By Christian Weaner
Daylee Driggs, Senior
As a freshman at Sandpoint High School (SHS), Daylee Driggs had the unique opportunity to play on the same basketball team as her older sister, Dawson.
That season (2019-2020), Daylee gained valuable experience as she watched her sister earn the 4A Inland Empire League (IEL) Most Valuable Player award and lead the Bulldogs to an IEL championship and fourth-place finish at state.
"I was so fortunate to be on the same team as [Dawson] and eventually started to play with her," Daylee explained. "That experience really influenced me to push myself and work for where I want to be in the program and always have a good attitude about it."
Following her sister's graduation and departure to play at nearby Whitworth University, Daylee continued to grow each season. She earned All-League honors as a junior, helped guide SHS to state tournament appearances four years in a row, and most recently, captained the Bulldogs to their first 4A Girls Basketball State Championship in school history.
While Daylee has made strides on the court, her biggest growth has come as a vocal leader for the Bulldogs.
"I used to be the type to shy away from obstacles and not voice my thoughts or ideas to the team because I was scared it would be mistaken," Daylee remembered. "Today, I believe I'm a powerful team captain who talks to all teammates and positively says what I think would be best for the whole team. I feel like they can trust me, and also younger kids could come talk to me as well."
One of the younger players that Daylee has taken under her wing is her younger sister, Demi, who is a sophomore wing for SHS.
With Daylee and fellow senior Kelsey Cessna providing veteran leadership, Sandpoint finished 15-5 in the regular season this year and went on to become district and state champions. The Bulldogs' success on the court reflects how tight-knit they are off the court as well.
"We get so connected toward the end of the season, and it is so amazing that I get to make new friendships out of a hobby I love so much," Daylee said.
Aside from basketball, Daylee loves to be outside and spend time with her family, whether they are surfing, swimming or hiking.
After high school, Daylee is considering studying business at a four-year school before potentially going to cosmetology school in the future. Wherever she ends up, Sandpoint will always be her home.
"I'm very thankful to have grown up in a town like this and can't wait to revisit it when I'm older," Daylee said.
Alex Manning, Senior
As the Student Body president at Sandpoint High School, senior Alex Manning is involved in many of the extracurricular events and activities taking place at the school.
In all the roles and responsibilities that he has assumed over the course of his high school career, Alex is driven by his strong faith and desire to serve others.
"Being in leadership is one of the greatest honors someone could have," Alex explained. "I love being a servant first and remembering that I'm doing things for others and not for myself—serving on the [student] council as the president is the most incredible honor."
Alex grew up in Sandpoint and spent the entirety of his academic years in the Lake Pend Oreille School District. He credits many of his teachers and mentors throughout the years as being big influences in his life.
"In every one of my grades, God has brought people into my life who have helped and shaped the kind of person [God] has created me to be," Alex said. "My parents and grandparents have been a major influence in my life, but so have many teachers, coaches, managers and friends. Above all, my growth has been most influenced by Jesus Christ and my faith in the freedom that He offers all of us."
When Alex is not leading a student council meeting or running events like the recent "Battle for the Paddle" spirit competition, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling to see new places, trying new foods, and meeting people. During the summer, Alex enjoys working for Festival at Sandpoint, and last year he had the opportunity to be a site manager for the event, which gave him many valuable experiences.
Alex also loves the beauty of North Idaho and appreciates the local government and school leaders that make Sandpoint what it is.
"I love living in Idaho, as I highlight to many of my friends and family," Alex said. "We live in one of the most extraordinary states in this union."
After graduation, Alex plans to attend Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, where he will study government politics and policy.
Alex hopes to work in local or state government one day and potentially return to Bonner County eventually to serve many of the people who have invested so much in him.
"[The Sandpoint community] poured so much into my life," Alex exclaimed. "And I pray that one day [this community] will give me the privilege of serving and working for [it] from our local government to the state level."