North Branch Athletes of the Week, Sept. 5

From the coach: I nominated Sophie Smith and Hollie Ohnsorg for multiple reasons, but mainly because they showcase great attitudes about the sport of tennis. They both work extremely hard, and it shows in the success they have had at the beginning of this season. A trait I love about them both is that win or lose, they come off the court smiling and ready to play again.  They’ve had some tough losses, but you wouldn’t be able to tell from their attitude after the match.

Favorite thing about sports: (Sophie) Working as a team to reach our individual goals. Also, the perseverance that it takes to win. (Hollie) Getting along with my team members, always having fun, and cheering each other up whether it is during practice or a match.

Person who has influenced you: (Sophie) Kathy Crudo, who is my softball coach. She has pushed me to be the best I can be and taught me to believe in myself. (Hollie) I have had a lot of influencers throughout my career. Coach Santjer and Coach Spofford have been great influencers during matches and always have positive attitudes. One of my biggest influencers is my dad who always has positive outlooks on life and is always there to shower me with compliments when I step off the court.

How do you prepare for a game or meet?: (Sophie) Stretching is a very important part to me because it helps prevent injuries and helps my body perform at its best. I try to become mentally focused during our warm-up. (Hollie) I tend to get very nervous before matches, even after all my years of playing, but it helps to play with an optimistic partner like Sophie for doubles and have my teammates and coaches pump me up before a match!

Highlight of athletic career: (Sophie) I am really excited for this season because I get to play with Hollie O. and we make a great doubles team. (Hollie) A highlight of my career would be this year when we had our overnight trip to Hibbing. We won as a team at one of our tournaments, and I also won at the tournament with Sophie. We both played very well. I shared many laughs with my friends and teammates, which made it very memorable.

Future goals: (Sophie) I would like to play softball in college, and tennis will help me achieve that. (Hollie) My future goals would be to attend college, but I have no further plans. I hope to explore more classes in high school to see what I would like to study in college. 

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