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The WIAA believes that school activities matter, and here's why...

STUDIES SUPPORTING THE VALUE OF SCHOOL PROGRAMS 
READ:  The Case for School Activities
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Michael Larson
Everett

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Eddie Rojas
Lake Washington

 
 


JUNE 2017

Lukas Kubik
Jenkins JH

Bailey Ferguson
Orting MS

  

 
Spencer Kimbro MOSES LAKE HIGH SCHOOL

A member of the U.S. Paralympic Track & Field team, U.S. Paralympic World Championship team, Junior World Championship team, Spokane’s National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) Junior team and the Moses Lake Track & Field team, Spencer Kimbro is the recipient of this summer’s Student Spotlight.

Entering his senior year at Moses Lake High School, Kimbro holds more accolades and championship titles than most people receive throughout their lives. Kimbro began competing seriously in 2014 at the Desert Challenge Games in Arizona and later that year at the U.S. Paralympic National meet in San Mateo. During his first national appearance, Kimbro was racing opponents twice, event three times his age.

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“I got my butt beat in every single race, I came in dead last,” Kimbro recalled. “But it was great. I got a feel for travel and for the competition.”

“In 2015, I came back and raced at the same competitions, went down to the Desert Challenge and was doing pretty well there. I went back to Nationals in St. Paul, Minnesota and ended up taking second place in the 100 and 400 meter races.”

Due to Kimbro’s drastic improvement and championship performance at the 2015 National meet, he was selected for the U.S. teams that went on to worldwide championship competitions in the Netherlands, Toronto and Qatar, just to name a few. Locally, Kimbro has been a standout at WIAA State Track & Field meets, dominating the 100, 400, 800 and 1600 meter races and he competes on Spokane’s ParaSport junior basketball team making annual appearances at Spokane Hoopfest. In the little time away from training that he has, Kimbro has recently picked up sled hockey with a group in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

When asked what he most enjoys about competing for Moses Lake, Kimbro’s answer was two-fold. He likes the opportunity to break records and bring home championships to his hometown school, but he is also proud and hopeful to be creating a path for other wheelchair athletes to follow.

“There are not any that I know of coming up in Moses Lake, but hopefully down the line we will have another wheelchair athlete compete,” Kimbro said. “My coaches will have had me as experience and will be able to make it that much better for the next wheelchair athletes to come through the school.”

Kimbro noted that the best thing for schools and administration to do in terms of inclusion, is to continue creating opportunities everywhere, whether that be adding new events or modifying current ones to make the playing field as even as possible.

“My league (Columbia Basin) does a great job of getting me into races,” Kimbro explained.

During league meets, Kimbro has the opportunity to race alongside runners in order to stay motivated and push himself prior to Districts and State. He noted that in the beginning the races weren’t very close, but he has shaved off enough time now to be neck and neck with the runner in the lane next to him. 

Moses Lake Track & Field coach, Kevin Whittall, describes Kimbro as hard working, determined and full of energy. Whittall has been coaching Kimbro for the last three years, and like Kimbro, is hopeful that more wheelchair athletes will begin competing for their schools to deepen the competition at State.

Although his free time is limited, Kimbro enjoys hanging out with friends and family, fishing and going on road trips. He is interested in mathematics and continues to work endlessly on maintaining the school-sport balance with hopes of entering a career in the business or marketing world.

  
 
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T-Strong at Kent Meridian

While sports are a natural arena for rivalries and competition, the Kent Meridian Football and Cheer programs have used this season as a chance to promote unity and sportsmanship throughout the North South Puget Sound League (NSPSL).

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The Royals cheer squad and football team brought attention to Childhood Cancer Awareness month this September by implementing a "#TaylorStrong" awareness campaign.

A member of the KM coaching staff has a family friend whose son Taylor was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  The “T-Strong” campaign was started to support his fight. Taylor loves to watch student-athletes in uniform under the Friday Night Lights. These student-athletes have become heroes to Taylor, and the KM Royals have chosen to show Taylor how many “heroes” he has here in Washington State.

Cheer coaches Erica Wolfskill and Gerald Spalti explained the campaign further, “As a way to spread awareness and show this little boy that we have his back, KMHS Cheer and Football teams have been meeting their opponents’ mid-field, prior to kick off, to take one massive photo for Taylor.” 

 Amidst the fiery emotions that come along with competition, Kent Meridian and its opponents have created space for cross-team camaraderie and uniting for an altruistic movement.  
“While yes, we are bringing awareness, we are also showing that all schools in this league can unite for a cause. We are always looking for ways to promote and encourage sportsmanship…what better way to do so than to unite for a cause.”

Throughout the season, visiting coaches and players from schools such as Auburn Riverside, Hazen, Kentlake and Mt. Rainier have participated in the campaign by joining the Royals at the 50-yard line for a pre-game photo.

“This campaign has made so much of an impact that the new slogan for every game is to be “T-Strong," said Wolfskill and Spalti.

The KM Royals hope to use “#Taylorstrong” as a symbol of awareness for all students, regardless of their challenges, and to show that no matter what happens on the field, it's what you do off the field that can really make a difference.
 

ACTIVITIES MATTER BLOG ARCHIVE
 
 
Washington Interscholastic Activities Association  |   435 Main Ave S   |  Renton, WA 98057  |  (425) 687-8585  |  © 2017
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