Pelican Rapids multisport standout Kaylie Isaman represents a new direction for Vikings athletics after a super-charged year that saw her eclipse the 1,000th-career-dig milestone in volleyball and help lead the girls’ basketball team to a 26-2 record.
I met with Isaman and talked to her about where she’ll be continuing her athletics career next year, what she considers the highlight of her sports career to be, and how she would like to be remembered as an athlete for the Vikings.
Q: What sports do you play here at Pelican Rapids?
A: I play basketball, volleyball and track and field.
Q: Do you have plans for after high school?
A: Yes, I’m going to Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, South Dakota, to play basketball and I’m going into accounting.
Q: How did you decide on the college you’ll be attending?
A: Basketball has always been my passion so I kind of knew I wanted to play and being recruited that was just the best place for me, so I signed in January.
Q: What drew you to accounting?
A: I just wanted to do something I excel in and that I don’t mind doing and math has always been my favorite subject. It’s something that I actually like to do and this year I started accounting and I loved it and I thought that was a good place to start.
Q: What were your impressions of South Dakota?
A: Well, I never thought I would live there considering I live right between two lakes — I’ve always loved the lakes — but I don’t think anyone really knows where they’re going to end up. I was just there this weekend and it’s just flat, a few hills but I met some people and I think I’m going to like it.
Q: As an athlete what was it like signing your letter of intent?
A: It was very rewarding because all of my coaches and teammates where there supporting me and it was just like all that work paid off … I mean this has been a goal of mine since eighth grade and I’m finally achieving it and they all got to be a part of it too, and my family was there and it was a good experience.
Q: Your mother Heidi is head volleyball coach, how was it playing under her?
A: There’s definitely days that I didn’t want to talk to her at home but it’s also very rewarding to experience something like that with her because not a lot of people get to. And me and her, we both at the end of the day, we felt rewarded. I got my 1,000th career dig, she got to be right on the court for it and we made some history, our teams did and it was together. In the long run I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Q: How does being coached by your mother compare to other coaches you’ve played under?
A: Well, I think all of my coaches expect a lot out of me so I feel pressure with all of them but my mom … she doesn’t treat me different but she definitely expects more out of me than anyone, no matter what my skill level is. Just because — you know I’m her kid — she can yell at me but I know it’s because she loves me and wants me to succeed.
Q: What are your early impressions of how the track season seems to be shaping up?
A: We have a lot of girls back and we have a lot of new girls but that doesn’t really matter because of the way the program is run. You can be new, you can be old, we all just come together work hard and it pays off in June.
Q: What events do you compete in?
A: I run the 4×400, 4×800 and this year I’m going to run the 4×200. And I used to hurdle but not anymore.
Q: What do you like about the running events you compete in?
A: When I think about it ‘Why do I run?’ but I just want to get out there, I want to compete and we’ve been successful in the past and we set our goals higher every single year and when you get out there you just do it — it feel good afterwards — and you make friends. That’s what I like about it.
Q: What would you consider the highlight of your athletics career to be?
A: I would say in basketball this year we won the conference and that’s something I’ve never done, and we only lost two games so that was pretty cool. And in track I’ve medaled in state with my relay teams and that’s something that I’ll never forget. And in volleyball we got the first ever subsection trophy in the whole program’s history and that was pretty fun. We won some big games but not even that, the thing I’m going to remember the most about it is just the people I’ve met and the friendships I’ve made and the relationships with my coaches. So that’s probably what I’ll hold on to the most.
Q: How would you like to be remembered as an athlete here at Pelican Rapids?
A: Definitely a leader, someone that if I’m not feeling good or if I’m having a bad day that I can still go on the court or field and get the girls to work hard and achieve our goals. And someone that a coach can be like ‘Hey, let’s go get everyone rolling,’ and that I can be remembered as a person that could do that, you know, always do their best.
Q: Advice you can share with young athletes?
A: Stay involved. If a sport’s not working out for you try something else because you’re going to make friends. When you’re practicing all the time and having games or meets you’re staying out of trouble and you’re meeting good people and you get a lot of opportunities that some kids might not experience. So stay involved and give your hardest. If you’re not where you feel you need to be just keep working hard and eventually you’ll get there.