We’re all sports fans. We love the competition, the action, and the pageantry that come along with the game. So the last few months without sports have left many of us feeling empty. But as spectators, we don’t often place ourselves in the shoes of the kids on the field and think of how being able to join a team deeply impacts student-athletes beyond a W or an L.
In the Break it Down blog series, we chat with OKCPS student-athletes about the importance of sports in their lives and gain firsthand insight into the positive impact quality athletics fields will have on our city’s future
This month we’re breaking it down with Travisha Cogdell.
Travisha recently graduated from Star Spencer High School where she was named Female Student-Athlete of the Year. During her time at Star Spencer, Travisha was a star basketball player and received All-State Honorable Mention in volleyball, all while maintaining a 3.9 GPA and serving as Student Council Vice President.
To cap off her impressive high school career, Travisha recently signed a letter of intent to play college basketball at Northern Oklahoma College – Tonkawa.
We asked Travisha to share her experience as a student-athlete in OKCPS. She emphasizes the importance of maintaining good academic performance to be eligible to play alongside her teammates. This realization helped mold her motivation and impacted the way she approaches every area of her life.
Hear what else she had to say:
What sports do/did you play in high school?
Basketball, Volleyball, Soccer, and Track
Do you currently or plan to play sports in college? If so, what sport/s and where?
I’m playing Basketball at Northern Oklahoma College (NOC) in Tonkawa.
How long have you played sports?
Tell us about your earliest sports memory.
My earliest sports memory is my 6th-grade year at Rogers Middle School. I was little and did not know much about sports but very determined to play and be a part of the team.
What was your biggest sports goal or dream when you were a kid?
My biggest sports goal was to make sure I kept my grades up to be able to play, which was an accomplishment. Also, I wanted to go to college on a sports scholarship.
Is that goal different now? If so, how?
One of my goals is different now. I accomplished both goals, but keeping my grades up is still one of my priorities in college to play basketball. Now that I’m playing basketball in college, the next goal is to make it into the WNBA.
Tell us about your favorite sports memory.
My favorite sports memory was during my entire high school career. The whole team had a close bond, and that allowed us to come together and accomplish our goals as one. We could talk to the coaches about anything and get really good feedback. I was also the Captain of the Lady Bobcats basketball team during my junior and senior years.
In my senior year, I was named the Fields and Futures Female Student-Athlete of the Year for my school and I was named a 2020 Oklahoma FCA All-State Athlete.
What impact has your sports career had on your life?
It helped me develop leadership skills and be able to help others while achieving my own goals.
What impact has it had on the people around you?
Younger kids look up to me and respect me. My teammates also look up to me and depend on me.
Do you think your focus on sports has helped you avoid trouble or bad choices? How?
My focus on sports has helped me avoid trouble or bad choices because there was no time for all that in school or out. I was too focused on my grades or helping others to be getting in trouble in school. Outside of school, we had practices or games to keep us busy, and by the time a game or practice was finished, it was close to my bedtime.
Tell us about a lesson you learned from playing sports that you can apply elsewhere in life.
One lesson I have learned from playing sports is, if you keep practicing, you will get better. I can apply that to every area of life from sports to my education.
Also, the statement each one teaches one.
Finish this sentence: A team is…
A team is a group of people that works together through anything to achieve their goals.
How important is it for young athletes to have access to quality athletic fields and facilities?
It is very important for young athletes to have access to quality athletic fields and facilities. Having access to the fields and facilities is key to playing sports and having a huge impact on the students.
What was your initial reaction the first time you played on a new field?
Playing soccer/running on the new Star Spencer field was memorable. We had the same field for years and never had locker room facilities. That all changed in 2019-2020.
Give an example of how a coach has been a positive influence in your life.
The coaches that have had a positive influence in my life taught me things both on the court and off. Also, my coaches assisted me in the process of handling recruitment from colleges by taking me to visit their campuses.
How have sports kept you focused in the classroom?
Sports have really kept me focused in the classroom because In order to play sports your grades have to be good. I stay focused on my grades not only for sports but for my benefit in the long run. If I were to get hurt in sports, I always had my education to hold me up.
What is your biggest life goal or dream?
My core goals are to always put God first, make a 4.0 GPA, give back to the community/help others, and to get a degree.
What advice do you have for kids getting into school sports?
My advice to kids involved in school sports is to find a sport that best fits you. Stay focused on your grades and then sports, because if your grades are not good you can’t play the game you love.
Also, keep in mind your team is depending on you, so keep your grades up. .No matter how hard times are getting for you, you can go to your coach or a trusted adult. Never give up. You got this. Being a part of a team will help you bond with different people and maybe even help you make friends outside of your team by building essential social skills.