SAC Sound-off: It’s not about Perfection

April 25, 2012

“Practice makes perfect” is just one of the many phrases that inspire one to work harder toward the goal of obtaining perfection.

Though these words may be used to inspire perfection, that is not their true purpose. Perfection doesn’t exist, but the inspiration to reach for higher goals does.

My senior year opened my eyes up to the actualization that trying to be perfect was not what sports had been teaching me all along. What I was meant to take from them were the valuable lessons of dedication, drive, teamwork, and communicating skills.

High school sports are more than a tool for athletic development. They are a medium for creating mentally-strong people who can execute in difficult situations faced later in life. Not that one may perform perfectly in these hypothetical situations, but that one may be able to handle situations that require thinking outside of the box.

How great it would be for all student-athletes to know and realize these secrets – because for the ones that feel the pressure to be perfect, it may be a much-needed relief.

I have strived to be the best I can be, and I have achieved success by doing so. However, with that success came pressure to be perfect in an athletic sense.

My junior year I was named all-state in basketball and I won the MHSAA Division 4 discus championship. Negative comments from others during my senior year about my basketball games or field events in track used to make me feel insignificant and insecure. That was before I realized I have achieved great heights and I will continue to raise my pinnacle as long as I stay positive.

I will never be absolutely perfect; I’m only human, and the best anyone can do is try his or her hardest to never back down from a task at hand. 

High school athletics have molded me from a perfection-seeking mess to a confident, realistic, and optimistic person that finally realizes nothing I do in life is about perfection – it is about the climb of simply becoming a stronger person.

What I can strive for in the realm of perfection is a perfect attitude. The contagiousness of a good attitude will not only keep me optimistic, but it can influence others around me to pursue that positive mental toughness that is so often tested in sports.

Lena Madison, New Buffalo, senior

  • Sports: Volleyball, basketball, track and field
  • Non-sports activities: Student Government, Spanish Honors Society, National Honors Society, Special Olympics and Senior Olympics volunteer
  • Must-see TV: "Lost"
  • One shining moment: Winning the MHSAA Division 4 championship in discus last spring.
  • What's next: My plan for next year is to attend Notre Dame. I will major in pre-medicine and be on the track team.
  • My favorite part of game day is: ... right before every game, my team has a dance party. We get our nerves out of our systems by dancing them away!

PHOTO: Madison accepts her first-place medal at last season's Division 4 Track and Field Final. (Photo courtesy of Lena Madison.)

Performance of the Week: Iron Mountain's Shayna Hruska

January 27, 2023

Shayna HruskaShayna Hruska ♦ Iron Mountain
Junior ♦ Wrestling

With an 8-2 decision win in the 106-pound final Saturday, Hruska became the first female champion at the annual Upper Peninsula Championships, and she then was selected the event’s “Outstanding Wrestler” for going 3-0 also with pins in her first two matches of the tournament. Those victories improved her record to 18-6 this season.

Hruska began wrestling in third grade and finished fourth at 97 pounds as a freshman at the 2021 Michigan Wrestling Association Girls Championships. She then finished second at her District to reach Regionals competing in the bracket with the boys last season. She entered last week’s U.P. Championships title coming off a runner-up finish at the Escanaba Elks Invitational on Jan. 7 and the championship at 106 at Kingsford’s Ray Mariucci Wrestling Invitational on Jan. 14.

@mhsaasports 🤼‍♀️POW: Shayna Hruska #performanceoftheweek #wrestling #upchampionship #outstandingwrestler #congrats #meetchamp #uppower #mountaineers #ironmountain #MHSAA #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #TikTok#mistudentaid #fyp @shaynahruska ♬ Beat Automotivo Tan Tan Tan Viral - WZ Beat

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MI Student Aid's "Performance of the Week" features are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning located within the Michigan Department of Treasury. MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 college savings programs (MET/MESP), as well as scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.

2022-23 Honorees

Jan. 19: Kayla Tafanelli, Warren Woods-Tower bowling - Report
Dec. 20:
Brenden Paden, Riverview Gabriel Richard hockey - Report
Dec. 16:
Tuff Scott, Holton bowling - Report
Dec. 9:
Macey Fegan, Standish-Sterling basketball - Report
Dec. 2:
Treyton Siegert, Gladwin football - Report
Nov. 24:
Lily Witte, Dexter diving - Report
Nov. 17:
Navea Gauthier, Shelby volleyball - Report
Nov. 10:
Derek Huisman, Holland Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3:
Thomas Westphal, New Baltimore Anchor Bay cross country - Report
Oct. 27:
Justin Wickey, Colon football - Report
Oct. 20:
Owen DeMuth, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood tennis - Report
Oct. 13:
Mia Melendez, Ann Arbor Greenhills golf - Report
Oct. 6:
Shawn Foster, Grand Ledge football - Report
Sept. 30:
Hannah Smith, Temperance Bedford swimming - Report
Sept. 22:
Helen Sachs, Holland West Ottawa cross country - Report
Sept. 15:
Nina Horning, Lake Orion volleyball - Report
Sept 8:
Arturo Romero, Muskegon Oakridge soccer - Report
Sept. 1:
Austin King, Midland Dow tennis - Report
Aug. 25:
Olivia Hemmila, Troy Athens golf - Report

(Photos courtesy of the Iron Mountain High School athletic department.)