COLUMN: Petersen, Warthen finish their careers as four-sport stars

Jacqueline Petersen

Rylee Warthen
Mark Spensley
Express Co-Publisher

     As the Class of 2016 summer sports season winds down, two Panthers will finish their careers as four-sport athletes, Jacqueline Petersen and Rylee Warthen.

     Both girls spent four seasons playing three sports and mirrored each other during the spring session by splitting up two seasons of soccer and two seasons of track.

     Petersen participated in cross-country, basketball and softball while Warthen played volleyball, basketball and softball.

     I asked both girls what it took for them to participate in four sports all four years of their high school careers. Petersen felt the hardest part was balancing school, sports and having a social life as well. It was important to her that the process be fun. Warthen felt time management was key and offered she felt she had more free time than one might expect. She liked the fact that she kept busy and always had something to do.

     Neither girl felt like they missed out on anything during their four years of high school. Petersen felt the opposite that if she wasn’t involved in four sports that she would have missed out making all the friends who were her teammates plus all of the great memories associated with her sports career.

     Warthen’s feelings were very similar in the fact that most of her friends were in the same sports and those that were not worked around her busy schedule so they could hang out.

     Both girls listed softball as their favorite sport. Rylee enjoyed all aspects of softball including practices and games. Jacqueline enjoyed the competitiveness of softball, especially beating a rival or winning a close, exciting game.

     Petersen’s favorite moment was going to state cross-country her freshman year and running in front of all the Panther fans. Warthen’s favorite sports thrill happened this year in basketball, hitting the go ahead basket against Camanche and then making a defensive stop at the last second to secure the win.

     When asked about any advice they would offer an incoming freshman thinking about playing four sports in high school, they both echoed to jump at the chance as high school flies by so fast. Rylee offered not to worry about finding time for friends and family as you will have more time than you think. The hard parts are also worth it, open gyms and lifting weights.

     Petersen also mentioned not to give up when things get hard. Early morning practices and sprints may seem hard at the time but in the end you are going to miss them. She also offered her thoughts on enjoying every moment you have on the field, court or track.

     In addition to their time playing sports, both girls were excellent students. Rylee made the Honor Roll every semester and received an academic letter every year. Jacqueline was the class Salutatorian and received high honors every semester as well.



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