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STM senior Reese Hogan embracing strange year to try a new sport

Reese Hogan leading a group of runners at St. Thomas More cross country practice.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCCU/WICS/WRSP) - While this fall has been a strange time for many high school student athletes across the state, some are still taking advantage of all the opportunities their schools have to offer, and trying something new.

After arriving at St. Thomas More last year, Reese Hogan quickly made her presence known, helping the Sabers cross country team finish 11th place at State.

"She immediately stepped into a leadership role, I think that's just her personality," said St. Thomas More cross country coach Andy Wszalek. "She's put in fabulous work this season to really be the stereotypical senior of last time around and wanting to leave everything out on the course. She's been a fabulous role model for the younger kids coming in."

She's become a welcome addition on a second team in 2020, as her friend, Tessa Tomaso, talked her in to trying out for the golf team, something her grandparents had been advocating for years.

"They have been playing golf all their lives, and have always encouraged me." Hogan said. "I never played competitively before, this is the first time. I love a challenge so I thought it'd be great."

As an individual sport of its own, the dedication to improve her golf game was something Hogan carried over from distance running.

"A lot of golf is not very glamorous," said St. Thomas More girls golf coach Alan Dodds. "It's a lot of practice and cross country's not the most glamorous sport either. You've really got to love it for the enjoyment you get out of the sport, and she seems to really love golf also."

Her desire to push herself and find a positive amidst a challenging time, is a message Hogan would like to send forth to others hesitant to try something new.

"Always give it a shot. You never know what can be out there," added Hogan. "I never knew how golf was and I've learned so much over the span of a month. Always take that extra step, take a challenge, because you never know how it will be."