By Vern Hee
Nicole Terry does not start. She doesn’t consider herself a super jock. Nor is she the star of the team, though she still plays.
With her, it is not about starting, it is all about playing the game.
In basketball, starters are not on the court all the time. Jennifer Hagstrom, varsity girls coach, plays girls that have certain skills to give her starters a rest. These players are just as important as the starters in her book.
Hagstrom plays Terry because she hustles and she likes the young athlete’s defensive abilities.
Nicole is short at 5′ 3″ and must rely on other attributes. On the court she relies on her defensive skills and high energy style of play.
“I have been playing basketball since my sophomore year. I like the shooting aspect of it. Just playing the game is really fun. It’s not really an individual sport. I like the fact you depend on other players and it’s nice to be on a team,” she said.
Last Friday she caught the ball and was slammed to the ground in the game against Cheyenne.
“I remember catching the ball and then going to the ground and that is it. I remember getting back up and my head was hurting. Apparently, my head hit the floor,” said Terry.
In a matter of seconds, she was up and running, never mind the pain.
“No matter what, I am going to give it my all in the game. It does not matter if I am playing second string or even third string. It does not matter, I will play hard,” said Terry.
Ed Kirkwood, head Trojans junior varsity basketball coach, said Terry was the best defensive player on his team.
“Last year she played for me and received the best defensive player award. I would put her on the best ball handler of the other team and she would shut them down. This year on the varsity team she has the same role. Her defensive skills get her playing time,” Kirkwood explained.
Terry is a senior and has lettered in three sports. Just in the last two years of high school she has found her inner jock. She started cross country this year and ran with her two sisters, Alexandra and Elizabeth, who were also on the team.
“I know I can always improve. I was inspired by my friend Sarah Williams. I do not like to quit and Sarah got injured. She did not have a choice. I was really inspired to keep going because I told myself that I really do not have any physical injuries like Sarah. Just because I am not starting does not mean I can not play. I would rather play than end up quitting,” she said.
Nicole has grown up with her two sisters and they all play sports. So there exists an element of competition in the home, but Nicole insists it is a healthy one.
“Alexandra and I are now playing basketball. There is some competition between us. There will be a lot more during track. It is very supportive competition. We do race each other and Alexandra usually wins in running. I look at the competition differently. I accept that she is a better runner and I am better than her in basketball. During cross country, there was some good competitive competition running cross country. We all pushed each other. I liked being on the same team as my sisters because it is an advantage we have being sisters,” said Nicole.
At the moment, she intends on taking her 4.0 GPA to college at the University of Nevada, Reno. She wants to major in nursing so she can work in the health care industry.
“I am looking in to the health science fields because I heard there will be more job openings and I am really interested in the sciences,” commented Nicole.
Her stepmother, Jessica Beaudoin, and her father, Patrick Terry, have raised the three girls and one older brother. They are both supportive of their oldest daughter.
“From baseball in middle school to cross country, track and basketball in high school, Nicole’s participation in sports has helped shape her into the loyal, determined team player she is today. Supporting her team is the main goal. She’s even foregone vacation trips in order to train and attend practice. Nicole is a smart, kind young woman whose best years lie ahead and I am honored to have a front row seat in watching her life unfold as she begins college next year,” said Beaudoin.