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Athletes of the Month: Hyrum Hunsaker & Grace Kirscher

Hyrum Hunsaker

Sandpoint High School

The importance the role a coach plays in a young athlete’s life cannot be understated. And for Sandpoint High School senior Hyrum Hunsaker, he has learned a lot from his coaches over the years.

“Something that I have learned is to give everything that you have. Try to do your best even if you may fail; at least you can learn what you can do better the next time that situation may arise,” said Hyrum, who in addition to soccer and wrestling is also involved in the academic decathlon.

Hyrum has been wrestling since he was in kindergarten, and over the past three years he has been the district champion and a state participant. Last year he placed fourth at state, an amazing accomplishment, especially considering he broke his leg during the first tournament of the season last year.

“I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to be completely healed in time for districts,” said Hyrum. “I tried to keep a positive attitude and actually healed a little bit sooner than planned and was able to compete in district and place at state.”

The aspect he enjoys about wrestling is that while he is competing by himself, he is also part of a team. He shares that he loves hearing his teammates cheer him on, and it makes him want to try even harder.

Hyrum plans to attend North Idaho College where he will pursue a nursing degree specializing in pediatrics. “My grandmother, mother and sister are all in the health-care field,” said Hyrum, who adds that he wants to go into nursing because he enjoys taking care of and helping those in need.

Grace Kirscher

Sandpoint High School

If you follow Sandpoint High School athletics, then you know that Grace Kirscher has been a phenomenal player for Sandpoint High School throughout her four years at the school.

Her lengthy list of accomplishments include Idaho Statesman's 4A All-Idaho State First Team (2017), Idaho Statesman's 4A All-Idaho State Second Team (2016), 4A Inland Empire League MVP (2017), 4A Inland Empire Lead All League Player (2016), 4A IEL Newcomer of the Year (2015), Outstanding Individual Scholastic Awards for GPA (2015, 2016, 2017), North Idaho Sports Hall of Fame nominee Female Basketball Player of the Year (2016 and 2017), Washington/North Idaho All State Girls Basketball team (2017), Jack Blair Memorial Girls All-Star Basketball Classic Region Team (2017) and scoring above the 1,000 points during her basketball career thus far.

She was also recently nominated to the McDonald’s All American Girls Basketball Team, a remarkable feat for the young woman who will attend Eastern Washington University. In addition to playing basketball for EWU, Grace plans to pursue a degree in elementary education.

“I think that it's one of the most influential occupations that a person can have,” said Grace. “It's something that has always interested me.”

Grace shares that what she loves most about basketball is the unpredictability of the sport. “It comes down to the team that wants it more and has put in the most work,” said Grace. “If you want it more and have put in more work than the other team, then you're more than likely going to get it.”

As Grace goes forward in life, there is one lesson that she has learned through sports that she will carry with her. “Little things matter off and on the court. Little things like eye contact with a coach, firm handshakes with refs, picking other players up off the floor. They are little things that ultimately are a reflection of who you are outside of the lines.”

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