||Search Results||Watch Live||Buy Photos||Sign up||School Finder|
Lincoln Way North's Valen Manns goes up for the kill. | Gary Middendorf/For Sun-Times Media
Meatheads is a chain of fast-casual burger restaurants throughout the Chicagoland area. Each month, it recognizes a student-athlete in the area surrounding each location for his or her accomplishments on and off the field.
1. How do you exemplify Meatheads' values of determination, hustle and hard work?
I always push myself to be the best I can be. I'm not happy unless I finish first in the mile or have the most weights on the bar during training. I always try to pick up my teammates and motivate them during games.
2. What were your greatest athletic and academic achievements over the last month?
Winning Lincoln-Way North's first-ever Regional girls volleyball title was the best! I also led our team in blocks this season, and that was a great feeling. North's girls volleyball team also had the highest overall GPA of all the fall sports this year. It was an amazing season!
3. Is there a teammate, coach, faculty or family member you'd credit most with your athletic and academic successes?
I call him "UBD," which stands for Uncle Big Dog. He's my Uncle John. He tries to come to every game, he sends me text messages to encourage me and he always checks up on my grades and holds me accountable. He's the type of uncle that you want to make proud and I try not to let him down.
4. Where are you going to college, or where do you want to go? Do you plan on playing a sport there?
I want to continue playing volleyball in college but I don't have a school picked out yet. My mom and I are doing a lot of research on schools every night.
5. Who is your favorite athlete playing today, collegiate or professional?
Destinee Hooker is amazing. She plays my position on the US team and I watched all of her games during the Olympics. She's clearly my favorite.
6. What's on your iPod right now?
Lana Del Rey and Lorde. I also listen to classic rock and country. My pre-game pump-up music is usually rap. I have a very wide range of music that I listen to.
7. What's the best movie or television show you've seen recently?
"The Great Gatsby" is my favorite. I love that era and wish I was born during that time.
8. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years, I should have already graduated college with a degree in broadcasting. Hopefully that means I will have a career as a sports reporter, announcer or commentator. I can't see myself ever being too far away from sports.
9. What is your favorite motivational quote?
"Whether you think you can, or think you can't — you're right." — Henry Ford.
So much of the game is mental, so I have to believe in myself always.