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Athletes of the Month

By Colin Anderson

Harley Wilks, Senior

Sandpoint High School senior Harley Wilks enjoys spending plenty of time outdoors. In the winter, it’s hitting the slopes, and during the hot summer months, you’ll find him swimming and boating. Throughout the year he also tries to get in as many rounds of golf as he can. Now captain of his high school team, Harley has come a long way since his grandfather began teaching him the game. “My biggest golf mentor has to be my grandpa. He was the one that got me hooked on golf, and he has taught me to always persevere and do my best,” he said.

Harley started playing the game around the age of 10, with Grandpa showing him the finer points of the game while keeping his head up when things didn’t go so well. Harley played for fun up until his freshman year, when he began to take the game a little more seriously. He soon found out that other young golfers had started to hone their competitive skills far before him, something he learned to overcome. “The kids that I play against, most of them have been playing seriously way longer than I have. However, this has just made me work harder and inspire me to play better.”

Despite the competition from other schools and within his own program, Harley states that many of his closest friends have come from relationships built on the golf course. It’s a game of struggles in which everyone can help each other overcome. “I just love the game of golf; well, it’s more of a love/hate relationship. I’m sure other golfers can relate. It can be a tough and frustrating game, but at the end of the day, I love playing it more than almost anything else,” he explained.

After graduation, Harley plans on enrolling at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa. He’s not sure about trying out for the golf team but will seek out area tournaments to help keep his game sharp and feed his competitive spirit. His interests include a major in business management and a minor in Christian ministries. “I chose business management because my family has always told me I have a mind for business. I also chose a minor in Christian ministries because I grew up in the church, and I want to continue to pursue my relationship with the Lord,” he said.

CeCe Deprez, Senior

Sandpoint senior CeCe Deprez has tried just about every sport she can find. She’s competed in track, lacrosse, soccer, basketball, tennis, baseball and swim. The experience of playing vastly different sports has helped her become even better at the two sports she focused most on throughout her years at Sandpoint High—volleyball and golf.

“I have learned to balance sports and academics to the best of my ability, and it’s been challenging at times, but I have always loved having a busy life,” she said.

CeCe remembers being pushed early on. During a club volleyball season, the team was split into an ‘A’ and ‘B’ squad, and she was placed on the lower team. “It was kind of a strike to the heart but also helped me persevere because I wanted to prove to not only my coaches but myself as well that I was better than that,” she recalled. CeCe committed to improving her skills and landed a spot on the varsity team as a sophomore—one of only two sophomores to make the team. “It was amazing to be able to challenge myself more than ever before and was able to adapt and overcome.”

Despite being on many teams, she refers to her golf team as her entire friend group. They’ve almost all known each other since elementary school, and some even went to preschool together. “We have made some pretty amazing memories together, and every tournament is a blast because of them. I love our team, and we all have such a positive attitude for the sport and each other, which makes it all worthwhile.”

CeCe received offers from a few schools to play volleyball but has decided to focus on her academics. She plans to enroll at Boise State this fall and focus on either the nursing or neuropsychology programs offered there. “I have taken a couple psychology classes through Sandpoint High School, and I fell in love with the science behind the way our brain works. I have also always been into nursing and helping others. I personally believe I would have more fun in pediatric nursing over regular nursing, so I’m very excited to see where I end up because there are so many options offered at BSU.”

After getting comfortable in the college atmosphere, CeCe might consider trying out for the golf team and will reevaluate after her freshman year.

Whether it’s on the course or in the classroom, the lessons she’s learned from years of competition will help guide her future. “One life lesson I’ve learned from sports is that, like anything in life, accomplishing something takes time and patience. No one can just succeed on their first try, but any goal can be achieved with proper practice and effort.”

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