Photo By Amy Stephensen
As Sandpoint High School’s head wrestling coach, Jake Stark exclaims, “Brady Nelsen is the epitome of Sandpoint wrestling.” A senior at Sandpoint High School, Brady is a competitive student athlete, participating in three varsity sports: cross-country, wrestling and track. Stark praises Brady in his work ethic, “which puts him in the elite athlete category as a wrestler,” Stark said.
Brady just recently signed with Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston to be a part of their cross-country/track and field program, where he will pursue his associate degree in engineering. His interest in engineering began due to his fascination with learning how things work and being able to solve problems. He finds this part of engineering very intriguing!
As a wrestler, Brady believed that he would become a better wrestler if he incorporated cross-country into his life. “I had the idea in my mind that the endurance and grit of a distance runner were essential elements of great wrestlers,” he said. With his competitive mindset, he finds his sports to be outlets for him to open up and push through mental, emotional and physical barriers. “The feeling of accomplishment when hard work pays off is a great motivator.”
In seventh grade, Brady’s coach said something that really resonated with his mentality toward life: “When you work hard, good things happen.” And working hard and being successful is exactly what Brady has accomplished.
Photo By Abby Freebairn
Another multisport athlete, Sandpoint High School senior Alyssa Lish begins her basketball season with a bang. Growing up an athlete, Alyssa said she takes pride in getting good grades in school and balancing life in general. “I’ve always tried to be a good example of a student-athlete because it’s difficult for kids to find time in between practice and games to do schoolwork,” she explains. She finds the ability to play sports during the school year is her outlet from school work and she finds it to be a very special privilege. Alyssa is a varsity athlete for volleyball, basketball and golf.
As a senior, Alyssa is planning on staying in Idaho to pursue something in the sports field and possibly golf at the college level. Being around sports her whole life, she enjoys being in that environment. “I haven’t decided if I want to help athletes medically or explore the business side of sports, but I know for a fact I want to be involved in that scene.”
This year in particular has increased Alyssa’s hunger for competition and provided her a greater appreciation for the team aspect of sports. “My fellow seniors and I have put more emphasis on team bonding and forming friendships with our teammates. It helps us to maintain our focus on working hard for each other and encouraging one another on and off the court.”
During volleyball season, Coach Karen Alsager gave Alyssa a life lesson she will never forget. “Coach Alsager has taught me to never cut corners. I will never get better or push my limits if I give up early in a workout or neglect my schoolwork,” Alyssa said. “I have the responsibility on my team to give my best, and I realize that I hurt myself and other from reaching our goals when I don’t.”