By Bill Tamburrino
Jennah Hickle, who has balanced academics, athletics and leadership, is the 2013 Ramona High School Lady Bulldog of the Year.
Hickle started playing volleyball at the age of 11 and her parents, Marti and Jim Hickle, have been there to help.
“My mom and dad attended every game that they could. Sometimes they would drive me to L.A. at four in the morning. Other times flying me across the country so I could compete and do what I love,” explained Hickle.
By the time Hickle entered Ramona High, she had skills and desire. She earned three varsity letters in volleyball, was selected captain of the varsity team her junior and senior years, and was selected All Valley League as a senior.
Hickle hit the books as hard as she can spike a volleyball. She has a 4.3 grade point average in college preparatory, honors and advanced placement classes. She has been accepted to the University of California, Berkeley (Cal) and plans on majoring in integrated biology and pursuing a career in medicine as a pediatrician.
Ask her coaches and teachers what her strongest attribute is and they all agree she is a leader on and off the court.
Hickle’s favorite subject is government. She has been a commissioner in the ASB (Associated Student Body) leadership class at RHS for four years. She has been commissioner of student relations, historian, and intradistrict commissioner. During her senior year Hickle was elected to student body president at Ramona High.
“What a leader! A young lady who started out a shy kid in middle school and who was urged by Mr. Ken Hall to break out of that shell and join the OPMS ASB has now become the No. 1 leader at RHS. She has had a positive impact on changing the culture at Ramona High School and has been a amazing student, role model and athlete. She has left a legacy that will live on,” stated ASB adviser Mona Snodgrass.
“Jennah exemplifies everything positive about student/athletes. She has a phenomenal work ethic and she leads by example. She has given more than she has taken in the volleyball program. She was an absolute pleasure to coach,” said coach Connie Halfaker.
Hickle also had good words for Halfaker: “I cannot accurately express the positive impact that coach Halfaker has had on who I am today. She has been my role model.”
When asked her most memorable moments in her volleyball experiences at RHS, Hickle replied with a smile, “The many, giant, multi-colored and painful bruises that I got alongside my second family — my volleyball girls.”
The most important lesson that she learned from her volleyball experience is, ”Life is all about balance. If you really want to, you can make anything work.”
Hickle will play intramural volleyball at Cal.
“I hope to play as long as I can and coach when I can no longer play,” she said.
Hickle would advise incoming frosh that, “sports are an amazing way to get involved but don’t let that take away from your learning. The most important thing is to find balance between sports and academics.”