Editor’s Note -Recently Hometown Sports Correspondent Tara Jackson caught up with Bellefonte athlete’s Madison Melius and Wesley Badger and talked about their careers.
HS: How long have you played the current sports you are in?
WB: I have been playing Football for 6 years and will be playing my second year of Lacrosse this spring.
MM: I currently play two sports, softball and volleyball. I have played softball for 8 years and volleyball for 3 years but have been in sports my entire life.
HS: What is one piece of advice you’d like to offer younger athletes
WB:There will be struggles in every part of your life but know what you want to do and never give up.
MM:If I could give a piece of advice to a younger athlete it would be to live in the moment. You can’t change the past. The sports we play are all games of mistakes that you have to learn from and keep moving forward.
HS:,Do you think Mason Jackson could be called your Number one fan?
WB: Mason is definitely one of my top fans out of the whole crowd. When I glimpse into the crowd or hear the crowd I can always either hear him or see him cheering me on.
MM: Mason Jackson is one of the brightest people at Bellefonte sports. I would say he is definitely the number one fan of Bellefonte sports.
HS: Who is someone you look up to?
WB: I look up to my family and my coaches who help and support me and are there to pick me up when I’m down.
MM: If I had to choose someone I look up to it would be my parents. My parents have given my brother and me everything we could ask for. They work for everything they have and are amazing parents. I only wish I can be half of what they are when I grow up.
HS: What are your goals for volleyball/football/softball/lacrosse?
WB: My goals for Football and Lacrosse are the same. I would like to win a district medal in both sports this year and when both seasons are over I would like to walk off the field knowing I played my hardest and left everything I had on the field.
MM:My goal in any sport is always just to have fun and make the experience an enjoyable time for everyone on the court or field. Personally this season for volleyball I am hoping to reach 500 assists. In softball, my goal is to win a district championship.
HS: Which strengths do you believe you have that make you a great athlete?
WB: Being able to work with others and offering help to my teammates are what I believe make me a better athlete as a whole.
MM:I believe the greatest strength an athlete can have is a positive attitude. No one is a perfect athlete but if you have the right attitude you can go far.
HS: What are your plans after high school?
WB: My plans are to attend college with a major in Engineering and continue playing either Football or Lacrosse.
MM:After high school, I will be attending a college or university to continue my academic and softball career. I will be pursuing nursing while in college.
HS: Is there a coach or teammate who has gone above and beyond and pushed you more than anyone?
WB: All of my coaches and teammates have gone above and beyond to push me to be the best athlete I can possibly be.
MM:I have had many outstanding coaches throughout the years of my athletics. One of my most outstanding coaches would be the current volleyball coach at Bellefonte, Coach Monica Smith. Coach Monica came during my sophomore season and sparked my love of volleyball. Coach Monica has pushed me to be my best not only in volleyball but in life. She is one person that would do anything for her athletes at any moment. A teammate that has pushed me further than I could have ever imagined would be Lily Gardner. Lily has always been someone I looked up to in sports and life. When I finally was on a team with Lily she was nothing but positive and always pushed me to be the best I could be. Lily is now coaching volleyball for Bellefonte and still continues to push me everyday and is nothing but a burst of energy.
HS: How important is teamwork?
WB: Teamwork is the most important skill to have as an athlete both on the field and off the field. Any place where there is work to be done, teamwork will always give the best result. When the whole team is on the same page and is able to trust each other, that is when the hard work starts to pay off and we all can enjoy it a little bit more.
MM: I can not stress the importance of teamwork enough. Without teamwork, it is not possible to have a good team.