Sportsmanship

2020 IESA Scholar Attitude Award

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Annika Johnson

Annika Johnson

Sugar Grove Kaneland Harter

Principal: Mr. Brian Faulkner

Students who are named as Scholar Attitude Award winners often cite difficult meets or games where they ultimately came out on top as learning experiences. For Annika Johnson, realizing that her negative thoughts, unconditioned legs, and improper technique were preventing any success as a cross country runner. As she matured as a runner and athlete, however, she realized self-encouragement and confidence mattered as much as her training. "Cross country taught me to keep a positive attitude and that hard work and determination shape success," she says.

One place Annika is highly successful is the soccer field. In seventh grade she was asked to play on a team with high school freshmen and sophomores. Her first game with this team is the feat of which she is most proud. Coming off the bench, Annika scored three goals in the game. "The relief I felt [after the first goal] was completely different than anything I'd ever felt before, but nothing could compare to the way my older teammates looked at me afterwards," she says. "I felt like part of the team for real, and I felt respected." After the game, Annika says she was a different player, with the confidence of a returning champion, and became a starter.

In addition to cross country, track and soccer, the Scholar Attitude Award winner for Board of Directors Division C plays in Jazz Band and has been named to the Honor Roll. After high school graduation, Annika has her eye on attending highly competitive colleges like Notre Dame, Michigan or Ohio State.

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