Submitted by Staci Miethe for Warrenton High School
Niqui Blodgett was one of the thousands of athletes around the country to sign her college sports letter of intent yesterday; only she gets to boast that she did it in front the entire Jewell Student body and staff. During an assembly dedicated solely to her and her many accomplishments, both athletically and academically, Jewell Athletic Director, Mark Freeman, started off the program by validating to the K-12 student body that with hard work, dedication, passion, and desire anyone can achieve their dreams. The emphasis of his message was to demonstrate if you want something you have to earn it; don’t expect it to be given to you. Then the remainder of his message was to demonstrate how Niquilla Blodgett has been so successful by epitomizing these traits.
At a table filled with her former coaches, from youth ball (Dale Hirahara), to tournament ball, to high school, everyone was given a chance to speak about this inspiring student athlete. Matt Bajo, the current coach of Highline community College and Niqui’s former summer coach for the Rampage, told stories about the first time he met Niqui and how much he admired her parents for their dedication in getting Niqui the 2-3 hours one way to practices and games. Staci Miethe, Head Coach at Warrenton High School where Niqui plays softball due to a co-op with Jewell reinforced the message of dedication by reminding the audience that playing for Warrenton High School, means a one hour drive to and from practice every day and stated that Niqui has NEVER missed a practice or team event even when given permission. Coach Miethe also congratulated Niqui on all the WHS Softball records she currently holds (Strike Outs per Season, Strike Outs per Game, Career Wins) and listed the several she is likely to break this upcoming season.
Finally, Niqui finished up the assembly with a heartfelt speech that included thanking her parents, Dezeray and Andy Blodgett, and all her grandparents, friends, teachers, coaches and even the custodial staff at Jewell School for their help in getting her better. She then, as all good role models do, threw in some life lessons for the youth, “every practice counts! Every Minute, every moment, every time you play counts!”
Niqui will be going to George Fox this fall. This decision was made after she attended a camp there last month. At the time, her intention was to play for Highline Community College in Washington (with former Fisherman, Kelsey Wullger as a teammate), but after a great showing at the camp, the coaches from George Fox immediately offered her a position on the Bruin pitching staff. It was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up. Though breaking the news to her former coach, Matt Bajo, that she would not be staying with him and attending Highline as planned was difficult, she was certain it was the right decision for her. “The level of education I will be getting at George Fox is the main reason for my decision.” “It was a hard decision, and when I had to tell Coach (Bajo) it was REALLY hard, but I believe this is the right decision for me.”
Warrenton High School can now boast they have two players in the past two years go on to play college softball. Landree Miethe, 2017 graduate, will begin her freshman year at Lower Columbia College next week. Their second game of the season was scheduled against Highline and both she and Niqui are disappointed, but probably a little relieved, they won’t have to face each other as foes after spending 3 years as the Warrior’s battery.
The Warrior’s will begin their 2018 season February 26, with the first game scheduled March 12 against Dayton, the 2017 State Champion Runner’s-up. They are looking to challenge for the Lewis and Clark League Championship this season, but will have to take down the 3 time defending State Champions, Rainier, to achieve that goal. First home game is Saturday, March 17 at 2:00 p.m. against Taft.