STRYKER — Kalista Blevins knows how to keep herself busy.
For starters, the recent Stryker graduate was a three-sport athlete for the Panthers in volleyball, basketball and softball.
She was just as accomplished outside the sporting realm, too, as she served as the president of her class, while also carrying a 3.8 grade point average and taking part in student council, the Spanish club, art club and National Honor Society.
So when the global coronavirus outbreak put an end to so much of Blevins’ senior year in mid-March, she said it was odd to adjust to not being busy all the time.
“It was definitely tough for us at first when we first found out we wouldn’t be going back to school and we wouldn’t be having a sports season,” Blevins said. “But I think we realized it was happening to all of us, and there was nothing we could do about it, so we just tried to look back at the good memories that we did have together, and we all checked in on each other a lot, and I think that helped us.”
Blevins is a Stryker kid through-and-through, having grown up in the school system while playing sports for the Panthers since she was young.
By her high school years, she spent some time learning at the junior varsity level, but eventually earned three letters in softball, three in volleyball and two in basketball. One of her favorite memories from her high school sporting career is the district title and trip to regionals she made as part of a 24-3 Stryker girls basketball team during her junior year.
Throughout the years, Blevins also grew into a leader for many of her teammates and classmates.
“She’s a really good role model, and as a senior she was starting to take that leadership role really well,” said Stryker softball coach Connor Sullivan, who also assisted the volleyball team this past fall. “I had a lot of younger kids who were looking up to her, because they knew how well she was doing in school academically and how well she was doing with sports.”
After high school, Blevins plans on enrolling at Trine University to study psychology and criminal justice, with the goal of one day becoming a probation officer.
And while her high school career no doubt ended on a sour note with the loss of her final season, she said it’s one of many lessons she’ll take from her time as a Stryker athlete.
“At Stryker, we have a lot of pride in our sports, being good athletes, good teammates and respecting the name on our jersey,” Blevins said. “And I think it’s always been that way.”
“I’m going to miss playing sports, obviously,” she went on to say. “But I think it’s just how close the community is. I’m going to miss that atmosphere and being a part of it on the student side, and just having all the support.”