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The LEAP Student Blog

Tabitha Messineo Puyallup High School | "Perfectly Imperfect"
 12/7/2016 12:00:00 AM

Author: Tabitha Messineo  
Grade: Junior
School: Puyallup High School
Mascot: Vikings
League: South Puget Sound
Classification: 4A

 "Perfectly Imperfect"
A perfect high school experience looks different to everyone. Whether you are the captain of the cheer team, an athlete, a bench warmer, the drum major, or the fan that goes to every game, it all comes down to “we’re all in this together.” Since 1890 school spirit has brought unity and pride to the multiple generations in the city of Puyallup.  

My own experience as a Puyallup Viking has been full of spirit. I have gone to every swim, basketball, football, and track event since my eighth-grade year. I have won the
spirit awards for every team I have been on… even the boys swim team. Yes, the boys swim team. During this year’s girls swim season there was a member of the team who was new to the sport of swimming.  She worked hard and learned all of the strokes and swam in all of the JV dual meets. She was not anywhere near the fastest on the team but she always gave her all.  Being able to cheer her on and watch her progress was an inspiration.  On the other side of the spectrum, there is Kacey Kiuchi who has been training most of her life.  Kacey is the fastest on the team, and was able to break a 19-year-old school record.  Watching her swim was also an inspiring experience. And then, there is me.  I am on the swim team and made it to state.  I play on the basketball team and I run hurdles and high jump on the track team.  I may not be the highest scorer or the fastest on the team, but I make up for that in spirit, pride and doing the best I can on any given day just like that girl who did not know how to swim and the girl who has been swimming her whole life.

During the 2013-2014 school year, Puyallup Vikings athletics had an amazing year which brought our school and community together. Our sports teams and athletes won several individual and team state titles throughout the year. Jordyn Bartelson and Matt Voss both won their second state wrestling titles, while Trent Nivala won his first state wrestling title. Later in the year, baseball, softball, and golf all won state titles during the same week. These wins brought pride to our school, our district, and the community.
Through the next few years we added more of our own little victories, district championships, and several more state titles. We do not just measure our success with titles though. There’s a
difference between winning and success.  My swim coach at Puyallup High School says, we all have our own “Olympic” moments…moments when we are at our own personal best. Whether we are beating a rival team or getting a PR in a race, we should all be proud of each other’s small victories.

Ultimately, we are students with different ideas of what a perfect high school experience is. We may not be a four-time wrestling state champion like Jordyn Bartelson, the drum major like Simone Stapley, or the knock down three-point shooter like Myles Smith, but we all have our “Olympic” moments. For the girl that did not know how to swim, her moment was being part of a winning team and making amazing friends. Kacey Kiuchi had her moment at state when she was on the podium knowing she had beaten the school record. We are all perfectly imperfect, but by being a part of things bigger than ourselves like teams, clubs or other organizations, together we can do as my school’s fight song says “Fight Vikings, fight fight fight, we’ll win this game.”


From: Tim Templin 12/7/2016 9:29 PM

Well said Tabitha! I saw that attitude and spirit from you during your junior high years, It's the reason I made you activities coordinator, the reason you had a major impact at Kalles, and the reason I know you' re making PHS a better place. Keep up the good work - your enthusiasm is contagious.

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December 2016

12/7/2016 Tabitha Messineo Puyallup High School | "Perfectly Imperfect"

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