For the Tribune

While attending elementary school in Greencastle, Sydney Stuckwisch participated in numerous sports.

When she enrolled at Trinity Lutheran in the spring of her freshman year, she knew she wanted to stay active in all three high school seasons: volleyball, basketball and softball.

This spring she plans to play tennis and participate in track.

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“I had played several sports my whole life, so it would have been kind of weird to only pick one,” Stuckwisch said.

The senior enjoys her time on the basketball floor; and when the Cougars are on offense, Stuckwisch normally play on the high post.

“I’m more like a high post forward,” Stuckwisch said. “I can shoot the 3, but I usually stay more inside the paint.”

Four times last season, she scored 14 points in a game, her career best.

“You just make sure you block out and drive the other players out,” Stuckwisch said. “It’s kind of like a team thing we’re trying to work on. We haven’t been getting the best rebounds because we haven’t been blocking out. So it’s something we’re really working on in practice where everyone is blocking out.”

She said she would rather play against man-defense because she likes to drive to the basket, and when the Cougars are on defense she enjoys pressing.

“I like the full-court defense,” Stuckwisch said. “I think our team is quick enough this year that it should be a strong strategy for us. We have some younger guards that aren’t really prepared to have all-out pressure.”

The Cougars use a number of different defensive schemes on the floor.

“I like playing man-to-man, but I also like playing zone,” Stuckwisch said. “My position in our zone defense is really to be the communicator. I’m in the middle, so I have to make sure everyone knows what to do. We’ll either play a 2-3 or a 3-2 depending on the other team.”

This season Stuckwisch was named a captain for the Cougars basketball team.

“As a captain, technically my responsibilities are to make sure there are no problems with the refs,” Stuckwisch said. “If there is a problem, I am the one that addresses the ref. As a captain and a senior leader my job is to keep the younger point guards calm and make sure their confidence is still up.”

In the fall, Stuckwisch acted as Trinity’s middle hitter the past two volleyball seasons.

“I think the most fun part of being a middle is you’re always blocking,” Stuckwisch said. “You kind of have to read where their shoulders are facing, and that’s usually the way they’ll hit, and sometimes good teams will know to try to work the block, but other than that you just have to try to jump as high as you can to make your block as good as possible, so its harder for the hitter to hit around it.”

In the middle, Stuck-

wisch gets opportunities

to get kills.

“Hitting in the middle, you always have a block in the middle so you either have to hit right or left or hit right over the block,” Stuckwisch said. “It’s about seeing where the blocker is.”

Communication on the floor is especially important as a middle hitter, according to Stuckwisch.

“Usually the back row

will see the court and see where the holes are on the other side of the court, and they will tell you left or right, where to swing,” she said. “You see a hitter reach behind her back and give the back row signals. That means what kind of ball is going to be hit.”

In 2014, the Cougars won their sectional.

Stuckwisch has played softball in the past, but she says she plans to change to tennis and track and field next spring.

“Softball wasn’t really my favorite,” Stuckwisch said. “I used to always do track and I liked it. I was a decent (discus) thrower, and I used to play tennis, too.”

In any sport she plays, Stuckwisch feels that it takes a strong mental game to succeed.

“I think it is a lot of mental,” Stuckwisch said. “There is a lot of physical aspect to sports, but it’s all about having the right attitude and knowing that you’re going to win instead of expecting to lose.”

On the hardwood

Who: Sydney Stuckwisch

Family: Parents, Troy and Susan Stuckwisch; sibling, Hayden

Sports: Volleyball 4 years, basketball 4 years, softball 3 years

Athletic honors: Volleyball — winning 2014 sectional, all-state honorable mention; basketball — winning 2014 sectional

Organizations: National Honor Society, choir, drama, student ambassador, dance committee, peer tutor

Attending TLHS: “I like the personal attention from the teachers and the smaller classes. I really like all the friendships I’ve gained, especially since coming in my freshman year I didn’t have that many close friends and through sports is where I’ve gained my really good friendships. I really like all the teams I’ve been on, and I like that Trinity has a tendency to have winning seasons.”

Plans after high school: Attend Franklin College and major in applied mathematics, play volleyball

Home volleyball matches: “I really liked those. I liked all the crowd support that would come, and our cheer block that would always yell and dress up crazy. It’s about the same in basketball.”

Favorite away gym: “I think it’s kind of cool playing in Brownstown when they turn down the lights and everything. I also like playing at Springs Valley because Larry Bird is my favorite athlete.”

Favorite food: Pizza

Favorite TV show: “Awkward”

Favorite musicians: The Eagles

Favorite movie: “Remember The Titans”

Favorite athlete: Larry Bird

Favorite team: Indiana Pacers

Favorite book: Harry Potter series

Author photo
Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.