From the moment Jezza Hutto could run, she has been kicking a soccer ball. “I’ve tried multiple other sports, but nothing came close to the passion I have for soccer,” said Jezza, who played on the Idaho State Olympic Development team in 2014 and 2015 and moved in 2016 to Eastern Washington’s Olympic Development team in order to seek a higher level of competition.
The 4.0 student plays outside defender for Sandpoint High School and the rest of the year she plays for the Spokane Sounders, a club team, something she hopes will lead to playing soccer at the collegiate level.
A senior, Jezza is currently in the recruiting process and considering Western Oregon and Lewis and Clark but is keeping her options open. As far as academics, she is interested in a variety of subjects including sociology, psychology and communications. “I enjoy the ambiguity of societal issues, and I enjoy being able to discuss the changing patterns of culture,” said Jezza.
One of the things she enjoys most about soccer is the sense of community it creates. “Being able to meet new people and coaches through soccer has not only given me so many interesting perspectives but has provided me with some of my closest friends,” Jezza said.
Soccer has also taught her to always persevere.
“Some of my coaches have always reminded us that our minds are stronger than our bodies, so the moment it feels like we can’t keep going is when it becomes a mental battle,” she said. “This carries on to life because it helps me be strong willed and self-motivated when it comes to school or regular struggles. I think soccer has made me conscious of my own ability to push through times in which giving up would be the easiest option.”
Photo by Jason Duchow Photography
Sophomore Zander Moore was determined to make the Sandpoint High School soccer varsity squad when he was a freshman, something that is not easily attainable. But after attending every practice and giving 100 percent, he was the only freshman to make the varsity team last year. Not only that, but It was a very memorable season.
“Our team went undefeated that season,” said Zander, who scored three goals last season and plays in the defensive back four for the Bulldogs.
Although he still has plenty of time to decide on where to go to college, Zander currently has his sights set on Oregon State, where he hopes to play soccer for the Beavers.
“I am interested in being a car mechanic or a diesel mechanic,” said Zander of his career aspirations.
When it comes to soccer, Zander said it is the competition he enjoys most. “I've always found it to be the sport that is the most fun to compete in,” said Zander. “Also, my close friends have always played soccer.”
Zander is grateful to Sandpoint High School head varsity coach, Evan McNeley, who has taught him much more than how to be an outstanding soccer player. McNeley has taught Zander the importance of determination and a positive attitude.
“Coach McNeley said, ‘It’s not what you do when times are easy, it's what you do when they get hard,’” shared Zander of the life lesson imparted on him by his coach.