After working hard in softball, school, and volunteering, not to mention living with an autoimmune disease, senior Tessa Spinosa won the SportsHopes Perseverance Award. The honor recognizes Spinosa for her grades, citizenship, and the achievement of her goal to play in college at Messiah University in Pennsylvania.
“I actually hated softball for a really long time,” said Spinosa, a SportsHopes award winner. “I was really stubborn, so I wouldn’t let myself quit, and I ended up falling in love and just kept playing.”
Spinosa juggled many different things throughout her high school career, and had to find a way to balance each separate aspect of her life. She also maintained the stubborn attitude from when she was young, prompting herself to keep going to practice even when the Crohn’s disease took all of her energy.
“Sometimes I really just want to stay in my bed and sleep, but I still get out and push myself. There’s always doctors appointments, and meds that I have to figure out. And just when I’m feeling really bad, I know I have to push for my teammates, it is a challenge. But I make it work.”
When she was younger, Spinosa used to wonder why she had to play at all, feeling exhausted from Crohn’s. Now though, she said, “I feel so lucky that I can play. I still get the opportunity. It’s a privilege to put my cleats on.”
Spinosa is an all-star, and she does it all with a smile. She gives her all to every aspect of her life, and it shows in the impact she has made on the community and her teammates.
To all the other superstar student athletes with too much on their plates, she said, “Take a day, go on a walk. Don’t think about anything; don’t think about school, don’t think about sports. Just focus on yourself. At the end of the day, it’s you. Parents and coaches have a plan, but it all comes down to you.”