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Athlete of the Month

By Colin Anderson

Photos by Cheryl Nichols Photography

Benjamin Janke, Senior

Lake City High School

As challenging as the past year has been, high school students like Lake City’s Benjamin Janke continue to thrive. This year, more than ever, students are learning that nothing is a given and everything is earned. “In sports and in the classroom, I’ve had to work hard to get where I wanted to be, and it has paid off a lot for me and made me a better person for putting in the time and effort,” said Benjamin. “I have developed a strong work ethic and been able to push on in life—even when life gets chaotic or does not go the right way.”

Now a senior, Benjamin has been a fixture on the Lake City basketball team since his sophomore season. What he enjoys most about playing basketball is being able to show up every day, whether it is practice or a game, and being able to compete and work hard. “I am blessed to be playing sports at this level, knowing that not many people get the chance to do what I have gotten to do through basketball,” he said.

He’s suffered a couple of setbacks through injuries, and though they can be discouraging, Benjamin has also found encouragement in the rehab. “It does teach perseverance and the value of hard work. Getting back to playing after injury is incredibly rewarding, and I am very thankful to be playing.”

Benjamin was awarded an academic letter from Lake City and also named an Idaho Top Scholar his junior year. He is inspired by his parents, both of whom work in the health-care field. He appreciates their abilities to provide and serve others, and he hopes to do the same either as a future medical professional or possibly as the leader of a congregation.

“Being able to help others is a calling. I think it is important to build relationships and meet people, challenging each other to grow. Medicine and/or ministry would provide that opportunity, so I am open to both paths,” he explained.

Whether as a pastor, physical therapist or physician, Benjamin is committed to a life helping and serving others. He also hopes to keep athletics as a centerpiece of life long after graduation. “I would love to play sports in college if I get the opportunity, as it has enriched my life,” he shared. “I hope sports will always be a part of my life and a way for me to give back.”

Logan Cessna, Senior

Coeur d’Alene High School

Coeur d’Alene High School senior Logan Cessna has had plenty of chances to give up—but, for him, that was never an option. A starter on the football team, and one of the top wrestlers in his class, Logan suffered a broken hand during a match and was faced with the choice of sitting out or working exceptionally hard to get back on the field and the mat. He chose the latter, and through perseverance and a strong commitment to his teammates, and himself, came back stronger than ever. Logan regained his starting position in football and is wrestling at the varsity level again this winter. “Wrestling has taught me to never give up, and football has taught me that working together as a team is the best way to get the job done on the field,” he said.

Like his classmates, Logan has had to adapt to the COVID-related restrictions for training and competition and is thankful to be competing. He has enjoyed both his team-centric time playing football as well as pushing himself to achieve individual goals on the wrestling mat. “With football, I just love being around all the guys and having great experiences with my team and being able to compete at different levels all the time. For wrestling, it’s being able to achieve accomplishments for myself and seeing what I am really capable of,” he said.

As he wraps up his final year at Coeur d’Alene High School, Logan has his eyes set on the future. Not one who wants to sit behind a desk all day, Logan plans on attending trade school after graduation. “I want to become a journeyman lineman because I want to work with my hands and be outside.”

Logan has accomplished a lot as a Viking, and the skills he’s learned competing in multiple sports will certainly carry with him as he enters the next phase of life.

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