Surrounded by friends and family, Alyssa Andress, a Hettinger Public School senior signed a letter of intent for a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics member university.
Andress officially committed to becoming a Blue Hawk by signing onto Dickinson State University’s volleyball and track team.
It was only after meeting Jennifer Willis, head coach of the volleyball team, and Shayne Wittkopp, head coach of the track team, did Andress finally commit to Dickinson State University.
“After touring the campus, I met the coaches and player from the team and they just seemed really nice,” said Andress. “The whole atmosphere really seemed to fit me, and the coaches did a good job staying in contact and keeping me up to date with what was going on.”
Ultimately, Andress said she chose Dickinson State University because it’s a smaller, more personal college that’s close to her hometown of Hettinger.
“I like the fact that you know your professors and you know most of the students,” she said.
Locally, Andress is involved in many high school athletics, including volleyball, track, and basketball. Throughout her high school athletic career, Andress has played four years of varsity volleyball, five years of varsity basketball, and six years of varsity track and field. Andress is also the current volleyball team captain.
Athletics, she said, played a big role in her decision to become a Blue Hawk.
“Since I was little, I’ve wanted to do sports in college,” she said. “It’s always been a dream of mine.”
Even though she is only months into her senior year, Andress already has an accomplished high school athletic career. Just recently, Andress became the first Hettinger Public School athlete to score over 1,000 career points for both basketball and volleyball. Her most notable achievements include being a nominee for All State Volleyball in 2018, finishing 4th place at the Girls State B Basketball Tournament, and placing 8th in the triple jump at the 2018 state track meet.
Although she is pursuing college athletics through track and volleyball, assuming she finds time, Andress said she hopes to play basketball recreationally in college.
“I love basketball, but I feel like between volleyball and track I might get busy,” she said. “If I find time to play recreational basketball, I definitely will.
College, however, isn’t just athletics. In addition to athletics, Andress is involved in many non-athletic extracurricular activities, including involvement in HOSA, Academic Olympics, Quiz Bowl, FBLA, Student Council, the Drug and Alcohol Coalition, Mock Trial Team, and Nighthawk Leadership Council and much more.
Moving forward, Andress plans to join the health field and pursue a nursing degree. She said that she also eventually plans to attend physician assistant school.
“I’ve always wanted to do something medical,” said Andress.
When asked whether she will return to Hettinger after college, she replied, “I really don’t know yet, but it’s definitely an option. I have a lot of family here, so we’ll see.”
Although Andress is looking forward to college, she said she excited to see what lies ahead during her senior year of high school.
“I am very excited for college,” she said. “I am eager to see what the future holds for me, but I plan on enjoying high school and making the most of what time I have left. My teammates and I have a lot left to accomplish yet this year.”