By Christian Weaner| Katie Ray Photography
Jett Longanecker, Senior
Last winter, on many of the blustery, cold days—when everyone else was sitting inside and staying warm—Sandpoint senior midfielder Jett Longanecker was outside, shoveling off a patch of turf at War Memorial Field and working hard at his craft.
"I was able to make huge gains by training alone … pushing myself beyond what I thought I could do," Jett recalled.
The dividends of Jett's determination, not only last winter on the soccer field but also throughout his high school career both inside and outside of the classroom, are paying off.
As a leading goal-scorer on the Bulldogs soccer team and a top student in his class, Jett has accomplished a lot already in three-and-a-half years at Sandpoint High School (SHS).
In addition to his prowess on the soccer field, Jett showed his versatility this fall as a kicker on Sandpoint's football team, where he spent part of the season before turning his attention fully to soccer later in the year.
"Honestly, balancing the two sports has not been too big of a challenge for me," Jett explained. "My coaches both played big parts in making it possible by being flexible with schedules."
About a year ago, Jett picked up guitar, a fun pastime that he now uses as a stress-relieving outlet from sports.
"Playing guitar and creative writing keeps me sane when I can’t play any more soccer," Jett joked.
After he graduates in the spring, Jett plans to attend college, where he hopes to continue his soccer career at the next level.
"College is undoubtedly in the books," Jett said. "And I am currently working on finding a good school and a career that I can fall in love with and take life into new and exciting chapters."
Growing up in Sandpoint, Jett has come to appreciate not only the natural beauty of Bonner County but also the tight-knit community in the area.
He looks at his soccer coaches, Tanner French and Dan Anderson — both Sandpoint graduates and former collegiate soccer players — as the prime example of individuals willing to give back to the community and help the next generation.
"People are willing to enrich a place with already so much potential, which only adds to the beauty of Sandpoint," Jett concluded.
Thanks to his hard work and passion for soccer, academics and the school community, Jett is already following in his coaches' footsteps, and he has a bright future ahead of him.