Athletes of the Month: Isabella Filkins & Zayne Ball
Peninsula High School
Balancing school with a part-time job, homework and sports is a challenge for anyone. But for Peninsula High School senior Isabella Filkins, it is a challenge she meets with grace and success. The senior has been the varsity cheerleading captain for two years, has a 3.93 GPA, takes honors classes and is also part of the National Honors Society.
“I rarely get days off with my busy schedule,” said Isabella.
Looking ahead, Isabella plans to attend Washington State University in the fall and looks forward to the new chapter in her life.
“I am currently undecided about my major,” she said. “I am just really excited to go to college, learn more about myself and meet new people.”
Isabella shares that what she enjoys most about cheerleading is competing on a team with all of her best friends.
“Competition cheer is very hard work and not often recognized for that, but at the end of the day all the girls are there for each other and that makes all the hard work worth it,” said Isabella.
Being part of a team can teach one many important lessons far beyond athletics, and for Isabella, she intends to take what she has learned and apply it throughout her life.
“One life lesson my two coaches have taught me this year is the importance of perseverance. They challenge us almost to our breaking points, but they constantly show how much they truly believe in us and our ability,” said Isabella. “Because of this, we push through and persevere no matter what.”
Gig Harbor High School
Senior Zayne Ball has been wrestling for 10 years. His passion for the sport has helped him to achieve great things, including winning state in Greco Roman. He has also played football for 12 years, at times playing for two teams at once. And with a 3.7 GPA, Zayne has excelled in the classroom as well.
Zayne said he is open to wrestling in college if he receives a scholarship. “If I don’t get any offers, I am thinking about finishing my AA at TCC (Tacoma Community College) and then transferring to a four-year university,” said Zayne, who plans to study sports broadcasting. “I would love to get paid to talk about and analyze something I love,” said Zayne. “Sports is just where most of my passion is and football is where I am most knowledgeable.”
When asked what he enjoys most about wrestling, Zayne shares that it is the individual nature of the sport.
“When you're playing a team sport, there are so many moving parts. Teammates, coaches, play calling, the opponent. All those things can change the game. But when you’re out on that mat, it’s all you,” said Zayne.
Wrestling, and in particular Coach Spadoni, has taught Zayne many lessons, one of which is that to improve in anything, one has to care. “If I don’t care, he won’t help me. I have to put effort in and (have to) want to get better. If I don’t care, why should someone else waste their time?”