Larson leads her team to victory

January 24, 2022

Coming off of a recent knee injury that took her out of the most recent volleyball season, senior Avery Larson is willing to do whatever it takes to get back to peak performance and once again be at the top of her game. 

Recently committed to Truman State University, Larson’s ability both on and off the court is apparent. Dedicating most of her life to basketball, she is proud to say that all of her hard work has finally paid off as she will continue to play at the collegiate level.

Larson, who is also a volleyball player, was unable to play this last volleyball season. Her inability to play this past volleyball season has only motivated her to greater heights as she looks on to the rest of the basketball season. Coming off of a hot start, the rest of the season looks even brighter, and Larson shows great promise that she will continue to grow.

“I wasn’t able to do as much because of an injury,” Larson said. “As soon as I was cleared, I went full force into training for basketball season, even if I couldn’t play volleyball.”

Larson’s determination to battle through her past injury and once again play at her best has motivated others on the team to follow in her footsteps; Larson has chosen to lead by example, becoming a role model for the rest of the team, both old and young.

“I think her dedication rubs off on people, and my work ethic at practices is improved by her being there,” senior Ariana Nikolov said.

As players have grown up, professional athletes are always seen as the greatest role model that a younger player may have. The only difficulty is that players are rarely ever able to have a personal connection with these professional athletes. When players can look up to players on their own team, that personal connection can make the motivation to get better so much greater, and Larson has been able to fill that role for so many younger players throughout all four years on varsity.

Larson’s extensive experience in the sport makes her an easy player to recognize when she is out on the court, and playing all four years of basketball as a part of the varsity roster has only made her raw athletic ability on the court more obvious.

With success in past seasons, the girls’ varsity basketball team continues to improve as time goes on. This year, the team has high hopes for what the upperclassman core led by seniors like Larson can do.

“Making it to the playoffs is always a big goal, and I hope to go far this year,” Larson said.

The team’s overall dedication to the sport always plays a large role in their ability to succeed. Luckily in the case of the girl’s basketball team, there is no shortage of dedication as the girls strive to improve on every aspect of their craft.

“She’s seen as a big leader on the team due to her work ethic and the fact she committed to play college basketball,” Nikolov said.

It is this exact combination of work ethic and determination that pushes Larson above the competition. While many athletes take days off or experience long stretches without repetition, Larson always has basketball on her mind, mentally preparing for the next step on her path.

“College basketball has always been my dream, and finally making it makes me realize just how far I’ve come,” Larson said.

Finally reaching the benchmark that she had set for herself, Larson has a vast amount of experience to look forward to in the future. From her first game in college to her last, her collegiate career is likely to be just as successful as it has been here at ACHS, with even more possibilities in store.

Although her high school basketball career is coming to a close, Larson’s abilities both on and off the court will not soon be forgotten by the program. The mark she has left will forever be remembered by the players and coaches that she has impacted, and the lessons she has shared will be carried on from class to class, promoting a professional work ethic in years of Sequoits to come.

“I want to be remembered for my dedication to the sport and for helping others whenever they needed it,” Larson said. “I just really want people to remember me not just for being a good player, but a good person too, because I consider that a large part of myself.”

An athlete’s ability to play is the portion of them that is predominantly focused on, but many fans miss that these players are people, too. Larson considered her character to be just as important as her ability to play basketball, and this mindset may carry any athlete further than they ever thought possible.

Performing well in the classroom has always been an integral aspect of Larson’s life, and she is always willing to go the extra mile to help her teammates as well. For her, school has always come first, even as she continues to the college level. Without a focus on work inside of the classroom, Larson believes that her game would never have made it to the level that it is at today, and her focus on being both a student and an athlete has pushed her above and beyond what she ever thought would be a possibility.

A well-developed athlete is someone who is dedicated both to their sport and their work inside of the classroom. Their work ethic in every aspect of their life must be held to a high standard and their ability to lead their peers is often recognized as some of the best. Avery Larson is a candidate that grandly represents all of these characteristics, and it is quite obvious as to why just so many consider her an amazing athlete, teammate and friend.

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About the Writer
Photo of Tyler Cook
Tyler Cook, Tom Tom Staff
Tyler Cook is a senior at Antioch Community High School and has been on staff for three years. Cook shreds and plays hockey in the winter, and in the summer can often be found at the ponds reeling in absolute lunkers. Tyler has a love-hate relationship with Taco Bell, and has an addiction to music because he strictly listens to straight vibes.

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