COLUMBUS — Maddie Hogeland faced her biggest challenge earlier this year.
A knee injury suffered during summer volleyball camp changed what she envisioned for herself during her final year of high school.
“It completely flipped my senior year. I thought I’d be going to practice every night and playing games,” she said.
Instead, the Lakeview High School student spent time going to physical therapy and supporting her team from the sideline.
Dealing with that disappointment was definitely a test for Hogeland, who is described by teachers and administrators as someone who is always positive and happy.
She had to push through the frustration of a torn ACL, something that wasn't easy at first.
“When it first happened I bawled. It was at home, but I bawled all the time,” Hogeland said.
She had to accept that her plan had veered off course. Hogeland relied on her optimism, as well as encouragement from her parents Sam and Alyssa Hogeland and teammates, to not let the injury get the best of her.
In doing so, she learned a little more about herself.
“I realized that I can overcome stuff and still have a smile on my face," she said. "It would be easy for someone in my situation to completely quit volleyball and not be a part of anything. I think it was important for me to have that positive attitude and have that support around me."
She was rewarded for having that mindset by getting into a match on senior night in late October when Lakeview faced Schuyler. With approval from the team trainer, Hogeland was allowed to serve.
Wearing a knee brace she no longer needed on a daily basis and under strict orders to stay behind the service line, Hogeland served four times.
“Honestly, I think the best memory I have from this is the night that I served," she said. "I never thought I’d step back on the court as a volleyball player. It was a night I’ll never forget."
Overcoming that challenge had a lasting impact on Hogeland.
“I’ve been more aware of other people now. My mom even says that she’s seen how this injury has changed me,” she said.
“I’m always nice to people and I’m pretty empathetic and care about people’s feelings, but maybe my injury has helped me even more with that,” Hogeland added.
Hogeland's character doesn't go unnoticed at Lakeview.
While nominating her for Student of the Quarter, teacher Tara Dlouhy said Hogeland has demonstrated every quality she’d envision for a student to receive that honor.
“Her hard work, positive attitude and willingness to help anyone stands out and should be recognized,” Dlouhy said.
She has shown that caring side by serving as a tutor. Hogeland, who loves math, works one-on-one with another student, helping them with algebra. She is also a volunteer with Revolution, a teen-dating violence awareness program offered through Center for Survivors.
Some of her other activities include National Honor Society, track (as long as her knee heals in time) and speech, an odd fit for a self-described shy person.
Hogeland was recruited for the speech team following a recommendation from the instructor of the introduction to speech class during her sophomore year.
“I was terrified speaking in front of people. It’s not my thing at all," she said. "But once I got into it and went to a couple tournaments, I saw that I was speaking in front of like five people. I thought, ‘Oh, that’s not too bad.'"
Now, Hogeland is perfecting the informative and poetry speeches she will perform this season and is hopeful the team can match or outdo its state runner-up finish from last year.
In the classroom, Hogeland is in the top 10 percent of her class academically. She plans to attend a small, private college like Nebraska Wesleyan or Drake University to study business or finance.
“I always try to put my studies first. It’s easy to get wrapped up in sports and not your academics, but I definitely see myself going places in my life so I care about my academics,” she said.