Even the casual fan of Coeur d’Alene High sports will probably recognize Jackie Lenz.
Her blond hair, bright eyes and sparkplug personality have been lighting up local softball diamonds and gyms for four years.
Lenz is the CHS “It” girl.
As the 2005 basketball season gets rolling, the young Vikings will need all the “It” they can get from Lenz, the team’s point guard and lone senior starter.
She said she’s up to the task.
“I like being the team leader and it makes sense because I’m the point guard and the one controlling the ball,” said Lenz, who helped the upstart Vikings to a fourth-place finish at state a year ago. “Especially with the freshmen on the floor, you have to teach them from experience.
“It kind of comes natural, because you’ve already had that experience.”
She also has the knack of looking on the bright side.
“We’re really young again this year,” Lenz said. “But there are four of us coming back from last year, and having that much more experience playing with each other is a positive thing.”
So just how far can all of the positive outlook carry the Vikings?
“We take it a game at a time,” Lenz said. “But we want to get back to state again and do better than we did last year – that’s our biggest goal.
“I want to play in the championship game.”
Lenz gives the bulk of the credit for any success the Vikings have had or will have to coach Dale Poffenroth.
“All your coaches are always there for you, but he’s there in every aspect to help you – in your life in general, in your education and in sports,” Lenz said. “I don’t know how he does it, but he gets you to believe what he says and believe in yourself.”
As a three-sport athlete, Lenz, who plays outfield on the softball team and is a defensive specialist on the volleyball team, has many fond career memories.
She points to last year’s basketball season, however, as the highlight.
“Going to state last year for basketball was fun,” Lenz said. “We’ve never gone before, and we did really well.
“From (a record of) 2-19 to 21-6 isn’t too bad.”
Lenz said she plans on going to college next fall and would like to play volleyball, but hasn’t yet decided where.
“Maybe somewhere in Montana,” Lenz said. “I’d like to get into nursing or teaching, but I don’t know yet.
“Maybe pediatric nursing, because I like being around kids.”
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