What are your plans after high school?

After high school, I will be attending Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minnesota. I will be playing softball for them as well.

What has been the best moment so far this season or in your high school career?

The best moment of my high school career so far was when my softball team made it to state my junior year. Nobody expected us to make it to state, let alone win two games and place third. This was also the first time that Ankeny Centennial made it to state, I was thankful to be a part of that team. It was a lot of fun and I'm glad I got to experience it with my team and friends.

How was your training been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

When COVID-19 first hit, our spring season was canceled. As more was learned, they implemented a daily health survey and we were to check our temperature before coming to practice. Just like everyone else, we had to adjust to wearing masks during practice and in the dugout during games. Our team was broken into smaller groups to work through stations, so we were working in smaller groups to minimize exposure. We were no longer able to have buses to take us to games, which was weird to drive ourselves.

How has your participation in high school athletics helped you to grow as a person and student?

As a student-athlete, sports (and specifically softball) have taught me structure and time management in relation to balancing homework, practice, and a job. In my personal life, softball has helped me grow into a confident player on and off the field, learning from my failures. A big lesson that I learned was putting in the extra time pays off, and has helped me grow into the person I am today.

What are the top three skills you have learned as a student-athlete?

The three most important skills that I learned from being an athlete are not worrying about the past and playing in the present. When I'm playing I try to focus on this play, this at bat, and this pitch, not worrying about what happened earlier in the game. The next important skill I learned was leadership, as a catcher, you are the one person who can see the whole field and who everyone looks at. I have always tried to make being a leader be one of my priorities. Another skill I learned from being an athlete, is that being on time is late. I learned from a coach my freshman year that you always need to be early to be on time, so no matter what I'm doing (even outside of softball) I am always at least fifteen minutes early.

Who is someone that inspires you and why?

This is an easy one - Ankeny Centennial has a big tradition in softball. Kendyl Lindaman was the best player to come throughout our program. Watching Kendyl play as I was growing up was an inspiration to me.

What lessons will you take with you in the future that you learned from coaches and teammates?

Throughout my high school career, I have learned many lessons from my teammates and coaches. A few of those being that everyone has a role on the team, to lead by example, and to take advantage of every single pitch and give it your all 100% of the time.

What is your favorite part about being a high school student-athlete?

Being a high school athlete has brought me some of my favorite memories on and off the field. I get to play the game I love with some of my best friends. I love getting to spend my summers with all of my teammates. We love to jam out on the bus, go to post win dinners, have dance battles, and many other things.

What is one word you would use to describe you? Why did you choose this word?

One word I would use to describe myself is passionate. I have had a love for this game since I was in elementary school. I always try to aspire to be the best I can be and love putting in extra time, it doesn't feel like extra work it just feels like I'm getting better.

- Spotlight written by Ammanda Burghduff, Waukee APEX Associate

IGHSAU Student-Athlete Spotlights are created by high school students in Waukee High School's APEX program. The IGHSAU is thankful for its partnership with Waukee APEX to create meaningful content to share with our member schools, student-athletes, coaches, and fans. To learn more about Waukee APEX, click here.