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D49 Athletes Personify National Women and Girls in Sports Day

D49 Athletes Personify National Women and Girls in Sports Day

District 49 values and celebrates the importance of extracurricular activities in developing an all-round student. Music, art, clubs, and sports are all ways to stimulate our students’ individual growth. As we take a moment to recognize the 36th annual National Women and Girls in Sports Day, we shine the spotlight on three amazing D49 student athletes. 

  • Billie Fiore is a senior on the Falcon High School basketball team. Billie plans to continue her success on the court after high school, committing to play basketball at Western Colorado University in Gunnison. 
  • Baylea Larson is a senior on the Vista Ridge High School cheerleading team. Baylea’s award-winning efforts at VRHS include the following accolades: NCA All American Cheerleading Nominee (2018-2019), Vista Ridge All Conference Athlete (2020-2021), Senior Captain (2021-2022), Colorado High School Coaches Association Spirit All Elite Team (2021-2022).
  • Amaya Chaffee is a senior on the Sand Creek High School soccer team. Amaya received a  scholarship to play soccer at Central Christian College of Kansas.

Participating in sports builds character, confidence and personal insight. These attributes are on full display in the answers these student athletes provided to a “Q&A.” 


In what ways does participating in a sport empower you in other aspects of your life?

Billie Fiore FHS basketballBillie (FHS): Basketball has taught me a lot outside of the sport such as work ethic, how to work with a team and being a leader off and on the court.

Baylea (VRHS): Through our program, athletes are required to take a strength training class. The class has taught me the importance of nutrition and has made me more confident in myself. I have found life-long friends and a sense of community on the team. I have learned the values of perseverance and patience. With my hectic schedule, I know how to balance my time between my sport, my school, and my loved ones.

Amaya (SCHS): It has helped me to always work hard in everything I do. Soccer has also taught me (through multiple injuries and trials) to keep going and not give up, to continue to fight for what you love and push yourself to be the best you can be in all areas of your life.


How does participating in a sport make you a better all-around student?

Billie (FHS): It has pushed me to maintain a 3.5 grade-point average in the classroom,how to stay organized and about time management.

Baylea (VRHS): I have learned how to better balance my time. Because my sport relies so heavily on the attendance of your teammates, the priority of passing grade checks is high.

Amaya (SCHS):  Soccer has taught me how to be disciplined and committed not only as an athlete, but also as a student. I’ve had to learn a lot and work hard to keep my grades in line while also going and playing soccer out of state almost every month. Soccer has also helped me be more involved in my school.


If you could go back several years and give yourself advice in regard to your sport, what would you say to yourself?

Baylea Larson VRHS cheerBillie (FHS): Hard work truly pays off and to always keep working hard even when you don’t want to. To always push through your bad games and days.

Baylea (VRHS): You will always be your own worst enemy. I have learned that my own mental blocks, doubts in myself, and hardships are caused by myself. Your coaches believe in you, your teammates believe in you, all you need to do is believe in yourself.

Amaya (SCHS): Keep my head up. There is a plan and purpose for me and what I'm working toward, so don’t be discouraged. Keep doing what you love to do and work your hardest at it always. You’ll get to where you’re supposed to be.


What words of encouragement would you give to young girls as they begin participating in sports?

Billie (FHS):  If you have a goal, work for it and don’t let anyone tell you can’t, and to always prove them wrong.

Baylea (VRHS): There is a spot for everyone, whether you're a top girl, a base, or a talented sideline cheerleader. Everyone has their strengths and their weaknesses, so knowing your strengths allows you to be a better teammate and athlete.

Amaya (SCHS): Have fun! With hard work and a good attitude you will accomplish many things, but it’s most important that you have fun and that you enjoy playing!


What do you like about participating in your sport?

Amaya Chaffee SCHS soccerBillie (FHS): I like the competitiveness of the game., but my favorite part of the game is you get to create a sister bond with your teams, and they become your best friends on and off the court. 

Baylea (VRHS): It’s a challenge. Even if you’re good, you can always be better. There’s always another skill you can get, a stunt you can hit, a technique you can perfect. The sport is evolving, and it will always be something that I can improve myself in.

Amaya (SCHS):  I love the competitiveness of the game, and I love the team aspect. Growing so close with the girls on your team and also learning so much at the same time is amazing.


What is one of your favorite moments playing your sport?

Billie (FHS): My favorite basketball moment was during my sophomore year when we won in overtime, and I had a high school career high of 29 points and a buzzer beater to win the game with a full gym.

Baylea (VRHS):  When I get to interact with our PUPs. I was a Vista Ridge PUP when I was in fifth grade and that program was what made me truly fall in love with cheer. Getting to be with the PUPs and seeing the same excitement in their eyes, I know I had in mine, is what makes me realize the importance of being a good human being and to value the sport I chose.

Amaya (SCHS): One of my favorite moments was during a tournament game, it was the last game with the team I was on at the time, and every single player worked so hard and gave their all for each other on the field. After the game was over, we all talked about how much of an impact the team had on each of us, and it was a really special moment.