Shayla Wilhelm

Shayla Wilhelm

I am a senior athlete at Portville High School.

Undoubtedly, the conclusion of the 2019-20 school year has been tough, as the consequences of COVID-19 prohibit in-class attendance and spring sports seasons.

Traditionally, in the spring season, I am a part of the Panther golf team. Yet, this year I participate in spirit rather than physically. It seems odd to be stuck at home during this unprecedented time, but I have adjusted my daily schedule to account for the exercise I normally obtain at school.

During my high school career, I demonstrated my athleticism as part of the volleyball, basketball and golf teams. I am a two time New York State champion in volleyball and our team placed second in the state my last year as a senior captain. I will never forget the memories made as a volleyball team, particularly the time when three of my teammates fell down staircases in three consecutive days. That was priceless.

During basketball, our season concluded this year with a heartbreaking loss to Falconer in the semifinal game at Jamestown Community College. Yes, there were many tears, but I will forever cherish the moments our team shared. I established countless friendships through the basketball program and even earned the title of “Team Mom.”

Basketball was definitely my favorite sport during my high school athletic journey. In the spring, I golfed on the men’s team at Portville, among a few other girls each year, and managed to play in over half of our matches according to my score in practices. This triumph brought me great joy, as surpassing the boys’ scores was not easy. The fact that I will not be able to golf this spring is saddening, but the happiness I have gathered from three years of golf definitely outweighs the loss of this year’s season.

I hope that the student body at Portville can learn from all of this year’s graduating seniors, especially those who are athletically inclined and exhibit positive qualities like amiability, leadership and drive. In the future, I intend to carry on these values to the Florida Institute of Technology where I will pursue a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering and row on the Division II women’s crew team.

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