When it comes to high school sports, few can say they’ve accomplished what Halie Joerres has done in four years.
The recent Marion High School graduate wrapped up a multisport career for the Mustangs and led her class as the valedictorian.
She’s earned high honors academically throughout all four years of high school while also dedicating herself to the school’s basketball, softball and volleyball programs.
Joerres capped off a terrific basketball career as a senior by scoring 422 points and averaging 17.5 points per game. In addition to scoring, she also distributed the ball to teammates with ease, tallying 99 assists while pestering opposing offenses on her way to nabbing 83 steals.
“Halie has a very strong all-around game,” Marion girls’ basketball coach Scott Bauman said. “She has quick feet, a great basketball IQ, high energy and can penetrate the defense in a way very few players can. Halie is truly a special talent and a very classy young lady.”
Bauman had the opportunity to coach Joerres one final time in the Wisconsin High School Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Game in Madison. Joerres was selected to the Division 5 North team and was able to help her team defeat the Division 5 South squad Friday, June 17.
She admitted shifting gears from softball just two weeks earlier and suiting up with the basketball jersey again was a bit of a challenge, as the team had less than a week to practice with each other.
“It all worked out and we blended really well together,” Joerres said. “It was fun.”
Basketball is Joerres’ favorite sport by far.
“It’s truly a team sport and you have to work with others in order to succeed,” she said.
She fondly remembers traveling with her family and fellow teammates to numerous tournaments on weekends and recalled getting up early many mornings before school to shoot baskets with her father, Dave.
“I’ve been very fortunate to have my family support me along the way,” Joerres said. “They’ve always been there for me.”
She’s also thankful for her teammates and the fun they shared throughout the years.
“My best memory is that I’ve been able to play four seasons with my best friends,” she said. “Sharing our senior season together was great. We all stuck together and we worked hard in the offseason and that’s why we were able to succeed.”
Marion softball coach Debbie Malueg said Joerres was always able to provide humor to the team. She was a four-year letterwinner, a three-time all-conference award winner and team captain.
“Her speed was outstanding offensively and defensively,” she said.
When asked about her coach’s comment on humor, Joerres simply blushed and smiled.
“You have to make sports fun, too,” she said.
While she will certainly miss her prep sports career, Joerres said she is looking forward to the future. She has been accepted into the Marquette University nursing program in Milwaukee.
Her main focus will be on academics, but she may still get involved in intramural sports.
The nursing program at Marquette is vigorous and the school only accepts 100 applicants to the program per year. Joerres will decide on an area to specialize in within her field once she completes her core classes.
“With nursing, you can always advance and continue your education,” she said.
Joerres addressed Marion’s Class of 2011 at its graduation ceremony and talked about the future and the long road ahead.
Even as one journey comes to an end, a new one begins,” she told her classmates. “We now find ourselves in the awkward yet thrilling stage between high school and well, retirement. We are left with a long road ahead of us and now begins a more serious time, a time in which we must begin thinking about the path we will be taking once our caps and gowns are taken off.
“Now is the time when we can decide who we truly are,” she said. “As we move on, we must not let challenges set us back. Grasp every opportunity and never fear failure. For with every mistake or call of bad judgment a valuable lesson is learned. No matter the outcome, each experience will be worth what may lie ahead. That is what I wish for you: the bad as well as the good. Fall down, trip, make mistakes and remember the journey is never over as long as you dream big and have the courage to pursue your wishes.”