Argenta-Oreana senior was star on track and basketball court.
Senior Girls’ Athlete of the Year: Argenta-Oreana’s Kandie Bloch-Jones
Illini track and field recruit was the third girl in Macon County history to score at least 2,000 career points in basketball. A two-time All-Area basketball first-teamer, she played in Saturday’s IBCA all-star game at Illinois Wesleyan University. In track, the four-time high jump state placer set the all-time area record (clearing 5 feet, 11 inches) and was the Class 1A state runner-up in addition to earning a fifth-place medal in the triple jump. We asked Bloch-Jones to describe what high school sports meant to her. Her thoughts:
Coming into high school, I was scared about the time management between school and sports. However, I learned that it wasn’t as bad as I had thought. As a freshman, I played four sports, which was great. I decided then to focus on the two sports I felt like I excelled in the most.
I enjoyed high school sports so much, and I am sad to think that the fun is over. It is really just beginning because college is the next step in my future. If not for high school sports, I wouldn’t have gotten my college education paid for. That takes off a lot of stress.
Sports mean the world to me. My family has a background of great athletes. My whole life, it has been about basketball. I have worked very hard in basketball and track. I honestly wouldn’t have enjoyed school as much as I did if it wasn’t for basketball and track.
As much as I like to relax, I also like to be busy and not have a lot of downtime. It is so nice to be part of a team. It’s like having a second family.
High school sports motivated me in school. It’s not that I didn’t like school. I just worked harder to be a good student as well as a good athlete. High school sports help you to be recognized and respected by your peers. Usually athletes don’t cause trouble because they enjoy being in an extracurricular activity.
I am sad to see high school ending and knowing that I am never going to play with these people again, but I am happy to go onto college and be part of another team, another family. I’ve made a lot of memories in high school that will never be forgotten, but that chapter is over, just in time for another one to begin.
The next chapter in my life will be a great, exciting challenge. It’s time to turn the page. College.
Area honorable mention
Kristen Belyea, Mahomet-Seymour
Jade Brinkoetter, St. Thomas More
Sydne Bryant, Schlarman
Nicole Choquette, Urbana
Carli Clifton, Fisher
Cara Edwards, Arcola
Arionna Gant, Cerro Gordo
Callan Hall, Georgetown-Ridge Farm
Kennedy Hartman, Unity
Morgan Hickman, Clinton
Ashley Hoffman, Westville
Emma Hoyer, Urbana Uni High
Alexus Jimson-Miller, Danville
Allison Kaper, Watseka
Kristin Hammel, Champaign Central
Katelynn Martinez, Centennial
Tori Master, St. Joseph-Ogden
Amber Meyer, Tri-County
Toria Plotner, Salt Fork
Kaitlyn Redeker, Cissna Park
Emma Reinbold, Monticello
Stephanie Sanderson, Heritage
Lizzy Smith, Villa Grove
Shannon Steffen, LeRoy
Alex Stupek, Argenta-Oreana
Ashley Tabb, Arthur-Lovington
Hannah Wascher, Rantoul
Erin Weaver, Tuscola
Rachel Wells, Danville First Baptist
Amanda Ypya, Paxton-Buckley-Loda