Female Athlete of the Year: Andrea Coursey

Female Athlete of the Year: Andrea Coursey

Reflecting on my four years at SJ-O, it honestly all seems like a blur. Those four years went so fast, and looking back, I wish I would have taken more time to appreciate the memories that I made while they were happening. I am so fortunate that I got the amazing opportunity to play sports throughout my high school career and would not have traded it for anything. I have learned countless life lessons solely through my athletic experiences that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Thinking back to my freshman year, I was fortunate enough to make varsity in two sports, softball and volleyball. Not too many people can say that they were a part of two varsity teams in their whole high school career, let alone their freshman year. Being a freshman surrounded by older, talented athletes is something that I believe truly benefitted and molded me as an athlete.

Dealing with the adversity and challenges that came from being on successful teams carried over into my everyday life and also into my academics. Being a part of those special teams led to the creation of multiple friendships that will last forever.

I have made numerous memories over the course of my years at St. Joe, but some memories hold more of a special place in my heart. I was a part of three teams that made it to the state tournament, two of which played in the state championship game. During my senior year, my teams got second place in volleyball and in softball. Although the outcome was not what any of us wanted, second place is nothing to feel ashamed of. The moment after our loss in the state championship softball game, I was devastated. I would never play for Coach Randy Wolken again. I would never play with that same group of girls again, and I would never wear an SJ-O uniform again. I had an interview with a reporter immediately after the game, and he asked me how I was feeling. Obviously, I did not respond with a happy or positive answer. He told me that it may hurt now, but in the next few days it would feel a lot better, and I would feel extremely proud of my second-place finish.

Looking back on it now, I am proud of the season that we had and the state ride was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

If any part of my high school career had gone differently, I may not be the same person that I am today. I developed a strong work ethic and also learned to effectively balance a busy schedule. Dealing with adversity and all of the ups and downs I encountered in high school sports has given me a unique outlook on not only sports, but life as well.