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Athletes of the Month: Marina Breuner & Tag Benefield

Marina Breuner

Marina Breuner

Senior Marina Breuner has been playing volleyball for 10 years and is passionate about the sport.

“I love the competition that volleyball brings out in people. There is no physical interaction with the opponent, forcing a single team to work together in order to terminate a point,” said Marina, who, at 6’1”, is the setter on the SHS varsity team. “My whole team is very competitive, and it is incredible to watch us work as a whole unit and score as a team.”

Over the years, Marina has played basketball, lacrosse and soccer and was also a dancer. But it is volleyball that she hopes to continue in the collegiate arena. “I plan to go to either Boise State University or the University of Montana,” said Marina. “I am interested in pursuing a career in early childhood education.”

Marina shares that one of the biggest challenges in any sport is trying to break a losing streak, something she experienced last year. “Last year we had this problem but overcame it by practicing harder than we had before and working as hard as we could. Although this didn’t result in us going to state, it prepared us mentally and physically for an almost undefeated season this year.”

There is no doubt that as Marina goes forward in her volleyball career, she will be successful in athletics and life.

“One life lesson I have learned from volleyball is there is always more to give. You can be fully spent, lying on the ground, but you still manage to get back up and keep pushing,” she said. “As a senior, seeing my teammates—and especially myself—struggle working through daily workouts on the beach and on the court was excruciating, but we know that we, as a team, are better for it, and we are prepared to do whatever it takes to become champions.”

Tag Benefield

Tag Benefield

A sophomore at Sandpoint High School, Tag Benefield has played sports most of his life.

“I have been playing tackle football since third grade, wresting since seventh and playing lacrosse since fourth grade,” said Tag, who adds that he enjoys weightlifting, sleeping, eating and hanging out with his friends.

Although he has a couple of years yet to decide on his post-high school education plans, Tag said he would like to play sports in college and hopes that he can get a scholarship to do so.

While there are many challenges that come along with being an athlete, Tag said his most difficult challenge thus far in his athletic career has been making weight for wrestling and trying to maintain it. “I overcame that by having a good work ethic and staying on a strict routine,” said Tag.

This year, Tag is on the varsity football team. He shares that what he enjoys most about the sport is the competition and the physical aspect.

Head coach Ryan Knowles has been impressed by the young athlete’s efforts this season.

“Tag has done a great job stepping into the heart of our defense,” said Coach Knowles. “He invites contact and has a nose for the ball. He has a lot of good football in front of him!”

Being involved in sports has taught Tag important values that have led to him being so successful. He said it all boils down to two simple things—discipline and teamwork.

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