March was full of good sports narratives spanning all ages. From the two fifth-grade journalists who will be helping us cover the AT&T Byron Nelson this year to a 98-year-old skier still ripping down the slopes, there are no limits when it comes to drive and spirit.
Here are our top five from the month:
The greatest lessons are learned when empathy runs wild.
No one shows that quite like dynamic girls’ soccer coach Reynalda Wallace in When Girls Became Lions, the first ever novel centered around Title IX.
Written by Valerie J. Gin and Jo Kadlecek, two former college athletes and college coaches, When Girls Became Lions carries readers through time and space as two worlds collide. The narratives of two girls’ soccer teams from the same high school — one championship team from 1983 and one coming-of-age team in 2008 — perfectly weave what it means to dive into the world of women’s athletics.
At the AT&T Byron Nelson press kickoff on March 17th, 2016, Salomon Navarette and Mia Williams boldly approached reigning tournament champ, Steven Bowditch, for an exclusive, two-on-one interview. They were poised, prepared, and ready with engaging questions. They furiously scribbled their notes, careful not to miss a word or nuance.
The impressive thing is, both of these young journalists are in the 5th grade. And, no question, a healthy measure of their collective poise comes from the education they’ve received at the Dallas-based Momentous Institute, the beneficiary of the legendary AT&T Byron Nelson Golf Tournament…
For Salomon Navarette and Mia Williams, the first rung on that ladder is earning the opportunity to be junior reporters at this year’s AT&T Byron Nelson. They won the privilege through an essay contest, through which they had to explain why they’d be great “inside the ropes” reporters.
It’s hard to find an athlete with more diverse interests than Houston Dash defender Lauren Sesselmann.
The Olympic bronze medalist and Canadian national team member has always been known for her superior play on the field, but her portfolio off of it is what makes her a star amongst her National Women’s Soccer League peers.
From producing and hosting her own fitness DVD program to mentoring young players to taking roles in movies, Sesselmann refuses to sit still as she enters the final years of career.
“I like to do a lot of different things,” she said. “I know that the transition out of soccer is coming and I think preparing myself for that is an important part of my career. Too often you see athletes who aren’t ready to transition away from the game, and I know that’s not something that I want to have happen when my career ends.”
George Jedenoff isn’t 98 years old. That’s just how many years he has been having fun.
He lives in California, but for the past 56 years, he has flocked to the snow in Utah so that he can do what he loves — ski.
That right. Just two years shy of 100, Jedenoff is still hurling his body down the slopes on a pair of sticks, and he didn’t even learn how to ski until he was 43.
It doesn’t matter how old you are. You can be your own superhero.
That’s what 9-year-old Milla Bizzotto is showing the world. She recently became the first person under 18 to complete a 24-hour obstacle course race, which was designed by the Navy SEALs.
Milla ran six laps totaling 36 miles, she swam eight kilometers, and she completed 25 obstacles in the Battlefrog event.
After the race, she stood up on the podium and said,
“I wanted to inspire kids to get off the couch, and show that they have something special inside of them, and that they can tell the people who don’t believe in them who they really are.”