(KMAland) -- For the third consecutive and final year, Shenandoah's Logan Hughes is the KMAland Female Athlete of the Year.
Hughes finished out a spectacular four-sport career this year with another fine volleyball season, an All-State basketball performance, another state medal-winning and Drake Relays-qualifying track year and a record-breaking softball campaign.
Two years ago, we did a video interview and a photo shoot to honor Hughes' feat. Last year, it was an in-depth interview on Upon Further Review. This year, in a nod to changing it up, we asked Logan to speak from the heart. If you missed it on UFR this morning, you can listen to it below.
The full transcript is also printed below:
It's crazy to think four years as a Shenandoah Fillie have gone by so fast. I can still clearly envision the first day I came over to Shenandoah. My mom had picked me up from my last day at Nishnabotna Middle School and drove me to Shenandoah for my first high school softball practice as an eighth grader. On that ride over I had many thoughts running through my head. Would I be able to adjust and make new friends? Would I get along with my new teammates and coaches? And coming from a very small school. Would I even be able to play at a school the size of Shenandoah?
At any time through life change is hard, but in the end it could be what is best. I would say when I transferred from Nishnabotna to Shenandoah it was the best thing for me. Looking back I grew in many ways. I learned what it meant to work hard, how important teamwork is, how to adjust in certain situations, and I developed leadership skills. I also gained experience on what it meant to respect and be kind to others and how to give back to my community. All of these lessons helped me grow as a person and an athlete.
I have many memories that I made playing for Shenandoah. My favorite memory from volleyball is sweeping Glenwood at home this past year. Another highlight from volleyball was taking a set from Kuemper Catholic my junior year. Knowing the growth our volleyball program made over these past four years makes me proud. My favorite basketball memories include making it to third round regional basketball my freshman and sophomore years. My freshman year we played Pocahontas Area; my sophomore year we played Cherokee. Although we lost both of those games, getting to play in front of big crowds from both towns was something special. It was proof of how supportive smaller communities are to their schools.
Shenandoah showed up both of those nights. A basketball memory that I have from this year is beating Red Oak in the second round of districts at Atlantic. We hadn't beat them in the two previous meetings we had earlier this year. Once again, the support was crazy that night. We had Shenandoah fans on both sides of the stands, and it honestly felt like we were playing at home.
Some of my most fond memories from track season include making it to state in at least one event every year since my freshman year. If you would have told me when I was a freshman that I would make it to the Drake Relays in high school I would have honestly laughed right back at you.
Making it to the Drake Relays was a highlight of high school athletics because I knew only elite athletes made it there. So making it to Drake my junior and senior year in both, shot put and discus, is something I am very proud of! My favorite memory from softball is beating Red Oak 12-2 during first round of districts this year. One other softball memory I have is winning our Shenandoah tournament three out of my five years.
My biggest inspirations growing up were my parents. My mom is an instructional coach at Shenandoah Elementary, and my dad is a farmer in the Imogene area. Growing up, my parents taught me many lessons. From a young age my parents made sure I knew what it meant to have a good work ethic. Whether it was helping my dad do chores in the mornings or helping my mom with dishes, I learned that I had to work for what I wanted.
A good work ethic would then lead to success. Another characteristic my parents have taught me was to always be a leader, not a follower, and to lead by example. As I have grown up, many times it is easy to follow what the â€œpopular kidsâ€ are doing. My parents made sure I knew how to make up my own mind and be my own person. My parents are humble individuals, so it is easy for me to want to follow in their footsteps.
Having success in high school athletics tends to make people's heads bigger than their bodies. I wanted to make sure that didn't ever happen to me. Throughout high school my parents have helped me maintain a level head, and not become cocky.
My parents have also helped instill confidence in me. My dad would always say, They put their pants on the same way you do. This was just a reminder that I should have just as much confidence as the person to the right of me. There have been many times where my parents believed in me when I didn't even believe in myself, and I am very thankful for that. The final lesson I will share that my parents shared with me is how important having faith is. In any case, faith can overcome fear. Growing up, my parents made sure we went to church every Sunday, and as I have gotten older, I have realized how important my faith truly is to me.
Another person that inspired me growing up was my sister, Kennedy. Especially as I have gotten older, my sister is someone who I take a lot of advice from. Advice about school, sports, friends, anything. My sister is a great motivator for me because I can always depend on her to believe in me and support me along the way. My sister also has a great work ethic and is a driven individual. She motivates me to want to succeed in all aspects of my life. I think my sister helped me realize what it meant to compete. Growing up, my sister and I often played basketball outside. It might have been a game of PIG or one-on-one. Whatever it was, we were lucky if we didn't end in a fight! Growing up with someone just as competitive as I am, made me become even more competitive.
Lastly, I would like to thank all of my coaches and teammates I have had over my four years at Shenandoah. Coach Comstock, Coach Weinrich, Coach Skillern, Coach DeBolt, and Coach Burdorf, you all helped me work towards my goals, push myself, and mature as a person. That is why I was successful. A special thank you to Coach Weinrich who welcomed me over to Shenandoah right from the beginning. He pushed me out of my comfort zone, helped me gain confidence, taught me how important it is to give back to my community, and was a great role model for me.
Thank you to my family near and far for all of the support you have shown me, whether it was a text, call, or coming to my games it really meant a lot. I owe a huge thank you to my brothers, Seth and Nate, who came to almost all of my high school games, and spent countless hours in a gym or on a field. They missed vacations for me during summer and family dinners during the week. Thank you to my parents who pretty much lived in a gym/field these past ten years, and spent countless nights on the road traveling for high school games and AAU tournaments. I am thankful I have parents who are as supportive as you are. I would also like to thank Derek Martin and KMA for this award, and for all of the coverage they have given Shenandoah and me these past four years. Southwest Iowa is lucky to have the sports coverage you all provide. You guys really are the best in the business.
My hope is that when people hear the name Logan Hughes, they don't just remember me as the girl from Shenandoah, who played four sports in high school, or Shenandoah's all-time leading scorer and hitter. I hope when they hear my name they think of a kind, positive person who led by example on and off the court, and who was a role model for many.
Previous KMAland Athlete of the Year Winners
2018: Logan Hughes, Shenandoah
2017: Logan Hughes, Shenandoah
2016: Taylor Fredrick, Harlan
2015: Kate Walker, Red Oak
2014: Kate Walker, Red Oak
2013: Chaley Rath, Treynor