Athletes of the Month: Grace Hicks & Cole Dillon
A junior at Sandpoint High School, Grace Hicks has been a starter on both the varsity volleyball and basketball teams since freshman year. She has received many awards including the Inland Empire League’s (IEL) Newcomer of the Year her freshman year for basketball and was named to the IEL all-league team for volleyball.
While Grace plays both sports, she said it is volleyball that she enjoys the most. Earlier this year she played on a club team, Kootenai Elite Volleyball Academy, which is a team combined of the top volleyball players in North Idaho and Spokane.
“We ended our season at a tournament in Florida, and AAU Nationals ranked us 33rd,” said Grace, who plans to play volleyball at the collegiate level, hopefully for a Division 1 school where she would like to major in business.
“I have always been really good with numbers and interacting with people,” said Grace. “I believe this will be the best area of work where I will always be on my toes.”
Her SHS coach, Erin Roos, has witnessed Grace’s dedication. “She’s a hard worker, talented athlete and natural leader,” said Roos.
There are many things Grace has learned from being involved in athletics, but she said the one lesson that stands out in her mind is that there truly is no “I” in team.
“You always are dependent on someone to boost you up when you are feeling down or need someone to listen and talk things through. I definitely believe you need a person to be your clutch, a person you can always go to. This just makes the real world a little more bearable.”
Senior Cole Dillion is a three-year varsity athlete who has started for two state teams—one his sophomore year and one junior year. A member of Sandpoint High School’s cross-country team, Cole placed third on the team his sophomore year and 39th overall. Last year as a junior he placed first on the team and 28th overall. You will want to stay tuned for this year, as we are part way into the season, and it is looking promising for both boys’ and girls’ cross-country teams.
“I love the team aspect of the sport,” said Cole. “I love how we all face the exact same courses, and we help each other through them.”
Cole shared that one of his continuing challenges as a runner is his form. “I am better than I was but still struggle in the form department,” he said. He credits his coach, Matt Brass, with working with him to improve. As is evidenced by his performance, Cole appears to have overcome that challenge!
He plans to attend the University of Idaho where he will study computer science with the goal of a career as a software engineer. “I am interested in this because of the type of math involved and the mode of thinking used,” Cole said.
He hopes to run at the UI as a walk-on for cross country and track, “but trying to walk on is always a risk in the sense of getting on the team,” Cole said.
One lesson Cole will take with him as he continues onto the next chapter in life is one he learned from both of his coaches, Matt and Angie Brass. “Never settle for being less than what you could be.”