Reese Janssen has been a part of one significant tale in Lakeview history - she was a sophomore on the 2019 basketball team that played at the state tournament.
It was the first time in 28 years the Lady Vikes were down in Lincoln, and it wasn't as if she was just on the roster. Janssen started every game and played an integral part of the team's success.
She'll be in that role again this fall as the starting setter on the volleyball team. If she can guide Lakeview to state she'll be the first female athlete to have played in the state tournament in two different sports in nearly 40 years.
No pressure, right?
Well, that's not exactly how she looks at it. Janssen began playing organized volleyball in the third grade and immediately found a connection in the team aspect of the game. At a summer camp, instructors told her that she had good hands - the type of hands needed to be a setter. She's been racking up assists ever since.
Win or lose, the team dynamic has brought her through it all.
Typically, Lakeview travels west for a team camp at Northern Colorado that takes place over three days. Time on the road, out to eat together and spent in the hotel has produced laughs and memories too numerous to count.
"I love being a part of a team. My team, we've always got along so well, and they're my best friends" she said. "It's just awesome."
When she's not on the hardwood, Janssen is raising a calf or two nine months out of the year. She began working with cattle in 4-H at age 8 and has grow accustomed to the care and attention it takes to produce a winner.
This past summer she won reserve champion at the Platte County Fair. Although she can't pick her team like she picks her calves, there's an undeniable parallel between caring for a winner in the show ring and caring for a winning team as a setter.
After winning one ribbon this year, she's made it known to her team that it has what it takes to bring home another.
"We're just taking it one day at a time. I'm always encouraging them and letting them know this is the year we can do it. We were so close last year, I remind them how close we were and how much that hurt," Janssen said.
"Basketball meant a lot, but this would mean more because it's my last year. Volleyball means a lot to me, and my coaches, too. I know how hard they work, and how hard I work; we want to accomplish it for one another."
- Nate Tenopir
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