Carly Mohns leaves Brodhead as its golden girl

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John Barry
Saturday, March 22, 2014

BRODHEAD—Carly Mohns seemed to have the Midas touch.

Whether on the basketball or volleyball court, everything came up golden for the Brodhead High senior.

Mohns led the Cardinals to four straight Rock Valley South Conference basketball titles, and earned all-conference first-team honors in both sports.

Unfortunately for Mohns, the last thing she touched didn’t turn to gold. The second-ranked Cardinals lost Friday to top-ranked Neillsville in a WIAA Division 3 state semifinal game.

Yet not even the sting of Friday’s loss can taint what was a superlative four-year career at Brodhead. Mohns will certainly go down as one of the finest female athletes in Rock Valley history.

“A player like Carly comes along once in a lifetime,” Brodhead girls basketball coach Brad Pickett said. “She was special the first day she stepped on the court as a freshman.

“They say that the cream rises to the top and that an athlete will take over when they need to. Carly’s been doing that for us for four years.”

Mohns excelled in both basketball and volleyball. She was an all-Rock Valley first-team selection in both sports, and an Associated Press first-team all-state selection in basketball last season. When this year’s team is announced next week, expect Mohns’ name to be on the first team once again.

The volleyball team advanced to state last fall with Mohns a dominating force at the net as a middle hitter, and in basketball, she averaged 17.7 points and 10.1 rebounds per game.

Although the 6-foot-1 Mohns had to decide which sport she would concentrate on in high school as far as offseason work, early success in basketball made the decision easier. She played well as a sixth grader in the Tri County basketball league and had a big growth spurt in seventh grade that made playing hoops the logical choice.

“A lot of people thought that my dad (Jim) forced me to play, and that was never the case,” Mohns said. “He told me I could be good if I worked at it, but he never forced me to do anything, and that allowed me to grow into the person I wanted to be.

“There was a lot of pressure, I felt, on me and the team coming into the season. The expectations were really high. We had pretty much everybody back, but because my dad had given me such good advice over the years on how to handle things, I was able to block out the pressure and just go out and play.”

Mohns nearly saw her athletic career come to an end two years ago. She tore the ACL in her left knee at the end of her sophomore basketball season and was forced to go through a grueling training regimen to get back on the court. She wasn’t at 100 percent her junior season but played well enough on the AAU summer circuit to nail down a scholarship offer from Iowa.

Although freshmen aren’t normally a factor in the Big Ten, Mohns hopes to see the court next season and be part of the Hawkeye rotation.

Brodhead principal and former football coach Jim Matthys said Mohns could’ve been a factor on the gridiron.

“I know she played football up until ninth grade and was pretty good,” Matthys said. “She had great hands and caught anything thrown her way. Who knows, she might’ve been our best receiver had she stuck with it.

“But obviously, things worked out for her well in volleyball. They got to state. And basketball-wise, she’s a fantastic player. She’s also a fantastic person. She’s always got a smile on her face, and the younger kids really look up to her.”

A state title might have eluded Carly Mohns, but she gets a big gold star for everything else she accomplished.

Last updated: 11:18 pm Saturday, March 22, 2014

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