Amy Hiatt, Emily Wright), Center (Nicole Sutton), Colusa (Abby Huskey), El Camino (Sarah Abegglen and Emily Wade), Golden Sierra (Jenna Campbell), Mira Loma (Hannah Enabnit), Oakmont (Aly Gallego), Sheldon (Charissa Pham) and Western Sierra (Brenna Mellish).

OPTIMIST GAME

The Optimist All Star Volleyball Game is an annual event now in its 35th year. The Small School Optimist All Star Game is set for 5 p.m. today at El Camino High School in Sacramento. The Large School All Star contest will follow. The cost to attend is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students and $3 for kids under 12.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email wford@theunion.com.

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