“The fear of failure, or of being judged, or of getting hurt will always be inside you, but you’ll never know if you don’t try… I would never have grown into the person I am now if I hadn’t just taken that first terrifying leap. I can’t promise it’ll be easy, but I can promise it’ll be worth it,” senior Sophie Blake said.
Blake made a name for herself during her four years at WGHS. Her sophomore, junior and senior year, Blake played field hockey, lacrosse and swam for the swim team- marking her as a three-year triathlete. Her first year playing, Blake was captain of the Junior Varsity field hockey and lacrosse teams and went on to become a Varsity captain on all three teams her senior year.
About her experience playing sports, Blake said, “Being an athlete has given me some of the best friendships I could ever ask for, and many of my favorite high school memories. I’m so grateful for every opportunity I’ve been given, and I’ll always be the first one to advocate for female athletes in and outside of WGHS… I really would have liked to see more support from both the student body and from the administration for girls’ athletics across the board… the girls at WGHS have worked really hard to support each other over the years… I think I speak for many female athletes when I say that, regardless of our successes or failures, we’ll never get to walk the same line or experience the same energy in our sports as many of the male athletes do unless a change is made.”
While balancing athletics, Blake managed to keep her grades up and received the Gold Renaissance Award all four years of high school along with the Top Hat Award from social studies teacher Zach Smith this year.
On top of that, Blake has been involved in the Best Buddies program – a non-profit organization that creates friendships and opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities – for three years and was named president of the program this year.
Blake said of Best Buddies, “Being a part of Best Buddies has been one of the most amazing and rewarding experiences of my life. I’ve never met such a caring, fun, and inspirational group of people… My favorite part has been being paired with my Buddy, Sophie Epps. She’s given my life a special light and never fails to make me laugh or smile no matter what’s going on. She’s honest, caring, and has a unique view on the world that continues to inspire me every day. Best Buddies has made such an incredible impact on WGHS over the years and I couldn’t be more proud to have been a part of it.”
After graduation, Blake will attend Washington University in St. Louis, where she plans to study environmental studies and marine biology.
This will be Addie Palmquist’s first year on ECHO staff, but she made several contributions while taking journalism class her freshman year.
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