Game Recognize Game: Erie High School’s Izzy Hageman is our May Winner

Game Recognize Game: Erie High School’s Izzy Hageman is our May Winner

Each month Eastbay is highlighting a top high school athlete by spotlighting their accomplishments both in and outside the game. This month’s winner is multi-sport athlete and true powerhouse Izzy Hageman from Erie High School in Colorado.

Izzy was nominated by Nora Roth, her Head Cheer Coach for the past four years at Erie High School. Coach Roth described Izzy as an incredibly well rounded athlete, hard worker, and someone who always holds her team accountable.

 

“She is dearly loved by her community, team members, and friends, and is an inspiration for all young female athletes that you can do it all. You can be on the cheer team and lift heavy weights! You can cheer on the football team on Friday nights and win your own state championship on the weekends.”

 

We caught up with Izzy and asked her about what it takes to compete in multiple sports at a varsity level, how she feels about dominating in a male-dominated sport, and what her goals are as she heads off to college. Here’s what she had to say:

any,What is your definition of a successful student-athlete?

My definition of a successful student-athlete is someone who’s well rounded and knows how to balance their time with school, sports, social life, family, anything like that. You’re always a student before you’re an athlete, so knowing that school comes first and having good time management are what make a really successful athlete.

Your athletic career has involved a really unique combination of sports. Can you run us through that and explain how those sports work well together?

Throughout high school I’ve done cheer all four years on varsity. Same with track, all four years on varsity. My freshman year, I was on varsity for wrestling, and I was the first female at my school to wrestle. That was crazy! I also did swimming/dive my sophomore year, and then I’ve been weightlifting outside of school since I was 11.

With cheer, the basics of that and the positions you’re in helped me with weightlifting. Then weightlifting made me strengthen those positions, which has helped me with the gymnastics and coordination you need to flip your body around or hold someone in the air in the strongest way. And that’s my strength in cheer – stunting and tumbling – finding ways to use my strength with good form and technique. Knowing what strength to use and when, that’s all come from weightlifting, because you have to know what you’re using and how to strengthen those areas.

Have you faced any unique struggles or resistance due to competing in what’s traditionally considered a male sport?

Yes! Like I said, I started weightlifting when I was 11, so throughout middle school I would be winning state championships, qualifying for nationals, going for records, super exciting stuff. And I didn’t want to post about that or tell anyone except my family, because they were the only ones who understood. You know, you don’t want to tell middle school boys who are half your size that you do weightlifting and can lift over 100lbs. It doesn’t fit that girly physique that you think is popular. So throughout middle school I kept it very low key, and then around eighth grade I started posting more about it on social media.

Although I become more comfortable in my skin and felt more pride in the sport of weightlifting, it didn’t make it any easier when becoming the first female wrestler at my school. There’s a lot of accountability when it comes to wrestling and it was tough to get used to being in a combative sport as a girl. But my teammates and coaches were all so supportive, and any weirdness I felt was mostly my own insecurities and outside opinions getting the best of me. I learned so much about myself mentally and physically from that experience. And things have changed. Our school and state now have girls’ wrestling.

“You have to take that in, and you have to just be proud of what you do. If you’re good at something, you wanna be able to show it off. That’s what makes it fun – that competition side of having people recognize all the hard work you’ve put in. Being scared to show that is nonsense.”

 

That’s one of my most important life lessons, and it’s what I wrote my college essays on. Both weightlifting and wrestling are male-dominated sports and just not something you’d think a girl would do. I wouldn’t take back any of it at all.

What has been the highlight of your athletic career so far?

There are a lot for each sport, but I would say these are my top two:

Winning State for cheer three times in a row in Colorado. We won my sophomore, junior, and senior year and that’s an experience you never forget. It’s something your whole school knows and it’s a big deal. Just being part of that team is awesome. Winning a team sport is always very, very rewarding to me.

My second one I think is the biggest one. My freshman year, I was the Youth National Champion for weightlifting. Everyone has to qualify for this meet, so I qualify and after three years of getting second every single time, I come back and gt first! That was so exciting and it opened a lot of new doors. But that’s when we had to make that decision of do you want to go further with this and possibly continue to Pan American competitions, Olympic competitions – all that stuff – but there are no promises? That’s stuff you have to work for. That’s homeschooling, that’s practicing two to three times a day. You have to figure that stuff out and decide what your goals are. For me, having that high school experience, having friends, and doing sports, and continuing to cheer – really being that multisport athlete that I love being – that was the pull for me.

Who is your role model in athletics?

Mattie Rogers is a weightlifter who just qualified for the Olympics. She’s amazing, and definitely someone I looked up to in the weightlifting world because she cheered when she was younger as well. She’s a beast – she’s awesome to watch and I still follow her career to this day. I would say she’s my biggest role model, but I’m making my own path. There are a ton of people to look up to – anyone who’s just motivated and wants to work hard, I’m drawn to them and I’m like, “Okay, be my friend. Let’s do this together!”

“No one has the same story as you. You have to be your own role model sometimes.”

What do you love most about competing?

I’m someone who works best under pressure. I love having an audience and displaying what I work so hard to do. The competition side of things is the peak, where you just worked so hard for six months and this is the deciding factor into how that went. It’s so rewarding, and I love having that adrenaline rush. That’s the best way to get it – when you’re working hard and it’s important to you. Competing is my favorite thing to do. It’s why I love sports. It makes all the rough practices worth it.

What are some of the goals you’d like to achieve after high school?

Two weeks ago, I actually made the Clemson Cheer Team, so in a month I’m going to Clemson to start classes and practices. I always knew I wanted to cheer. I’ve been doing it since I was seven – so for almost 11 years – and it’s just never gotten old for me. I love going to practices, it’s always fun to see my team, and every year just adds another reason to love what I’m doing.

It’s been very competitive this year, so it was a process. There were some insane girls there, and they were all amazing. I think my strength and my attitude are what got me on the team. This has been my goal since I started, and honestly it feels really rewarding. It’s still so new and I’m still living the high from that and I can’t wait to start.

To nominate a deserving athlete for Eastbay’s Game Recognize Game series, fill out the form here.

Make sure to follow us on Instagram @officialeastbay and @eastbaywomen

Game Recognize Game: Foundation Academy’s Danny Stutsman is our April Winner

Game Recognize Game: Foundation Academy’s Danny Stutsman is our April Winner

Each month Eastbay is highlighting a top high school athlete by spotlighting their accomplishments both in and outside the game. This month’s winner is standout linebacker Danny Stutsman from Foundation Academy in central Florida.

A threat on both sides of the ball, Danny knows that to win games, you have to be just as dedicated off the field as you are on Friday nights. In his senior season, Danny worked alongside his team and led Foundation Academy to its first Regional Championship and State Semi Final.

Through eight games that season, Danny tallied:

On Offense

  • 64 carries for 548 yards
  • 10 rushing TDs
  • 25 catches for 542 yards
  • 21 yards per catch
  • 7 receiving touchdowns

On Defense

  • 52 solo tackles
  • 11 tackles for loss
  • 5 sacks
  • 2 forced fumbles
  • 2 interception returns for touchdowns
  • 4 pass deflections
  • 1 blocked punt

And that was just the regular season. In the playoffs, Danny racked up 164 yards and 3 touchdowns in the Regional Semi Final, 151 rushing yards, 1 touchdown, 11 tackles, and 1 sack in the Regional Finals, and 9 tackles and 1 receiving touchdown in the State Semi Final against Victory Christian.

It’s a high school career full of performances like these that helped Danny make First Team All State in 2018 and 2019 and 2A Defensive Player of the Year in 2020. His proven football IQ and 3.8 GPA garnered Danny over 25 Division 1 scholarship offers before he committed to University of Oklahoma.

Danny was nominated for Game Recognize Game by Brad Lord, his head football coach at Foundation Academy and someone who’s seen first hand what an asset Danny is on the field.

Here’s what Danny had to say about competition, leadership, and playing college ball:

What is your definition of a successful student-athlete?

Utilizing lessons that I have learned in the classroom to transcend onto the athletic field. Also being able to balance the responsibilities a full-time student has while also managing the schedule of full-time athlete.

What has been the highlight of your athletic career so far?

While my acceptance into the University of Oklahoma and earning an athletic scholarship has been a memorable moment in my career, I would also add being able to lead my high school team, Foundation Academy, to a regional championship for the first time in the school’s history has been meaningful in so many ways.

Who is your role model in athletics?

I’d say one of my idols in athletics itself is Michael Jordan. Although he’s a basketball player, his tenacity to always be the best player on the court and off has motivated me tremendously, and his constant desire to always compete no matter the circumstances has always made me push my game to the next level. Also, most importantly, Jordan’s ability to lead a team and motivate the players around him is something I try to take out of his game.

What do you love most about competing?

What I love most about competing is the constant drive to be the best. Competing is so much more than just in-between the whistles on the football field. It is also during your off time competing against yourself and seeing how hard you can push yourself every day to be the best possible player and person.

What are some of the goals you’d like to achieve after high school?

Some goals that I would like to achieve after high school would be to make an impact at Oklahoma as soon as I arrive, as well as seize the opportunity I am given by pursuing my college education.

 

To nominate a deserving athlete for Eastbay’s Game Recognize Game series, fill out the form here.

Make sure to follow us on Instagram @officialeastbay and @eastbaywomen

Davante Adams Teams Up With Eastbay To Give Back To Palo Alto High School Football Team

Davante Adams Teams Up With Eastbay To Give Back To Palo Alto High School Football Team

In March, Green Bay wide receiver Davante Adams went back to his alma mater, Palo Alto High School, to surprise the football team with some advice, inspiration, and – with Eastbay’s help – fresh gear.

Adams knows that giving back is about more than just the physical items you’re giving. It’s about supporting the next generation of athletes who are looking to build a name and a future for themselves both on and off the field. And it’s about the lasting impact sport can have on young people and their communities.

 

“My time here at Pally shaped who I am. All my experiences, from state championships to the occasional losses that we had, we got to learn from that. How to win, how to come together as a team. A lot of what took place here, I feel like it shaped me for who I am in the league. The things I’m able to achieve, I can attribute to this.

Sports is a huge thing. It holds communities together. It was the #1 outlet for people in my neighborhood growing up in East Palo Alto to kind of have an escape and a way to stay out of trouble.

To be in a position now where I’m blessed to be able to do what I love and receive opportunities like this to team up with Eastbay and make this happen for the kids – it’s life changing for them, and I know that. It brings me instant gratification to be able to do that for them.”

– Davante Adams

Check out our images from the event:

 

Davante Adams Palo Alto Giveback Team Picture
Davante Adams Palo Alto Giveback Shoe Table
Davante Adams Palo Alto Shoe Giveaway
Davante Adams Palo Alto
Davante Adams Jordan Retro 10 TD Football Cleats
Davante Adams Nike Football Cleats
Davante Adams Palo Alto Football Players
Davante Adams Shoe Autograph
Davante Adams Palo Alto High School Shoe Giveaway

For more great athlete content, follow @officialeastbay

To find uniforms and equipment for your team, visit Eastbay Team Sales

Game Recognize Game: Antelope High School’s Jzaniya Harriel is our March Winner

Game Recognize Game: Antelope High School’s Jzaniya Harriel is our March Winner

Each month Eastbay is highlighting a top high school athlete by spotlighting their accomplishments both in and outside the game. This month’s winner is basketball standout Jzaniya Harriel from Antelope High School in California.

Ranked 14th overall at her position, Jzaniya is a talented point guard with big goals for her future and the work ethic to achieve them. The Stanford commit has a list of accolades that prove just how much hard work can pay off: Sacramento Area (Sac Bee Newspaper) Player of the Year in 2018 and 2019, three-year varsity starter, League MVP in 2018, 2019, and 2020, over 2,000 career points as a junior, and a full-ride scholarship to the college of her dreams – just to name a few.

“It’s very clear that Jzaniya is someone that is passionate about the sport of basketball. Every time I call her, she’s in the gym. We love her speed and athletic scoring ability and also believe she has what it takes to be a top defender.” – Tara VanDerveer, The Setsuko Ishiyama Director of Women’s Basketball Stanford University (source: Stanford Athletics)

Jzaniya doesn’t just push herself on the court. In the classroom she’s earned a 4.4 GPA while balancing 11 Advanced Placement and Honors courses. She’s set to graduate 9th in her class and has dreams of one day attending law school and becoming a judge.

“Jzaniya is constantly under extreme pressure and she always presents herself with calm and puts her team first. She only knows competition and hard work, growing up with seven competitive siblings, and this has been the foundation to her 4.4 gpa and numerous basketball accolades.” – Sean Chambers, Antelope High School girls’ varsity basketball coach

Jzaniya was nominated by her former principal and current Executive Director of Student Engagement John Becker. He’s seen Jzaniya’s competitiveness and dedication first hand, including her commitment to her teammates and the younger student-athletes around her.

Here’s what Jzaniya had to say about being a student-athlete, her role models and support system, and her future goals:

What is your definition of a successful student-athlete?

My definition of a successful student athlete is someone who takes their studies just as serious as the sport they play. Someone who wants to excel in the classroom just as much as they want to on the court or field.

What has been the highlight of your athletic career so far?

There are many memorable moments from my athletic career, but the highlight of my athletic career so far has to definitely be signing my NLI to attend my dream school, Stanford University. It felt good to turn my dreams into a reality and it showed me that hard work does pay off.

Who is your role model in athletics?

My role model in athletics is my father. He used to play and is the reason why I got into basketball. As he taught me everything he knew, we bonded and that made me love the game even more. Many people ask me who I model my game after and the answer to that is my dad. I play just like him.

What do you love most about competing?

What I enjoy most about competing is winning. I love to win, but I hate losing more and that fuels my competitive nature. I will do whatever my team needs me to do in order to win and that allows me to perform at my absolute highest level.

What are some of the goals you’d like to achieve after high school?

After high school I hope to win multiple championships with my teammates at Stanford and hopefully play professionally. I also plan on going to law school in hopes of eventually becoming a judge.

 

 

To nominate a deserving athlete for Eastbay’s Game Recognize Game series, fill out the form here.

Make sure to follow us on Instagram @officialeastbay and @eastbaywomen

Game Recognize Game: Clint High School’s Amari Morales is our February Winner

Game Recognize Game: Clint High School’s Amari Morales is our February Winner

Each month Eastbay is highlighting a top high school athlete by spotlighting their accomplishments both in and outside the game. This month’s winner is volleyball, softball, and basketball player Amari Morales from Clint High School in Texas.

Amari is a junior with three letters in volleyball and softball and two in basketball. She’s the captain of her club volleyball team and of her high school volleyball and softball teams and was a two-year All Conference team selection in volleyball. This past season, with an average seven assists per set, Amari helped lead her high school team to their first playoff win in 23 years. Her passion and drive on the court are matched by her dedication in the classroom. She maintains a 4.0 GPA and, in 2019, she received an AAU Academic All-American award.

Outside of school, Amari also shows up for those around her. Over Thanksgiving, she helped make and hand out over 300 meals to help feed those in need in her community. Amari was nominated by Power Sports Academy Athletic Director Robert Morales Jr. As one of her coaches, and her dad, Robert says the most impactful thing about Amari, and what truly sets her apart, is her unwavering commitment to her teammates.

We asked Amari what being a student-athlete means to her. Here’s what she had to say:

 

What is your definition of a successful student-athlete?

“I strongly believe that succeeding as a student-athlete not only requires unbreakable character, high moral standards, and incomparable work ethic, but also the ability to maintain a healthy balance between athletics and education.”

What has been the highlight of your athletic career so far?

“The moment that stands out to me is receiving an Academic All-American award for the 2019 AAU Nationals in Orlando. It made me realize that the athletic community holds success in the classroom as highly as it holds performance on the court. I also came to see that I could never have accomplished this without my “tough-love” support system in my corner. Their persistent presence has pushed me to never accept mediocrity in anything I do.”

Who is your role model in athletics?

“From a very young age, I looked up to my aunt and my parents as my athletic role models. They shared their love of the sport with me and showed me that I am capable of anything I set my mind to. My drive and perseverance are derived from the passion they embedded in me.”

What do you love most about competing?

“Though my teammates and coaches change from season to season, my answer to this question will always remain the same: The thing I love most about competing is working as one with my team in order to accomplish a mutual goal. My teammates are like family and the connection we make through literal blood, sweat and tears makes being beside them on the court the best part about competing.”

What are some of the goals you’d like to achieve after high school?

“After high school, I would love to continue my education while playing the sport I love at the collegiate level. I plan to major in biology to pursue a career as a scientist. Nothing would make me happier than to find a place where I can make both of my goals a reality.”

 

To nominate a deserving athlete for Eastbay’s Game Recognize Game series, fill out the form here.

Make sure to follow us on Instagram @officialeastbay and @eastbaywomen