Senior year of high school is something every teen looks forward to. For years they’ve watched seniors before them have fun with friends, enjoy their last sports seasons, and prepare for life after high school. It’s the culmination of one’s entire youth before starting a big new chapter. Paige TeVelde is launching into this pivotal year at Lynden Christian under unexpected circumstances, but is excited and prepared, nonetheless. TeVelde, who works hard to excel in academics, volleyball and basketball, enters the year with aspirations; but with so much uncertainty of what the year will look like, she also plans to take things as they come.

At the time of this writing, TeVelde is expecting to be learning in-person, which is uncommon this year in Whatcom County. Public schools have chosen to keep students at home, but private school Lynden Christian plans to bring students back on campus. It won’t look like a normal school year, as students wear masks—this year’s new essential accessory—and follow predefined paths as they go from class to class to limit contact between students. 

TeVelde understands that in our current world things can change quickly. Lynden Christian has online options in place should one or more students need to learn from home due to COVID-19. Her sports seasons have also been reshaped. The high school calendar traditionally consists of fall, winter, and spring sports. This year’s plan is to have four sports seasons, which have been rearranged. 

Shooting guard Paige TeVelde drives the lane during a basketball game. Photo credit: Becky Vanhofwegan

With all this change and uncertainty, it would be easy to enter the year with her head down, but TeVelde has other plans. “It’s not ideal, but I’m just trying to keep positive because complaining about it isn’t going to change anything,” she says. “I’m just keeping a positive mentality and making the best of it.” 

TeVelde’s attitude and approach to life has her looking to attain some high-reaching goals during in her senior year. She looks to achieve academic excellence by finishing high school with an above 4.00 grade point average. Always willing to put in the work, she’ll strive to attain this while challenging herself. She will be taking calculus three and four through Whatcom Community college this year and has already had the opportunity to take computer programming through the University of Washington’s ‘UW in the High School’ program. The challenges these classes add do not deter TeVelde because she understands the opportunity she is being given: they will help her prepare for an engineering major in college and also garner college credits.

In addition to focusing on academics, TeVelde is preparing for the start of basketball. “Normally I have volleyball first rather than basketball, so it will be a different change getting conditioned for basketball, and then playing volleyball,” she says. “I’m just excited that they’re still planning on having a season, because nothing’s guaranteed at this point. I’m just thankful that people are still working to get us a season.”

Paige TeVelde sets the volleyball for her teammate. Photo credit: Becky Vanhofwegan

TeVelde has worked hard to prepare for both sports. In addition to training with her school programs, she also puts in outside work. TeVelde does strength training at Grit Works in Bellingham and is a shooting guard on a traveling AAU basketball team based in Tacoma. She traveled to Idaho with this team to play in a tournament this summer. Getting to play in the tournament was exciting because she hadn’t played a game since her team won the 1A state championship on March 7th beating number-one ranked Cashmere 58-55. 

She puts in the outside work in an effort to continue the personal and team success she experienced her junior year. On the way to the team’s state title, TeVelde broke the Lynden Christian single season record for three pointers by knocking down 64. The humble TeVelde gives the credit for her record to her teammates and coach. “It’s a testament to my teams’ passing; it takes some unselfish people to give up the ball like that,” she says. TeVelde says she and her teammates play by the mantra given to them by their coach, Brady Bomber: You give up a good shot for a great shot.”

Paige TeVelde enjoying herself on the basketball court. Photo by Will Rice, courtesy of NWC Athletics.

Volleyball, which will now be TeVelde’s second sports season, isn’t taking a backseat to basketball. Training has continued at Lynden Christian, although TeVelde laughs as she recalls some implemented changes. She now has her own volleyballs assigned to her and if the coach needs to pick one up for her, it’s done using two tennis racquets. 

TeVelde also travels for this sport, playing with Academy Volleyball in Lynwood. All this summer training is in an attempt to widen the gap between herself and the competition. The 5’8” setter aspires to play volleyball—and potentially basketball—in college and is looking at Whitworth and Central Washington University as potential landing spots.

TeVelde is thankful that she gets to go back to school and play sports, even if both aren’t going quite as planned. Entering her last year of high school, TeVelde is going to focus on the positives enjoying the experiences along the way. 

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