Athletes of the Month: Brandon Casey & Bionce Vincent
A multi-sport athlete, senior Brandon Casey is seeing his years of hard work pay off. With the help of head varsity football coach Ryan Knowles, Brandon began the recruitment process in January and by June had received offers from five different schools to play on their offensive line—University of Idaho, Idaho State, University of Montana, Montana State and Eastern Washington University.
Faced with a difficult decision, Brandon said he will choose his school based on the quality of the school. “I’ll look at how I relate to the players and coaches and the overall feeling I get on the campus.”
What Brandon says he loves most about football doesn't have much to do with scoring the points or sacking the quarterback; it’s all about relationships.
“What I enjoy most is the bond you have with your brothers on and off the field,” said Brandon. The areas of study that interest him the most are business administration/entrepreneurship and mechanical engineering.
Although playing sports year-round can be quite time consuming, Brandon says when he does have free time he enjoys skiing, riding motorcycles and spending time on the lake.
When asked what coach has had the greatest influence on him, Brandon could not just choose one. “Coach Knowles, Coach Yarno and Engelson. They have all taught me the value of hard work.”
Brandon has also appreciated the advice of former head coach Satini Puailoa, who emphasized the importance of being a multi-sport athlete. “It is something I have always done, but now I realize how much more athletic one becomes when participating in multiple sports. You definitely need to switch it up.”
Since moving from Hawaii two years ago, Bionce Vincent has thrived with the Sandpoint High School cross-country team. Although she has been a runner prior to her arrival here, she says there is something special about the SHS cross-country team that she cannot get anywhere else.
“Since joining and training with this team, I have been able to cut my 5k time down to 20:54, almost a three- to four-minute improvement from when I began, and become captain of the girls’ team,” said Bionce, who is currently in the top 10 percent of her class and a member of the National Honor Society.
She shares that one of the most challenging things when it comes to cross country is the mental aspect.
“Mental strength triumphs over your physical strength, constantly pushing your comfort level further,” said Bionce. “It also requires strong, genuine relationships with the team and the people you race beside.”
She adds that running beside teammates every day, getting to know each other’s breaking points and testing their limits together is what she cherishes the most.
While she has yet to decide on her post high school plans, Bionce says she is interested in attending the Oregon Institute of Technology to study pharmaceutical engineering and possibly macroeconomics.
Bionce is grateful to be part of the SHS cross-country team and says a team with this dynamic is hard to come by and, in her opinion, irreplaceable.
And as she goes forward in life, she will take with her an important lesson that running has taught her: “There is always something left to give, and whatever you think about that, you are right.”