By Colin Anderson
Austin Hill, Senior
Lake City High School
Photo by Malia Rose Photography
With the demands of being a teenager, sometimes it’s nice to just get out on the field and play ball. “My favorite thing about playing softball is that it’s a place to go escape from life and just have fun with my team and enjoy playing the game! You get to take your aggression out hitting and throwing the ball around!” said Lake City senior Austin Hill.
Austin’s love of softball started at a young age, and she’s been part of the high school team since she first came to Lake City as a freshman. That year was particularly challenging for Austin, as she suffered an injury that derailed her season—and a special night.
“I was going to my freshman Homecoming dance that night and had a tournament in Spokane with my club team that morning. We had an 8am game, and in the last five minutes of the game I was going for a fly ball when my foot caught a hole, and I broke my ankle in three spots. I had surgery three days later.”
While she wouldn’t be able to dance that evening, Austin set out determined to rehabilitate her ankle in time for high school tryouts in February. Through a lot of hours of hard work, she hit her goal and has been with the team ever since.
As someone who calls herself an “old soul” and natural leader, Austin says softball has taught her to listen and to work well with others. “The biggest life lesson that softball has taught me is to be coachable and be a team player. It has helped me when I get jobs, or when I am in Student Council at the school,” she said.
Austin plans to enroll at Grand Canyon University this fall, where she will begin her studies in biology with the goal of tackling her pre-med requirements. “My passion has always been to help people, and what better way to help them than in the medical field!” she said.
Austin isn’t quite sure what part of the medical field she wants to focus on but feels something will most likely light a spark and help her find her future career path. For now, she’s enjoying her final season with her teammates—and her last few weeks as a Lake City student.
Norah Coulson, Senior
Coeur d’Alene High School
Since she first walked into Coeur d’Alene High School, senior Norah Coulson has been a fixture on the sidelines. No matter the season, you’ll find Norah cheering on her fellow athletes and getting the fans fired up. She is proud to captain her cheerleading squad for her final year of high school and loves being with her teammates.
“My favorite part of cheerleading is when we are competing. The routines we do are always fun, and we all grow closer together as a team throughout our competitions, which makes the whole experience better when you’re doing what you love with such amazing teammates,” she said.
To be a competition cheerleader, you must train like any other athlete. Competitors need to have exceptional endurance and strength on top of memorizing a challenging routine.
As a “flyer,” someone who performs aerial maneuvers, Norah also has to put trust in her teammates and work at overcoming the fear of falling. “We are constantly learning new and scary things. I, myself, am a flyer; therefore, I have had to get over the fear of certain stunts that seemed scary.”
Norah learned to push through those fears, which has helped her in other aspects of her life. “One life lesson I have learned from being involved in cheer is that you have to work for what you want; you have to push your fears aside and take action.”
After graduating this spring, Norah plans to complete her prerequisites at North Idaho College, and then attend Boise State University. There, she plans to pursue nursing and receive her RN license. “I … am choosing to go into the medical field because I want to be able to care for people, and I love kids, so I would love to specialize in an area where I can care for kids/babies.”
While her studies will take precedence, Norah also hopes to have a shot at continuing to cheer once she arrives on campus in Boise.