"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

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When hard work pays off

Lubovich+helped+LHS+win+the+2024+state+champion+title.+%28Photo+used+with+permission+by+Kierra+Lubovich%29
Lubovich helped LHS win the 2024 state champion title. (Photo used with permission by Kierra Lubovich)

As a high school student-athlete, juggling schoolwork and sports can be an intimidating task. However, for LHS junior Kierra Lubovich, it is just another day in her life. Since six years old, Lubovich has experienced the hardships and cherishable memories of softball and now she gets the opportunity to continue playing in college. Currently, she is playing for the South Dakota Renegades 16U and committed to Augustana University.
Tackling two varsity sports, basketball and softball, they can take up a lot of time. Lubovich’s days are filled with practices, games, weightlifting sessions and tournaments, leaving little time for friends and school activities.
“In the summer, we [the Renegades] practice every single day for at least two hours, after that I usually go workout and then the rest is just preparing for tournaments,” said Lubovich.

Lubovich’s competitive club team travels as up to places as far as Colorado. (Photo used with permission by Kierra Lubovich)

To commit to a travel club team for softball includes a lot of prioritizing which comes first in one’s life, and for her, softball is at the top of her list.
For Lubovich, athletics has always been a way of life. From a young age, she has been drawn to sports and loved the feeling of pushing herself to be better. She started basketball as a third grader and softball as a first grader and excelled in volleyball as a child too. Lubovich’s biggest inspiration has always been her dad, who is also her biggest critic.
“He never let me settle, he always congratulated me but kept me humble in a positive way,” said Lubovich.
The mental aspect of sports is always largely contributed by the people surrounding her. Her dad and teammates always helped boost Lubovich when times got hard, but she also always had to believe in herself.
“Even though I went through rough patches I knew it would always improve,” said Lubovich.
Softball helped Lubovich become mentally stronger and stay determined.
Not only did softball help grow Lubovich’s determination and athleticism, but it also gave her lifelong friendships that she could not live without. After spending most of her time with her teammates while traveling and practicing, she quickly grew close to most and continued to play with them for later seasons.
“The relationships [from softball] can go really long, I have had a best friend since I started softball and we’ve played together forever,” said Lubovich.
Her hard work, dedication and perseverance have paid off, she earned the opportunity to play softball at the college level. She committed to Augustana University, her hometown college, to continue playing softball at the NCAA Division II level. She is excited to continue her athletic career and pursue her dream, all while staying close to home and her family. To commit to a college for athletics as a junior is a big deal, one can not easily change their mind after deciding. For Lubovich, the welcoming and kind environment was what helped her decide early. To play sports at a collegiate level requires a lot of mental strength, which the coaches at Augustana provided support for.
“When they were recruiting me, the head coach especially, always asked how I was doing and she really cared about my mental health,” said Lubovich.
Whether on the field or at school, Kierra Lubovich always strives to do her best. With the support of her peers and family, she will continue to be pushed further.

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About the Contributor
Ashlyn Hoffman
Ashlyn Hoffman, Staff Writer
Ashlyn Hoffman is a junior and a first-year staff writer for the Statesman at LHS. When not at school, you can find her at the softball diamonds, lifting at the gym or shopping with her friends. If she was to pick a movie series to watch for the rest of her life it would be “Harry Potter.” Hoffman’s prime time is the summer, she enjoys spending time at the lake under the sun. She also loves hiking and being in nature, including fishing even though you will not be seeing her touching the worms.
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