Mikaela Martin, who will graduate from Carroll Christian School on Friday as salutatorian, is leaving behind a variety of sports as she decides on a new life path.
Martin will graduate as an Iron Patriot, meaning she played three sports all four years of high school. Throughout her academic career, Martin played soccer, volleyball and basketball.
“I have six siblings, they all did sports,” Martin said. “It’s kind of in my family to play sports. So, I really couldn’t imagine not doing it; what really keeps me going — because it’s hard playing sports and keeping up with grades — was definitely my teammates and the camaraderie you build joining a team and being part of something bigger than yourself. I just enjoy it, it’s something I love.”
Most recently, in mid-May, Martin played on a Carroll Christian team that claimed its first Maryland Association of Christian Schools Athletic Conference girls soccer championship in more than a decade. Martin was named to the all-tourney team, and she was selected for second-team all-MACSAC.
“It’s helped me a lot, especially going into the next stage of my life, like learning to work hard and finding time to focus on academics and also sports but also friendships outside of those things,” Martin said. “I think throughout my six years at CCS, I have found my balance and I think that really helped me going into my next stage of life, remembering how to juggle those things.”
Martin was still debating on whether she will go to school or the armed forces after graduation.
“I’m actually not sure what I’m going to do after graduation,” Martin said. “I’m still figuring little details out. Whatever I do, I definitely want to succeed in whatever God wants me to do — I’m definitely going to go for that.”
Martin is currently seeking advice from two of her siblings — one went into the armed forces and the other took the college route — on what path she should take after college.
She first got interested in the armed forces because her brother was in the Marines and her grandfather was in the army.
If Martin decides to take the college route, she is interested in studying biology or criminal justice. She is considering community college, Liberty University or Hood College.
The craziness of keeping up with school and sports is one thing that Martin will not miss.
After graduation, Martin has decided that she will not continue sports later in her next stage of life.
“I won’t be doing sports anymore, unfortunately, which is sad but also it gives me some extra time to focus on my studies, which I’m excited about,” she said. “Also, on relationships and I’ll have more downtime to be worrying about new things I like to do besides sports.”
Where she’s been
Martin attributes a great deal of who she is to growing up on a farm and being part of a big family.
“Growing up with that many siblings, it’s something that made me who I am today,” Martin said. “They’ve always been there for me and supported me. I have loving parents, especially with sports, they were always at my sports games, they were always willing to do extra sports during the summertime, they would drive me to practice, so I’m really grateful for them.”
Martin said the biggest thing she will miss about Carroll Christian is the relationships she has built there.
“Something I’ll miss is definitely the friendships I’ve made — the relationships I’ve made with people — not just with students but with teachers also,” Martin said. “I love them all to death and I’m really going to miss them, but I’m really excited to see where everyone goes.”
For students who will be arriving at Carroll Christian next school year, Martin advises that they get involved.
“They should really get involved in the school, whether that’s playing a sport like I did or join the choir, join the band, just be a part of something bigger than yourself and learning to have pride in your school,” she said. “It makes the experience much more enjoyable and you get to know people outside of your class because in a small, private school it’s usually just you and your classmates and you have every class together.”