A Pair at Prairie are All-Region athletes of the year

Phillips and Goecke never took a season off in four years

By Paul Valencia, Columbian High School Sports Reporter



He grew up playing a bunch of different sports. No reason to change that once he became a high school student.

She went to high school thinking basketball was her only athletic focus. Then she followed some good advice to become a distance runner.

Now, as high school graduates, Prairie’s James Phillips and Nicole Goecke can say they never took a season off from competition.

James Phillips (tennis, basketball, track and field) and Nicole Goecke (cross country, basketball, track and field) are The Columbian’s multi-sport athletes of the year. They represent all athletes who buck the trend of specialization, to welcome all that the high school athletics calendar can offer them.

“I couldn’t think about just doing one now,” Goecke said. “It was an amazing experience, to say the least.”

Goecke will be going to Oregon State on a track and field and cross country scholarship.

Phillips never contemplated specializing in one sport. He will be going to Concordia University on a basketball scholarship and hopes to become a walk-on track and field athlete.

“To me, a champion is someone who steps up to the plate and does their absolute best in what they’re doing, no matter the circumstances,” Phillips said. “If you do your best, you’re a champion.”

Click here to read about James Phillips and the best of the other boys multi-sport athletes in Clark County.

Click here to read about Nicole Goecke and the best of the other girls multi-sport athletes in Clark County.

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