By Colin Anderson
Logan Parson, Senior
Lake City High School
Photo by Michael Turner Photography
When Lake City High School senior Logan Parson enters the wrestling room each day for practice, he feels a great sense of pride. There is a quote on the wall, “Those Who Stay Will be Champions,” that inspires Logan to continue to work toward his full potential. “Coach Owen always tells us that we don’t have to place at tournaments to be champions; we are champions in life because we dedicate our lives for the thing we love,” he explained.
While top placements and state rankings are at the top of every competitor’s mind, Logan has learned not just from coaches—but his experiences on the mat and in other areas of competition—that putting in the work and knowing you performed your best can be equally important. “I believe that this has a big meaning in my life because no matter how bad you are losing, if you get back up and keep fighting you will become a champion.”
As someone who grew smaller than many around him, Logan worked hard for years to get bigger and stronger in order to compete at the highest levels. He’s a three-sport athlete, and playing multiple sports has taught him different physical and mental strategies for competing in wrestling. In this, his final season, Logan found great success, placing second in his weight class at the district tournament, and finishing third at the annual North Idaho Rumble tournament. He loves to wrestle because of the sheer thrill he gets each time he competes. “You are imposing your will on your opponent, trying to come out on top. It has definitely changed me as a person, and it has helped me grow in life,” he said.
Outside of his normal coursework, Logan also is involved in DECA, a program that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe. He was invited to state this year and was crowned champion in the accounting portion of the competition.
As Logan begins to plan his post-high school life, he remains undecided on college options or whether to continue to play sports at the next level. As someone who is good with numbers and identifying problems, Logan might look to continue his career in accounting, but is also considering a degree in engineering.
Tori Younker, Senior
Coeur d’Alene High School
Photo by Jason Duchow
One reason why sports are such a centerpiece in our society is because of their unpredictability. If the favored team won every single time, and the outcome predetermined, the emotions we feel both watching and playing wouldn’t be the same. Coeur d’Alene High School’s Tori Younker has played on some pretty dominant teams that didn’t always come out on top, but she has learned to handle disappointment as part of the experience. “Any given night any team can beat anyone. I love that because that is life; it is not fair. But at the end of the day, if it were fair, it would be no fun, there would be no underdog story, no upset, and no point,” she said.
The senior just wrapped up her high school basketball career as a four-year starter, three-time captain and was named an alternate for the Idaho Girls Basketball All-Star Game. On the academic side, she’s a two-time DECA Nationals qualifier and has maintained her place on the Presidential Honor Roll all four years of high school.
Tori suffered a torn labrum in her shoulder freshman year, and the pain has followed her ever since. She’s undergone treatment and rehab, but it remains with her today. Despite the constant battle, she says the injury actually helped improve her game. “I grew my leadership skills immensely, I learned how to communicate better, dissect the game, and overall just appreciate the game and my team. Although the injury has been tough and I still deal with it every day, I wouldn’t trade it because I think it has made me better and more valuable.”
Tori has an offer to play basketball across the border at Whitworth University at Spokane. She is taking on a few additional visits before she makes a decision on where her playing career will continue. She’s hoping she can be part of a team that was as much fun as her days as a Viking.
“The thing I love the most about basketball is my teammates. I love going to battle with them, beating up on each other during practice, laughing, making TikToks with them, singing awfully, everything. They made basketball my favorite thing in the world,” she said.
Tori hopes to study kinesiology or business and wants to one day own a gym specializing in personal training for middle school and high school athletes. She also hopes to share her knowledge of the game as a high school basketball coach in the not-so-distant future.