From coaches and administrators to parents and trainers, the opportunity to play high school sports wouldn't exist without their support, guidance, and encouragement. This Thanksgiving, Blue Water Area athletes shared what they are most thankful for. Here's what they had to say:
I’m extremely thankful for the friendships cross country has given me. My best friends are my teammates, I love them like family.
–Abby Barkley, Cros-Lex
I’m thankful for my family, teammates, and coaches. My family supports me in everything I do. My dad works and makes sure I have all the sporting equipment I need, and he videotapes all my games for me so I can rewatch the game once I get home. My mom does all the extra things, organizes team dinners, brings me food after school before practice, and puts together all the goodie baskets for my team before games. My siblings watch and congratulate me, and I even got the chance to play alongside my little sister Aubree. She brings laughter into practice and let’s me know when I’m getting too serious. My teammates make the sport I love much more enjoyable. They show up to practice every day ready to work and push everyone to be their best. And finally, my coaches. All of my coaches are very invested in each of their athletes. They care about their players and make them feel like more than just a player with a jersey. They understand how to push athletes to get their best performance. This year my volleyball team accomplished the best possible thing any high school team could, and it wouldn’t be possible without my family, teammates and coaches.
–Alana Deshetsky, North Branch
I’m super grateful for my amazing teammates throughout the years, playing volleyball has given me many lifelong friends. I’m also grateful for my parents and family for supporting me through everything, whether it’s just coming to my games or driving hours just for practice multiple times a week.
–Rylie Ferguson, Yale
I’d say I’m thankful for everyone who has helped me get to where I am today: my teammates, coaches, friends, and most importantly family.
–Luke Fletcher, Port Huron Northern
Something I’m thankful for is having the opportunity to play the sports I love, especially getting the opportunity to play at the college level. Not many people have the chance to even play a sport, so it’s pretty cool I get the opportunity to do that.
–Jeff Heaslip, Marine City
I’m very grateful for the coaching staff I have involved with both volleyball and track, as well as my teammates on my volleyball team and the ones I gain in the throwing group during track season. I’m also grateful for the opportunity my parents have given me to be involved in such great programs.
–Janae Hudson, Marysville
I’d have to say I’m thankful for my teammates, nothing would be possible without them.
–Tyler Jamison, Port Huron Northern
I am grateful for having an athletic director (Mr. Gauthier) and two outstanding coaches (Coach Johnson & Coach Wade) who have allowed me to pursue my passion and compete in both softball and track during the same season. Without their hard work and understanding, I wouldn’t have been able to participate and pursue a collegiate career in track. I am also grateful to have finished my last season of varsity volleyball with Coach Mandy, after five years with her, I cannot thank her enough for the time and dedication she has put into me.
–Devin Johnston, Almont
I’m grateful for my coach Robert Blume. He put me in a position to be my best and always pushed us to succeed. He always made practice fun and enjoyable.
–Brooklyn Khon, Armada
I’m thankful for my family, my teammates, and all my coaches
–Trey Kolakovich, Cros-Lex
I am grateful for my coaching staff who has always made sure over the years to get me to my fullest potential.
–Lukas Kriesch, Yale
The past three seasons on Port Huron’s varsity volleyball team allowed me to accomplish so many things. Under the wonderful coaching staff of Coach Arena, Coach Tracey and Coach Fiedler, I grew tremendously as a player but most importantly, as a person. All three have been a great support on and off the court, guiding me and showing me what it’s like to be a leader. I am very thankful for our trainer Brady for going above and beyond and making sure I'm ready for each game. Also, my teammates being my biggest fans and always giving me constant encouragement each season.
Outside of PHVB, I am thankful for past club teammates who have become like family and coaches who have helped me learn so much about the game and continue to grow my love for it.
Lastly, I am most grateful for my mom. She is the biggest part of my successes and has gotten me to be the person and player I am today. She has given up a lot for me to be able to put countless hours in the gym and is always my biggest supporter.
–Lainey Lichota, Port Huron High
I am thankful for the memories and experiences I’ve shared with my teammates throughout the time I’ve been at Richmond with the football, soccer, and track team.
–Drew Matyunas, Richmond
I am very thankful to be able to have the opportunity to play the sport I love with my teammates who are always there to support me and one another, and I’m thankful for my coaches for taking hours out of the day in and out of practices for the benefit of our team to make us better and have success.
–Kara Miller, Marysville
I am so thankful for my teammates. All of them are so encouraging to everyone and they’re honestly my best friends. Whether it’s at camp when we get to just hang out or at a race cheering each other on, we’re always laughing and making amazing memories.
–Morgan Newton, Cros-Lex
I am so very thankful for Amy Nelson. I had an injury midseason that put my season to a pause multiple times. No matter the circumstances Amy was always there offering to tape me before my races, suggesting stretches to do, and helping me keep a positive attitude. As she was cheering on her kiddos from the sidelines she was also helping me and a few of my other teammates behind the scenes. I am so thankful to have Amy Nelson in my life.
–Madison O’Connor, Cros-Lex
I am so thankful for my coach Tom Brenner because he does so much for me and has made a huge impact on my life these past four years. He is a very selfless and admirable person in and out of coaching which makes him so great. He will do anything to help anyone whenever they need it. Coach Tom also has the best sense of humor as well as a super hardworking personality which makes him so fun to be around. He always has listening ears to help people through their struggles even if it is not about running. I truly appreciate and am so thankful for all he has done for me.
–Ava Pergitone, St. Clair
I am thankful for the great coaches I’ve been blessed with here at Armada through soccer, basketball, and track, and also the bonds with my teammates I’ve built and our ability to have fun and push each other as hard as we can for the best success.
–Andrew Sniesak, Armada
I am thankful for my mom and dad supporting me throughout all my sports I’ve played. Taking me to practice, paying for hotels, and spending countless hours with me to help me accomplish my goals. I couldn’t have done it without their support.
–Ella Stephenson, Algonac
I am thankful for the opportunity to be back playing the sport I love after a broken leg in football. I’m happy to be able to play with my best friends and compete and a high level.
–Braden Turner, Marysville