Paige Aguilera's competitive basketball career is quickly nearing its end, while her collegiate athletic endeavor is in its infancy stage.
Boone Grove's all-time leading soccer scorer signed a national letter of intent yesterday to play for Wright State. On the other hand, the Class 2A girls basketball sectional is under way. The Wolves face defending champion Winamac in Friday's semifinals at Hebron.
Even though Aguilera is already spending some free time preparing for her college career, she remains driven to continue her hard-court days as long as possible.
"This means so much to me," said Aguilera, who is the team's leading scorer (14.3 ppg). "I want to end it on my terms."
To keep things on her terms, Aguilera has had to re-evaluate some things. On Dec. 13 at Morgan Township and Jan. 29 at home against Hanover Central, Aguilera became weakened at the end of both games. She ended up passing out after the win against the Wildcats, awaking in a sweat-soaked state.
"I just remember being super hot," said Aguilera, who had ice packs applied to cool her down. "During the game I started to feel weird. I was kind of going in and out. I still don't remember shaking hands (with the Hanover Central) players."
According to girls basketball coach Candy Wilson, Aguilera's parents took her to the doctor after the first episode. She has been cleared to play.
The school's trainer talked with the team about eating healthier.
"It's helping me; I've started to eat better and get more vitamins into my system," Aguilera said. "I'm taking in more calories and starting to do things right."
But Aguilera remains hesitant about coming out of a game.
"I probably made it worse by not wanting to come out of the game," she said. "Nothing is going to hold me back from being on the court."
Those comments concerned me, but Aguilera said she would heed her parents' direction if a decision was made to come out.
It's just part of Aguilera's aggressive nature.
"These are the kids who you want on your side," Wilson said of Aguilera. "She is moving constantly, and she expels a lot of energy."
Aguilera is energized to change Boone's postseason woes. The Wolves haven't won a sectional crown in their last four tries, despite a 77-14 mark. Boone is 15-6 this season.
"It's strange to me," said Aguilera, a three-year varsity player. "Last year, I thought we had a good chance, and we lost in the first round.
"There's no pressure on us. No one thinks we will win."
Whatever happens Friday night, I just hope nothing stops Aguilera from enjoying a successful collegiate soccer career.. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.