A sophomore, Charlie Johnson ranks second on the Sandpoint High School tennis team, something he considers his best athletic achievement to date. “There are many good players I had to beat,” he said of achieving his rank.
His coach, Kent Anderson, is thrilled to have Charlie on his team and is proud of what Charlie has already accomplished.
“Charlie is playing number one singles this year, which is an incredible accomplishment for a sophomore,” said Anderson. “He thrives on competition and is not afraid of the effort required to play at this level. His matches are consistently against players aspiring to play at the college level, which can be both daunting and exhilarating!”
As for Charlie, he credits Anderson with encouraging him to pursue tennis and to strive to do his best.
“I really enjoy all aspects of the sport from the competition to the awesome atmosphere on the team,” said Charlie. “One of the best parts of Sandpoint tennis is definitely the amazing coaches. I most likely would not have continued tennis into high school if Kent Anderson did not help me find a passion for tennis.”
With a GPA above 3.5, Anderson said Charlie is an extremely hard worker and is willing to put in the hours required to be a top player in the state. “His positive attitude is at the forefront of his success,” said Anderson. “Charlie is definitely a model for his teammates to aspire to, whether younger or older. Having players of this caliber is such an important component to overall team chemistry.”
Being involved in tennis has taught Charlie that everything is a mental game. “If you can keep your focus and confidence, then you will play much better and very likely win,” he said.
Photo By Jason Duchow Photography
Sandpoint High School junior, Jenny Slaveck, has participated in sports for as long as she can remember. “They have been a huge aspect of my life, which I believe has shaped my character into what it is today,” said the SHS varsity volleyball and tennis player.
She shares that athletics has taught her the importance of having a good work ethic and given her the experience of the crucial bond one forms with their team.
In tennis, Jenny received the honor of being named Rookie of the Year as well as Sandpoint Tennis Association Player of the Year. She was also nominated for the North Idaho Hall of Fame, an honor bestowed on only the finest athletes.
Her tennis coach, Kent Anderson, says Jenny is the team’s junior captain and one of the most respected players on the team.
“She plays with power, grace and finesse and is in constant control of her emotions,” said Anderson. “One of her greatest assets is the fact she is so coachable. Jenny's desire to be the ‘best she can be’ is her driving force making it a joy to work with her. Jenny's quiet confidence is actually infectious ... she brings out the best in all of her teammates.”
In volleyball, Jenny was captain of the junior varsity team and was voted Most Valuable Player. She has been a two-year starter for varsity and was also named the Most Improved Player.
But it is not just on the tennis and volleyball courts where Jenny excels, she is also an honor roll student and enjoys being a member of the National Honor Society as well as playing flute in the symphonic band.
Jenny shares that she would love to have the opportunity to play both tennis and volleyball at the collegiate level, but will be basing her decision on where to attend college on the academic programs.
“I am interested in majoring in political science and want to study international business and foreign policy,” said Jenny of her career plans. “I want to see a positive change in the world and would love nothing more than to be a part of that change.”
Achieving excellent grades while excelling in multiple sports is a challenge for most, and Jenny is no different.
“I want to be at every event that I can, but sometimes there are scheduling conflicts which makes it difficult to pick what I am going to be at and what I have to miss,” said Jenny of what she views as her biggest challenge.
When asked what Jenny enjoys most about being an athlete, she responded that it is the competition.
“As an athlete, I practice and perfect my sport day in and day out, and it is perhaps one of the most rewarding feelings when you are finally able to show your hard work and dedication,” she said.
Sports have been rewarding for Jenny and have taught her a very important life lesson that she will carry with her throughout her life.
“The most important thing that I have learned in sports is to face every day with the mindset that this is the greatest opportunity to learn and improve yourself,” she said.