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Athletes of the Month: Kiehl Hutchings & Heather Wallace


Kiehl Hutchings

Sandpoint High School

A junior at Sandpoint High School, Kiehl Hutchings is thoroughly enjoying his first year in public school. He plays defensive tackle in football, his first year in the sport, and also plays attack in lacrosse, where he has already made his mark. “Last year I was tied for most goals in lacrosse,” said Kiehl.

One of his biggest challenges has been getting used to organized sports. “My whole life I have done individual sports: skiing, dirt biking, snowmobiling and jet skiing,” said Kiehl. “I spent a lot of time researching techniques for my position and watching videos on YouTube by pros and college athletes explaining their various approaches.”

Looking ahead, Kiehl plans to attend college at either Utah or Boise State. “I would love to play either football or lacrosse [at the collegiate level],” he said.

With the same determination he shows in sports, Kiehl knows the career path he wants to follow. “My ultimate career goal is to own a salvage operation that retrieves wrecks from the ocean. That has fascinated me since I was a kid. The idea of finding hidden treasure is really interesting to me.”

Kiehl appreciates the wisdom of both his football coach and his lacrosse coach—who also happens to be his dad.

“They have talked about how when you think you've given all you've got, that you can still dig deeper and find more energy, more stamina to do better and go farther,” said Kiehl. “I think this will benefit me in the future because it has taught me to not give up.”


Heather Wallace

Sandpoint High School

Photo by: Saydee B Rass Photography

Heather Wallace is a sophomore at Sandpoint High School and is a devoted athlete who participates in several sports.

“I have been running cross country and track for six-and-a-half years,” said Heather, who is in her second year on varsity. This year she added a new sport, wrestling, which she has been competing in for a few months.

She said one of the biggest challenges she has had to overcome in sports is the mental aspect.

“Depending on the mental block, they can be hard to overcome,” Heather said. “But getting to the point where you are able to break through is the best feeling in the world.”

Heather plans to attend college after high school and said that she is unsure if she will compete in athletics at that level, but she still has time to decide. “It would be really fun, although I’m not entirely sure if I will.”

She currently has her sights set on becoming a teacher or an athletic coach. “I think that would be something I would enjoy,” Heather said. “I am also interested in studying psychology and sociology because those are subjects that I find really fascinating.”

The best part of being part of a team for Heather is the friendships and memories she has made. “I’m lucky to be on teams, both wrestling and cross country, where, despite how hard they are, having fun is just a part of what we do.”

The determination she has gained by being an athlete has already paid off with lifelong lessons.

“I've learned that hard work pays off. I know that everyone knows that, but seeing progress and actually seeing improvement seems to teach higher lessons,” said Heather. “It's reassurance that all the hours you put in was worth it and paid off.”

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