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Athletes in the Spotlight

By Colin Anderson

Merek athlete in spotlight

Merek Bauck, Senior

Having grown up in Las Vegas, Merek Bauck was used to playing golf year-round. He first picked up a set of clubs at age 7 and has loved the game ever since. Merek moved to Sandpoint with his family five years ago, and his challenge with the game has shifted from getting through a round in the overbearing midday Las Vegas heat to finding a place to practice his game until the snow melts and the local courses open.

“The golf team struggles to get going in the spring because we are not able to practice outside until halfway through our competitive season,” he explained. To keep his skills sharp, Merek travels in the winter to various golf courses in warmer climates and has also been practicing on a family owned golf simulator. “This extra practice has allowed me to be miles ahead of where I would be without it,” he added.

Merek is a senior this year and has been homeschooled since the fifth grade. He’s grown up in an Orthodox Christian household and states that his faith is the foundation of his life. “With my faith firmly rooted in the center, I have found that my roles as a teammate and athlete can be strengthened. I will never take this lesson for granted and am truly blessed for all the lessons that sports have taught me.”

Another reason Merek enjoys the game of golf and his current surroundings in Sandpoint is his love of being outdoors. He enjoys all types of courses and the continued challenge the game of golf presents. “Golf is a game of precision. It takes hard work and mental stamina to succeed in the sport of golf,” said Merek.

The 18-year-old will be graduating soon and plans on taking a gap year to learn more about himself and what he might like to do with the next phase of his life. Merek mentions trades, becoming a counselor, or priest, as possible career paths. “I am interested in going into the trades because I am a hands-on type of person. I also have interest in either becoming a counselor or a priest, as I grew up in the Orthodox Christian faith and I love to help people.”

While he won’t continue to play golf competitively after this season, the game will continue to be a big part of his life.

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