Rothsay High School senior Jayna Gronewold likes a challenge. She has a knack for meeting challenges too, whether in the arena of sports, or in the classroom.
Her top sports memory is a tough one for Jayna to decide on. “There are way too many memories to pick from. I loved every minute when being able to have a team bonding. It was always filled with jokes and laughter. Besides my relationships with the team, my favorite memory was when we beat Ulen in our playoff game in basketball. We were down the entire game until the last two minutes when we made a couple of three’s to get close. Jenna Fabre made the last one on a play that was supposed to be me shooting the shot.
Once she hit the shot I was so incredibly thankful that my senior year hadn’t come to an end! That gave us so much confidence and I hope it gave the underclassmen an excited outlook for next year!”
Here is what her basketball coach Anita Heier said about Jayna, “Jayna was a great leader in our program for several years. She played with a lot of heart and her love for the game was contagious. She had high goals and high expectations for herself and everyone around her and she worked hard to achieve them. Just an amazing role model for everyone.”
Basketball, volleyball and track and field were sports passions for Gronewold and two of them, basketball and volleyball will continue to be important to her as she will participate in both sports next school year at M State in Fergus Falls. She also excelled in the classroom, enjoying all of her Math and Science classes. Jayna is currently undecided on a major.
“I’ve had the privilege to coach Jayna in both track and volleyball,” stated Kim Braaten. “In each of those sports, Jayna displayed an outstanding work ethic and was always pushing herself to greatness. She had a great volleyball season and I believe would’ve had a phenomenal track season.”
Head Track Coach Trevor Hone concurs, “Jayna is a true all-around athlete. No matter what activity she participates in she will find success. She is hard working and competitive. At the same time she is respectful to her coaches and teammates and is an inspiration to her underclassmen.”
“Being in sports has made me a better person overall,” acknowledged Gronewold. “I have had amazing coaches that have helped me be who I am today. It has really impacted me to really control my emotions and to be a good leader on and off the court. If I wasn’t being the best teammate, I would know, because right then and there I would be taken out of the game to get talked to about being a good leader. The last thing I want is to be taken out of the game, so I really had to work on my emotions as an underclassmen. I know I wouldn’t want my team looking up and seeing that I wasn’t being a leader because my emotions got the best of me. I have learned so much while being on a team, including to never let outside situations affect my time on the court.”
This spring has been tough for student-athletes all around the state, especially seniors. Jayna is now exception, “At first I really struggled with this situation because all I wanted to do was get out of the house and play sports, but unfortunately, I have not been able to do that. After a week or two passed, I have a better outlook on life. I have had the time to learn more things about myself that I wouldn’t have been able to do. I have been slowing down a lot more and focusing on things that really matter in life. I have been able to connect with God a whole lot more. I often get too distracted with my life that I don’t really get to truly connect. I have been enjoying this time away from all of those distractions, but I do miss being able to be active.”
To her underclassmen, Jayna has this advice, “Do not take your high school years for granted because just like that it can be taken away from you so fast. Cherish the time with your friends, family, teammates, coaches and teachers. Do not let your emotions get the best of you. Someone really important told me, ‘there is good in every bad day,’ so don’t let situations in life affect you so much that you take it out onto the court. There is truly a reason for everything and in the end, you will be stronger and better than ever.”