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High School Athlete of the Week: Kaitlyn Cheney

In our first ever installment of the 104.5 The Team High School Athlete of the Week, we highlight a star of Shaker High School’s Sectional Champion Girl’s Lacrosse Team: Kaitlyn Cheney.

Kaitlyn Cheney is a senior at Shaker High School.  She’s been a member of the Varsity Girl’s Lacrosse Team since Freshman year.  This year, she was a Captain of the most successful team in the school’s history – making a run into the state semi-finals.  She scored 26 goals and collected 24 assists in 2012.  And she’s just been named to the Suburban Council Girl’s Lacrosse All-Star Team’s First Team.  For many, that might be enough.  But Ms. Cheney is also a member of the National Honor Society, an AP Scholar Award Winner, a four year starter and member of the New York State Scholar-Athlete Team, and an Academic All-American.

Impressed yet?  What if I told you she was a Co-Chair of the World of Difference Club?  The Editor of the Yearbook.  The Vice-President of the Students for Organized Service Club.  A member of Best Buddies.  And a winner of the Brandeis Book Award – awarded for academic excellence and service to the community.  How ’bout now?  If you’re not, you’re lying.

Courtesy of the Cheney Family

JB: Your mother sent your resume, and looking it over, I was stunned.  Between the AP classes, the school clubs, charitable endeavors, sports, etc. – how do you find time for it all?!

KC: I am definitely a busy person and I always have been and I’ve always liked it. I never wanted to sacrifice one aspect of my life, so balancing all of it has led to many late nights and even more cans of diet coke…I have to give credit to my planner which has been one of my most valuable possessions the last few years, keeping me organized and on top of everything.

JB: Getting into sports, describe the lacrosse season for me, what was the team atmosphere like?  Fun?  Like anything you’ve ever experienced?

KC: I don’t think anyone knew what to expect of the season…but I think from our first game we could all tell the team was going to be a contender. With Coach Hill, Coach Guess, and all of the girls on the team – many of us who have played together since second grade – the atmosphere was definitely fun. We knew when to focus and work hard, but we could always find the time to take some “Call Me Maybe” footage.

JB: What was it like making the run into the State Semi-finals?

KC: Making it to the State Semi-Finals was more than I ever could have expected or dreamed of for this season…We have been chasing a Sectional Championship for five years…Winning that game and everything after was incredible. It was for all of the players that came before us, our coaches, our parents, and our school. It was a rare time in all of our lives that none of us will ever forget.

JB: What’s your favorite thing about playing sports?

KC: My favorite thing…has always been the team. Winning games is great, but that’s only a fraction of the season. There’s the hours spent chasing balls in the gym during preseason, the team runs, the team sleepover, our “secret psychs”, the bus rides, the team group message, and the countless runs to Bruegger’s or Mac’s that people don’t see. These are the things that are just as meaningful and make the wins that much sweeter. There’s something to be said for pushing through a sprint with someone at your side, for making new bonds during the current season, and maintaining the bonds that began a decade ago. The team, the girls, are what make every early morning practice, all the late night sessions in the gym, everything, worthwhile.

JB: You’re involved in so many extra-curriculars, so many of which are charitable – and you’re mother talked about how wiling you are to help others.  Tell us about that.

KC: Clubs and volunteer work have always been something that I’ve been interested in and have always been a huge part of my life. There are two experiences that have meant the most. First, as a member of Best Buddies…I met Abby, a student with special needs and an instant friend. Two years ago, we signed up together for our school’s Ski Club…It was a winter when I learned a life lesson: helping someone else accomplish a task is equally, if not more, rewarding than accomplishing it yourself. The second most influential community service endeavor would be of my family’s creation. A year after my aunt passed away from cystic fibrosis at age forty-one, the Donna M. Crandall Memorial Foundation began. Run by my mom, aunts, and uncles, with a headquarters in my basement, and board meetings held at kitchen tables, for the past eleven years the foundation has raised over $1.5 million to help local CF patients. (More info about the foundation at www.donnacrandallfoundation.org).

JB: Looking back over your high school career – and farther back if you’d like – between sports, community work, academic accomplishments, what are you most proud of? What’s the most rewarding moment?

KC: Ok, this is a really hard one. I don’t think I could ever pinpoint one moment or event that I’m more proud of than another…I’m proud of all of the teams I’ve been a part of and their accomplishments, the volunteer work and extracurriculars I’ve pursued, and the academic rigor I’ve maintained. The most rewarding part is the combination of it all.

JB: All right, as we wind the interview to a close, I’ll throw out some totally miscellaneous, nothing-to-do-with-anything questions. First, what’s your favorite TV Show/Movie/Book?

KC: How I Met Your Mother/Three way tie between: Beauty and the Beast, The Parent Trap, Miracle/Since first grade and probably for the rest of my life, it will always be the Harry Potter series.

JB: What’s on your iPod?

KC: Coldplay, Adele, Beyonce, Gavin DeGraw, Jack Johnson.

JB: What do you like to do with your friends?

KC: Watch movies, go to The Melting Pot, swim, hang out, go to SPAC.

In the fall, Ms. Cheney will be headed to Georgetown University to study at the McDonough School of Business.  We at 104.5 The Team wish her nothing but the absolute best – though knowing what we know of this remarkable student, we don’t really see it playing out any other way.  Congratulations, Kaitlyn.

Have an athlete you’d like to nominate?  Send an e-mail to Joe@1045theteam.com with the student’s name, school, sport, e-mail and an explanation of why they’re deserving.

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