Earlier this week we met the nominees for the KPAX sports awards from Big Sky and Hellgate . Now, we turn to the final Class AA school in Missoula in Sentinel High.
The two Spartan nominees are Aisley Allen and Jamie Jacobsen. The duo join nominees from Big Sky, Hellgate, Loyola and Valley Christian for the KPAX scholar athlete award. The winners are each awarded a $1,000 scholarship.
Allen was a standout on the soccer pitch for Sentinel and signed with Idaho State University in November to continue her career at the Division I level. Jacobsen played for Sentinel's football team which made the Class AA semifinals and also was a member of the basketball team that qualified for the state tournament. Jacobsen will attend the University of Montana next fall where he plans to study business and finance.
Check out the above video for the two Sentinel nominees to learn more.
Aisley Allen's nomination essay:
High school athletics have of course had a huge impact on my life. I learned the valuable skills of perseverance, determination and hard work. Above all these, the one thing I deem most impactful is the value of teamwork.
At the beginning of my soccer career at Sentinel, I thought there was one characteristic lacking, teamwork. As a younger player on the field I felt that our teamwork could be improved. If individuals are playing as individuals during a game, how can the team win? As my time with the program progressed, I worked to promote teamwork and a general sense of team. I made it a personal goal of mine, and along with a few other players, we set out to be welcoming, not divisive and to create a culture of inclusivity, not exclusivity.
As I began my senior year I could already see the positive changes in regards to our teamwork. We spent ample time outside of soccer together and communicated with each other constantly. In turn, we were incredibly successful. Not only because we had a great record but because we had finally come together. We worked hard at practice, during games and even during school for each other, not for our own selfish interests. We would do anything for one another.
In our current world situation with the evolving COVID -19 pandemic, teamwork is more important now than ever. People cannot be selfish. It takes a unified team of medical professionals, scientists, educators, politicians, leaders and ordinary people working cohesively to attack COVID -19. The world population needs to act as a team to terminate the spread of this virus.
My role on this team is simple but very important. I am working hard to stay healthy. I am following social distancing guidelines. I am staying informed. I am promoting a positive attitude. Although it is difficult, it is crucial to be an effective teammate no matter how small the position. On this team the hope is for the world to heal, stay healthy and slow the spread of the virus. Eradicating COVID-19 would be the ultimate team victory.
With the uprise of the novel Coronavirus, my preparations for my involvement on my future soccer team looks much different. Practices and group play have come to a screeching halt yet teamwork is still my motivation. Even though I cannot physically be with my team, it is my responsibility to uphold the value of teamwork. By independently maintaining my skills, physical condition and dedication to the game of soccer, I am preparing to be an effective team member.
The lessons I have learned from teamwork in high school, during the COVID-19 pandemic and as I prepare for the next part of my life will benefit me well beyond my athletic career. Teamwork is universal. It is an integral part of sports as well as a successful life. “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” -Helen Keller. Teamwork really does impact so much.
Jamie Jacobsen's nomination essay:
High school sports have offered me many opportunities that I wouldn’t have had if I didn’t participate in athletics.
Sports helped me form relationships, learn to compete, deal with adversity and realize how sports affect communities. The relationships that I have built with my peers will last a lifetime, and the relationships with my coaches will help me in the future. I have learned to trust people to do their job and they’ve helped me to understand that others are counting on me to do mine as well. I’ve learned how to make friendships with many peers I may not have known otherwise and I have made bonds that will never be broken.
Coaches have mentored me and shown me how I can be my best as a person. They’ve shown me ways to live a healthy lifestyle, and ways to be engaged and helpful to others around me. They will be tremendous resources as I continue my education and when I apply for jobs in the future.
High school sports have also taught me how to compete. In the future when I am starting my career, I will be competing for job opportunities along with many others. Times of adversity that I have faced during my high school sports career will be extremely helpful later in life when I go through tough times. I faced adversity on the field when we lost our first football game after winning four games in a row; and the heartbreaking loss in a loser out game at state basketball.
I’ve also had to deal with the off the court adversity within our basketball team during a rough patch of not getting along with each other. I’ve also had to face challenges in the classroom from the effect of sports. Playing sports means that school will be missed, meaning assignments will be missed. My amazing teachers understood and supported me, and made missing school easier to handle.
These and other experiences will help me through tough times, like the difficult times we are all facing right now. Covid-19 has canceled sports and I am seeing how that impacts nearly everyone. The Sentinel football team won ten games this season and made it to the semi-finals in the playoffs which hasn’t been done in a long time. During that game, all of MCPS Stadium was filled with fans. During the Golden GOAT crosstown basketball game against Hellgate, the entire Adams Center was filled with fans. Those games showed me that the community cares about high school sports.
Our community is missing our high school sports and seeing students compete. This situation has shown me that when I am older I need to support high school sports in my area since they bring communities together. Sports changed my whole high school experience and I will always be grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in athletics. Every high school student should have the opportunity to participate in an activity, since they create many life lessons.