Burger King Oustanding Student Athlete: Emily Witkowski
ST. JOSEPH —
Hearing a high school kid say they’re always in the gym, or field or weight room is often taken with a grain of salt, but when St. Joe Michigan Lutheran’s Emily Witkowski says it, she means it.
The senior is a five sport athlete participating in softball, soccer, power lifting, volleyball and basketball.
Not only does she participate, she excels in nearly every activity. Witkowski was the BCS conference MVP in volleyball, becoming the second player in program history to amass over 1,000 career kills, she was First Team All-BCS in soccer leading the team in goals, is a three-time captain on the regional championship weight lfting team and was voted the team’s Most-improved player in softball after taking up the sport just a year ago. However its basketball where Emily truly shines, the 5-foot-10 post player was 2nd in the state in scoring as a junior and followed that up by leading her team to the Michigan state tournament quarterfinals and playing her way onto the Detroit Free Press 2nd Team All-State list.
"My favorite is basketball by far, we won districts and regionals and our school has only won regionals three times and I've gotten to be a part of it twice.” said Witkowski, “It’s just the competitiveness and the drive that I get doing it, I just get such a rush during basketball.”
A rush that was almost taken away from her. During her sophomore season of soccer, Emily noticed that she was becoming physically fatigued quite easily and was developing large rashes after spending time out in the sun. After a trip to the doctor the diagnosis was lupus, a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. The disease caused the normally active Emily to lose almost 30 pounds and kept her sidelined for much of the fall and summer.
“It was a real struggle, I lost a lot of weight, I didn’t have the drive that I normally had in sports but luckily I went to a lot of doctors and finally got better.” Said Witkowski, “It’s really made me a better leader and a better person.”
Witkowski is going to continue her active lifestyle at the collegiate level, the All-State post player has committed to play basketball at NCAA Division III Martin Luther College and will study to become a high school history teacher, but don’t expect her to ever stray too far from the court.
"I want to minor in coaching, and hopefully after a while I would like to go and coach college basketball." Said Witkowski.