Coeur d’Alene High School
Sam Swayze is a senior at Coeur d’Alene High School and the varsity volleyball team captain, as well as a member of the National Honor Society. For the past several years, Sam has qualified for the Girls’ Junior Nationals and is also a competitive volleyball player in the club circuit.
One of the challenges she faces this year in her sport is leading a younger team.
“This experience taught me accountability because my response to situations not only affects me but the people looking up to me as a role model,” said Sam.
Sam values the relationships she has developed with teammates and coaches of the sport most.
“The relationships and friendships that I have formed through volleyball with my teammates, opponents and coaches is something that I feel lucky to have. I have made great friends because of what we have experienced together on and off the court. I know these friendships will be with me for a lifetime,” she said.
Next year, she plans on attending the University of Idaho and playing volleyball. There, she’s considering studying anesthesiology based on her interest in chemistry.
As she begins her final year of high school, she knows she will take the life lessons her coaches have taught her. “One of my life lessons that I have learned is your response to adversity in game situations that shows true character through wins and losses.”
Lake City High School
Klaire Mitchell is a devoted volleyball player at Lake City High School, where she is a member of the National Honors Society with a 3.98 GPA and is junior class treasurer.
Klaire is an accomplished athlete and has played in all-league volleyball and has been named most valuable female track athlete as well as recognized by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) as having the most outstanding achievement as a freshman. The following year, she was team captain for the all-state Inland Empire League and was named Most Valuable Player.
“What I love about the game of volleyball is the drive and determination it takes to become the best you can be. I also enjoy how it is a team sport where everyone must do their job to be successful,” Klaire said.
Several years ago, Klaire had to make the difficult decision to leave one dream to pursue another. It had been her lifelong dream to become a ballerina. Before starting high school, she was given the chance to study at the School of American Ballet in New York. It was then that she decided to make a decision that would alter her life trajectory.
“This is what I had always dreamed about doing and had been working for since the second grade. While I was making this decision that would shape my future, I came to a decision that I wanted to attend high school, become a student-athlete and pursue my volleyball career,” Klaire said.
And, though still a junior, she committed to the sport so much that she already has been offered a full scholarship to play the sport at Grand Canyon University, where she will continue playing and work on becoming a coach.
“A career goal I would like to achieve is becoming a college coach. I have close relationships with some of the best head volleyball coaches and am looking forward to learning and to continue maturing in the game,” she said. “Through this sport, I have learned the importance of being resilient and that hard work pays off.”