Capital grad named Sports Star of the Year

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Capital Grad Kendall Hooper named Olympia Sports Star of the Year
Kendall HooperKendall Hooper, a 2021 Capital High School graduate, was recently named Girl’s Sports Star of the Year by the Olympia & Beyond Sports Commission. She was chosen for her performance in sports as a senior at Capital last year, as well as leadership, dedication, sportsmanship and good school behavior.

Nine other Olympia School District students also were recognized at the event, along with the entire Capital Cougarettes dance team.

“I was truly touched to be named for something that I loved to do and participate in at a high level,” said Hooper, who is now a student at Baylor University in Texas.

As a high school student, Hooper competed in three sports and was president of the school’s Future Business Leaders of America club. She also had a job at Boston Harbor Marina and volunteered as a coach and referee for Little Cougs basketball and Oly Kicks soccer camp. She graduated CHS with a 3.98 GPA.

“Kendall was always a great example of what being a Capital Cougar is all about,” said Capital Athletic Director Steve Taylor. “Kendall was not only a leader in the classroom and in athletics but a true leader in the halls. She took every opportunity to use her leadership skills to make Capital a better place. As a 3-sport athlete, Kendall had the opportunity to inspire many students to strive to be the best that they could be. We in the Athletic Department are very proud of Kendall and this great award.”

Today, Hooper is studying biochemistry on the Pre-Physician Assistant (PA) pathway. She plans to graduate from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Science and then be accepted into Pre-PA school in hopes of becoming a physician assistant.

“Being a student athlete has always been who I am,” Hooper said. “I have always been a competitive person and sports helped me apply it to the academic aspect also.”

Hooper thanks a number of coaches who inspired her during her years at Capital. “Someone who has always been there is my soccer Coach Keith “Otto” Otteson. He was at all my athletic events even though he was my soccer coach. You could find him in the stands at basketball games or fastpitch games. In addition, he was always motivational -- instilling confidence in me and ultimately giving incredible amounts of support,” Hooper said. “In addition, all my high school coaches such as, Coach Adriana Montes, Coach Tiffany Twiddy, Coach Amanda Beers, and Coach Nicole Glenn. They all gave me something special that made me who I am today and instilled quality and memories that I will never forget.”

“Another influential person in my high school career was my basketball coach Nigel Warren,” Hooper added. “He is someone who I could always count on, whether it was to level my head or someone who would sit and listen. He's a coach you never forget because he’s someone who never gives up on you and will be your number one cheerleader wherever you go. Last but not least, my history teacher and the boys basketball coach Brian Vandiver. He is someone who only wants the best for you and will go to great lengths in order to see you succeed.”

For current students and athletes, Hooper offers the following advice: “Never give up no matter how hard it gets. The outcome is much sweeter if you have to work at something to get there. Lastly, be dependable for all of your teammates and classmates.”