Newkirk Herald Journal Sports Spotlight
The 17-year-old is the daughter of Travis and Julie Locke.She has an older brother, Mitchell, who played football for the Tigers and graduated from NHS.
"I'm a pretty outgoing and energetic person," the fun-loving Locke
offered as a self-description."I'm pretty much up for anything."Along with her
sports involvements, she
also participates in several organizations at NHS
.Locke is an officer in National Honor Society chapter, serving the group as Parliamentarian and is a member of the NHS Student Council and Bleacher Creatures.
The teenager's interests are few but intensive.She
explained, "I like to spend time with my friends and watch TV."The class Locke enjoys most at NHS is Trigonometry, taught by Coach Blake DeSpain.
athletic career began in fourth grade.She's
participated in basketball, soccer, track and field and even gave fast-pitch softball a try for a summer, but soccer is her
all-time favorite.But since the sport is not part of Newkirk's sports offerings, she's
made the most of what is available.For her
approach to basketball, Locke
issued, "I try to make it a better team, push everyone in practice."Her
athletic skills also translate to the track where she
versatility as a sprinter on Newkirk's short relay races, the 100- and 300-meter hurdles, and in the long jump.
aided the title run her
sophomore year as a member of the 400 relay team when she
handled an adjustment in the week leading up to the State meet.
personal goals for track season, stating, "I want to make it to State in the hurdles and long jump."Her
favorite event is the 100-meter hurdle race, now.She
declared, "It's just a really fun race and more competitive."However, she
wasn't too fond of the thought in her
first trip down the straightaway.
revealed, "Actually, I didn't even want to do it, but Coach Hill made me do it, and I thought it was really fun."It stuck with Locke
, who has stuck with track and through her
experiences, can now provide her
insight to the rest of the team."It takes everybody," she
underscored."I try to help lead the underclassmen."But she
plans to sell out for success in hoops, first, and she
knows what it will take for the Lady Tigers to realize their dreams."We have to play as a team and not get each other down," Locke
forwarded.One of six seniors, Locke
is certain that the team's goal to bring home a gold ball is attainable, pointing to an improved standard of performance in preparation as the source for her
confidence.She added, "Coach (Winburn) has really helped us in practice, and we've practiced really well."She
embraces the extra leadership responsibilities that come with her
role and is trying to pass along desires to make the most of the promising season."I'm more intent, and I want to play harder," Locke
explained the added purpose she's
gained as a senior.
savors the opportunity to play with such a large senior contingent, remarking, "It's great.I love all of them."Her
passion for basketball centers around the relationships involved in the game, both with her
teammates and the fans.Even though her
chances to perform on the varsity stage have been limited at times, she
savors the experience and relishes the accomplishments of the team, explaining, "I like being around my friends and just the atmosphere of the sport... We're really talented, and it's a lot of fun."
"Dale was a really close game, and we didn't think we were going to go very far," Locke
noted."Frontier had just beat us by two (eight days earlier), so we wanted to come back and beat them, and it was for a tournament championship."She's
enamored to play for a team that is now a State power, and on the verge of the Lady Tigers' inclusion in the exclusive Mid America Tournament, Locke
declared, "I really hope that we can beat Elgin and hopefully make it to the championship game.It's going to be difficult.We have to work hard and not stay up all night (in the hotel) and get some sleep."Regardless of the outcome, Locke
believes everything associated with the experience, from the competition to the camaraderie, will be beneficial in preparation for a State Tournament march in March.She
thoughts on the development of the team, assessing, "We've worked really good together, I think. (Junior move-in) Kinzie Glover has really helped us out this year."Locke
is determined to make sure that her
traits and those of all the members of the team parlay into success by season's end.That would provide the ultimate reward for the young lady who's trying to identify her
role and fill it to the best of her