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Athletes of the Month: Cody Shepherd & Caelan Darling

Cody Shepherd

Sandpoint High School

Photo By: Tanyia Oulman

Sandpoint High School senior Cody Shepherd is a perfect example of what hard work and determination can accomplish.

Four years ago, she suffered a severe break of her leg—an open, double-compound fracture—while riding a dirt bike. “I had to have surgery, which resulted in me having to have a metal plate that runs the full length of my lower shin,” said Cody. “Because of this, I was in a non-weight bearing cast for three months and have had to work extra hard to get the strength back in that leg. Today, I still have to wear a knee brace on that side but can pretty much do everything I did before.”

That perseverance has paid off. Cody is in her second year on the Sandpoint High School dance team and also serves as the captain. In addition, she is an honor student and is a certified nursing assistant, a career path she intends to follow.

“I am starting at Lewis-Clark State College in the fall and am studying to get my bachelor of science in nursing,” said Cody. “Sadly, LCSC does not have dance team at the moment, but I will be in their dance club that they are working on turning into an actual team.”

Cody eventually hopes to work in an emergency room as a nurse. “I currently am a CNA, and through clinicals I learned that the ER was my favorite place to work because you never know what's going to come in and it's something new every day.”

Cody will take what she has learned from dance and apply it to her life going forward.

“My coach has taught me that to be successful, you have to be determined and a hard worker. She always sets goals for us and has pushed me to be my best.”


Caelan Darling

Sandpoint High School

Photo By: Erin Hodges

With a 3.0 GPA, a part-time job and dedicating his time to cheer, Caelan Darling is kept very busy. But he wouldn’t trade it for anything. He said he enjoys traveling with the team to competitions and likes being on a team with mostly girls.

“It’s way different than being on a football team with all guys,” said Caelan.

He said his biggest challenge in sports has been dealing with a leg injury that has hindered him for several years. “I’ve had knee pain for five years from breaking my leg through the growth plate,” said Caelan. “It’s been a challenge for me to go through it and persevere through it.”

He still remains undecided about the future but is exploring his many options. He has been asked by University of Idaho to try out for their cheer team. “My other options are going into the coast guard or the police force,” said Caelan, who adds that he would like to work for Idaho Fish and Game. “It involves law enforcement and I would be outdoors most of the time.”

Through all the ups and downs, Caelan has learned the importance of perseverance. “One lesson I’ve learned is to never give up and that practice makes perfect,” he said.

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