- By Patty Hutchens.
Athletes of the Month: Michael Campigotto & Emily Shields
Peninsula High School
Senior Michael Campigotto has shown Peninsula High School athletic fans that he has what it takes to succeed. Both a football player and a member of the wrestling team, Michael said his biggest challenge to overcome has been his 5’8” stature. But he said he has learned that size and speed are not necessarily the most important attributes.
“If you have a great work ethic and you commit yourself to giving your all every rep, practice, match and game, you will be the best athlete out there you can be,” said Michael, who said he always holds himself to a higher standard. “It was always my goal to be the most technical player on the field, and I work hard in the off season to make myself faster and stronger.”
Being raised in a military family has meant moving a few times during his life. Michael started playing football at age 6 and began to wrestle at age 7 when the family was stationed in Texas. They moved here in 2008 from Illinois.
“I was a starting cornerback junior and senior year for football,” said Michael. But it is wrestling that is his favorite sport. He has been on the varsity team for four years, the last two of which he has served as captain, and has placed at State every year so far taking eighth, sixth and seventh respectively.
Over the course of his high school years, Michael has been enrolled in 12 AP classes and maintained an impressive 3.85 GPA.
In the fall, Michael plans to attend either the University of Washington or New York University where he will pursue a degree in business management and a master’s in finance.
Gig Harbor High School
Gig Harbor senior, Emily Shields, has been on the varsity basketball and cross-country teams since her freshman year, but basketball is by far her favorite sport.
“When I was in first grade, I watched my two brothers play basketball on a team, and I asked my mom if I could play,” shared Emily. “At the time there weren’t any girls’ teams in the area, so my mom got me onto my brother’s team with all boys.”
She was instantly hooked. “From playing pickup games with my two older brothers to scrimmaging during practice, nothing beats being in the gym,” said Emily.
Emily is successful both on and off the court. She maintains a 3.75 GPA while enrolled in AP classes including biology, calculus, psychology, and composition and language.
Following in the footsteps of her dad, aunts, uncles and older brother, Emily plans to attend Gonzaga University in the fall.
“I watch every Zag basketball game with my dad, and I’ve always dreamed of the day I’d be able to be a member of the Kennel Club myself,” said Emily, who adds that she will not play basketball at the collegiate level but has already inquired about being a student manager for the Gonzaga women’s team.
While sports have taught her many things, Emily said the main lesson she has learned is perseverance.
“In all sports you go through rough patches, but being successful is all about how you deal with those slumps,” said Emily. “You can get down on yourself or play the blame game pretty easily, but it takes a certain type of athlete to turn their weaknesses into strengths.”