All Sorts of Club Sports


Frequently, Lakeland high school students gather in the bleachers to watch and cheer on their school sports teams. The students on those sports teams work hard to perform well in front of the student body, but plenty of students work hard to compete in sports outside of school too.

Lakeland high school offers several athletic opportunities to the students, such as soccer, football, basketball, volleyball, dance, cheerleading, track, cross country, softball, baseball, and more. However, there are many other sports in the athletic industry.

Some competitive sports like martial arts, rodeo, motorsports, and gymnastics are participated in by Lakeland students through club programs.

Makenna Hillman is a sophomore at LHS and a gymnast at GEMS Athletic Center. She trains twice a week after school and competes on several weekends during the winter season.

She has been in the sport for five years after doing five years of acrobatics and plans on continuing gymnastics through her senior year.

Hillman likes the opportunity to compete in a club sport because it allows her to get to know more people. “I get to meet and compete with people not just limited to one school,” Hillman said.

With practice being at 3:00 and not at the school, Hillman has to hurry to get to practice on time. “Right after school, I have to go home, change, and go straight to practice,” said Hillman.

One of the bigger differences between club and school sports is that the student body does not gather on the sidelines of club sports. While some people appreciate the support, Hillman thinks that this is nice because she does not have the pressure of performing in front of a lot of people she knows.

Isabella Peterson, a freshman at LHS, participates in karate at War Horse in Post Falls. She goes to practice for an hour, where she works on fighting drills with bags, self-defense drills, techniques, and sparring.

Her favorite thing about karate is the opportunity she has to meet people she would not otherwise meet. “It is a great opportunity to make new friends,” she said.

Though they have been limited since COVID, there are karate competitions where the different skills are performed. This includes weaponry events, including bow staff, nunchucks, and sai(Peterson’s favorite.)

Peterson said it is really nice to be able to see how much she has grown since she started. She just received her black belt, which is a significant accomplishment.

Freshman Jaxon Sanborn also does martial arts. He does MMA and Jujitsu at Trevor Prangley, AKA Gym, twice a week for one hour each. Sanborn said if the school had these sports, he would participate through the school, but he appreciates the community of the club sport.

The owner’s son teaches MMA, and jujitsu is taught by a black belt coach. “They are both really good,” said Sanborn.

Sanborn participates in school sports in the spring but does MMA and jujitsu as his winter sport.

“I think both school and club sports have their pros and cons, but they are both good,” Sanborn said.

Taylor Howe, an LHS freshman, does rodeo with Washington High School Rodeo. She does barrel racing, pole bending, goat tieing, and roping.  She has done rodeo since she was eight years old and plans on doing it her whole life. 

If LHS had a rodeo team, Howe would be a part of it, but she also likes to rope with other people outside of school.“It’s a fun environment, and it’s really fun to ride a horse,” said Howe.

Howe loves rodeo but prefers school sports because more people come to watch, and the teams are typically bigger. Despite this, she thinks the opportunity to practice through the winter is one of the benefits of doing rodeo through a club.

Senior Hadley West races snowmobiles professionally. She has been snowmobiling since the age of two years old but has been racing professionally for two years. West races through a league called Rimshaw that covers five states in the Northwest.

West has to miss 30 days during the second semester, typically Thursdays and Fridays, for her races. Because of this, she makes sure to take easier classes and talk with her teachers to maintain good grades. 

While the school presents students with several athletic opportunities, there are also many sports outside of school that can be participated in.

West’s favorite thing about snowmobile racing is the feeling she has when racing. “It has adrenaline, but it’s peaceful,” said West.

Lakeland provides many athletic opportunities for its students, but there are many more sports out there that are not at Lakeland.

Many athletes at Lakeland find a passion for sports that are not at school but rather through a club.  These students work hard and compete outside of school.

There are so many athletic opportunities out there. There is so much to explore and work towards.

“It has been quite the journey,” Peterson said.