By Matthew Davis
Champlin Park’s Mariya Sampson will represent the school as their Athena Award winner at the Minneapolis Banquet on May 2.
The annual award goes out to the top female senior athlete in each participating school. Sampson had been a key player on several teams as a three-sport athlete with the Rebels over the years.
Sampson played for the volleyball and basketball teams, and she had had success as a golfer in the spring. Her lion’s share of success came in volleyball with all-conference awards twice and all-state honorable mention.
As the team’s captain, she helped the Rebels turn-around from a 14-16 season in 2012 to go 24-7 in 2013 and finish second in the Northwest Suburban Conference. The Rebels also reached the section finals.
Sampson will play collegiate volleyball for the seven-time Division II national champion Concordia University Golden Bears. Her continued success with the sport started with inspiration from her sister.
“I was actually a soccer player until eighth grade and was so certain that I would play soccer high school,” Sampson told the Athena award committee. “This changed when I realized I wanted to follow my sisters’ footsteps. I am very thankful for this choice because I would not have the opportunity to play college volleyball otherwise.”
Sampson’s senior volleyball season had been cut short with a meniscus tear. She bounced back from the injury during the winter sports season and helped the Rebels basketball team reach the section finals.
Outside of athletics, Sampson involves herself in the National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Feed My Starving Children, youth group and hospitality service at the church she attends. Academically, Sampson has received academic all-state honors, made the ‘A’ honor roll and NHS letters. At Concordia, she plans to major in criminal justice or special education.
Contact Matthew Davis at [email protected]