For junior Maddie Morgan, sports have always been an integral part of her life. Over the years, she has participated in football, swimming and volleyball, but as she grew older she found her real passions were basketball and track. She has been on the Sandpoint High School varsity basketball team and ran track since her freshman year.
“My freshman year I placed fifth at state for the long jump, and my sophomore year I placed sixth in the triple jump while breaking the school record (34’9.5”),” said Maddie, who also plays on a traveling basketball team. In both her freshman and sophomore years, Maddie received the Scholastic Student Award for track and basketball maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Maddie still has time to decide on what her post-high school plans are but said she is looking at schools in the Pacific Northwest as well as Colorado.
“I will continue to work hard throughout my last two years of high school, which will hopefully open up doors for me to play a sport at the collegiate level,” said Maddie. She adds that because academics are a priority, at times it is a challenge to balance honor classes with sports. But she keeps in mind that by excelling academically she will open up doors to schools that will allow her to play sports.
The competition that comes with basketball, trying to constantly outwork her opponent, and the individuality of track are the things that Maddie said she enjoys most about the sports she participates in.
While excelling in athletics is a great achievement, Maddie said it is important to remember there is more to life.
“It’s awesome to be in the newspaper, win awards and break records. But who you are as a person, how you treat people, is what really matters. Athletic achievements mean nothing if you don’t strive to be a good person.”
Senior Casey Olesen has been wrestling for approximately 10 years and shares that what he loves most about the sport is when it is minutes before a big match and the adrenaline takes over.
“Your stomach is rolling over itself, and you feel very unsteady,” said Casey. “This kind of feeling gets me ready for the match; that sort of fight or flight feeling.” He has been to state for the past three years, and although he has not placed, Casey is feeling positive about it this year.
“For the past three years of high school wrestling I've choked in the blood rounds at state (the round right before placing) and most of that came from not being in the right mindset,” said Casey. “Over the summer I went to a J Robinson Camp. This camp pushed me physically to the point where I became more mentally strong, and I feel this year will be different.”
Casey said he plans to attend college and major in business and communications, and if an opportunity to wrestle in college should come his way, he would love to do that as well. “I don't know what I want to do career wise, but I want do something important,” said Casey. “I want to make a difference and leave my mark on the world.”
Wrestling has taught Casey many things, the most significant of which is that your body can go so much further and last so much longer than we all think. “But when put into those situations where we are pushed, our minds hold us back. That's why motivation is so huge. With the right motivation and training, anyone can push past their mind's boundary and achieve their own greatness.”