It certainly was a memorable senior year for Hadley Brooksby.
The 18-year-old excelled in sports and in the classroom at Oakland High School.
She was the student body president. She maintained her 4.0 GPA and was a co-valedictorian along with her twin brother, Jacob, and Madeline Gibbs.
With Oakland not in a co-op agreement with Sutherlin for soccer, Hadley Brooksby ran cross country for the Oakers for the first time. She was an all-state point guard for the basketball team and placed in the top three in two jumping events at the Class 2A state track and field meet.
And Brooksby was selected this week as The News-Review’s female prep athlete of the year. Brooksby and Days Creek’s Blake Ellis, the male winner, will each receive $1,000 scholarships that will go toward their college expenses.
Any Douglas County boy or girl who was selected the prep athlete of the week by the newspaper during the 2018-19 school year was eligible to apply for the scholarships.
“I’m super grateful to win this one,” said Brooksby, who graduated last Saturday. “I feel like it’s not just winning this year ... but all four years of high school sports, academics and clubs went into this scholarship. It just felt really good to have all that hard work pay off and have it result in this scholarship.”
Brooksby will head to Provo, Utah, later this summer to begin her freshman year at Brigham Young University.
“I’m super excited, and also really nervous to be away from home and my family,” Brooksby said before leaving for a family trip to Hawaii. “But I’ve been registering for classes and picking out my housing. I’m planning to major in chemistry, so I’ll be taking a lot of math and science classes this year.
“I have a lot of family in Utah — a lot of friends going to Utah State and the University of Utah,” she added. “So I don’t feel totally alone. I’m excited to make new friends, play intramural sports and try harder classes and push myself academically.”
Her twin brother will serve a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before attending BYU.
“We’ve always been set on going to BYU since we were young because all our family members, friends and cousins went there,” Brooksby said. “We know it’s a great school. I don’t think we had a conversation about it, we both knew that was our goal.
“It surprised us when Jacob wanted to serve a mission, but I’m glad he’s doing it. I’m glad he’ll come back to BYU with me.”
When Brooksby looks back at her four-year athletic career at Oakland, it brings smiles.
“I’m super happy with the legacy that I’m leaving,” she said. “I had the opportunity to lead in all of the sports I participated in. We went far and I made a lot of good friends.”
She admitted not getting to play soccer last year “really broke my heart.” But she stayed active and ran cross country.
“I think that was the hardest season I’ve ever had to do,” Brooksby said. “Cross country was the hardest sport to do because I hate running. I had to learn to persevere, but also be a leader and make a good time of it. It taught me a lot of personal skills — more than athletic skills. I needed that.”
The 5-foot-7 Brooksby turned in another strong basketball season, helping the Oakers (24-5 overall) to a share of the Central Valley Conference title and a berth in the state tournament. She received first-team all-state honors.
“We had a lot of highs and lows,” Brooksby said. “We were pretty much the same group all four years, so we became close and learned how to play with each other well. We formed close relationships on and off the court, and you could definitely see that in our game. I’m going to miss playing with Cassidy (Jones) and Grace (Witten).
“(Head coach Don Witten) was a great coach and I was super glad I got to learn from him. Not just how to play basketball, but also how to be a good person. He taught me a lot these four years.”
Brooksby concluded her senior track season at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, finishing third in the triple jump and tying for third in the high jump at state.
“I love jumping, so I was glad I got to make it in two of my events,” she said. “I really love Mrs. Simonson (Oakland head coach Kelly Simonson). She’s a good coach. The kids who went to state with me are really good athletes and I’m going to miss them, too.”
Brooksby called graduation day a special ending.
“I think Oakland High School’s graduations are super special because they’re so personal,” she said. “I had 32 kids graduate from my class, so each of us had their own moment in the spotlight. It was super fun, and just really good to see everyone come together one last time and be celebrated.”