It takes a team to reap awardThe writer, a senior at Two Harbors High School, won the most prestigious award handed out by the Minnesota State High School League Saturday, the Triple ‘A’ Award, for high athletic, arts and academic achievement.
By: Sonja Peterson, Two Harbors, Lake County News Chronicle
,i>The writer, a senior at Two Harbors High School, won the most prestigious award handed out by the Minnesota State High School League Saturday, the Triple ‘A’ Award, for high athletic, arts and academic achievement.
I didn’t even feel like I deserved to be there at the award ceremony. The 31 other Triple ‘A’ Award finalists all seemed so amazingly accomplished. They’d placed second in the state wrestling meet. They’d independently studied a year’s worth of Latin and taken dozens of advanced placement classes.
They were concertmasters, team captains and class presidents. Sure, I had accomplishments, but when I heard my name announced as the overall girls Section A winner, I was shocked. I stood up shakily, a little worried because I hadn’t prepared an acceptance speech, which the winners were required to give. (I had been sure that I wouldn’t be accepting anything).
I was also glad, because in the speech I had the opportunity to thank the many people who made it possible for me to win the award. My impromptu speech was a little rough, so this is a second try – and my opportunity to thank those who weren’t there to hear my original speech.
My first thank you has to go to my parents and family. Let’s face it: skiing, cross country running and long distance track aren’t spectator sports.
Take a cross country meet: You run into the woods, come back 15 minutes later, cross the finish line, and maybe puke at the end. It can’t be too exciting for the people watching you. But my parents were there to cheer me on when they could.
They’ve driven thousands of miles to get me to all my sports practices, music lessons and orchestra rehearsals. Last weekend, my dad even drove to Kansas City, where I was performing with the high school band, to pick me up and get me to the Minneapolis award ceremony.
My sister, Kira, also taught me to be a good leader and responsible team player – she never let us skip out of hockey pep band even if we’d been at a ski meet all day and had hours of homework to finish afterwards.
Then, there are my teachers, coaches, music directors and other mentors – too numerous to name. But they helped me succeed by challenging me with brutal workouts, difficult music, tough assignments, and high expectations. Also, Scott Ross, Larry DeLaRosby and Janet MacDonald all specifically helped me apply for this award.
Finally, there are my teammates and friends. I’ll never forget doing the “men chant” before cross country races, wearing crazy spandex with my ski team buddies, or the great philosophical conversations/gossip sessions had during long runs at track practice.
I also want to recognize all of my fellow band members as well as youth symphony members in Duluth. Music is a team sport more than any other.
I was able to win this award only because I had so much support from the community. Consider this a thank you to anyone I didn’t mention here: referees, fans, audience members, bus drivers.
I believe I received this award because I was never forced to specialize in one activity but instead was able to participate at a high level in every activity I was interested in. This isn’t possible in every school or community, but it is in Two Harbors. I think everyone should take advantage of that.