PHOTO: Freshman Summer Rufsholm took her spot on the varsity volleyball team in August. Photo by Lauralee Pettibone.

This fall freshmen Summer Rufsholm and Michael Roou have had the opportunity to participate on Black River Falls High School varsity sports teams.

Coach Amy Olson spoke with athletic director and father of Summer Rufsholm about the freshman playing on the varsity team.

“A couple of weeks before the season started, my dad had told me that he talked to coach about me being on varsity as a setter. I was really surprised when he said that because my goal was to be on JV this year, but then when we got there and the season started, coach put me with all of the older girls, and I was really excited but I also was really nervous and surprised,” Rufsholm explained.

Rufsholm is a athlete who strives to get better each and every day.

She said, “I think that one of things that got me there was working hard during the summer to become a great setter.”

Although Rufsholm is an outstanding athlete, she excels in the classroom as well.

“The school work isn’t much harder than middle school. You do get a little bit more, but other than that it’s not that much harder,” Rufsholm said.

Concerns that Rufsholm had about being on varsity as a freshman were the fact that she wouldn’t be playing with her lifelong friends and being afraid that they wouldn’t be supportive.

“All of the seniors on the team are very supportive. Like, I’m really glad about the seniors because when they were freshmen it wasn’t the same, and everyone in my grade was also really supportive and they weren’t very jealous. There were some people who reacted differently, but talking with my parents and other players helped me through that,” she exclaimed.

Rufsholm has been a great addition to the Black River Falls varsity volleyball team.

On the boys side of things, Michael Roou is experiencing the field in a whole new way.

“Varsity sports differ from middle school sports because of the time you put in and more effort and just overall how much more important it is,Roou says.

Being so young, but playing so well ended up benefiting Roou in a surprising way.

“I was surprised when I was put on varsity. I didn’t really think about it much, I just thought about C-team, but then I was lifting over the summer, and I could tell the coaches noticed that and that’s probably why I was put on it and just hard work just like how everyone else gets there,” he replied.

As for schoolwork, Roou says the school work isn’t much harder. It’s just himself that he has to push to manage his time and keep up with his studies. Roou was excited to be a part of the varsity football team this season and he was happy to be able to play with his upperclassmen friends.

Roou says, “I think everybody was pretty supportive like all of my friends would say, ‘Aye, big varsity guy now’ and other stuff like that, and every guy on the team was super supportive as well, so that was really nice.”