2020 Athena Award

Simley Student's Determination and Leadership Earn Her the Athena Award
Posted on 03/05/2020
Simley's 2020 Athena Award WinnerSimley High School senior Emma Heimerl has been chosen for a 2020 St. Paul Athena Award alongside 41 other outstanding student athletes from the east metro area. The award recognizes female student athletes who display excellence in both athletics and academics.

Emma has shown dedication in each of her three sports: volleyball, hockey, and softball. She has also won a number of prestigious honors in each, from All Conference to All State Academic, and taken on the role of captain and leader for all of her teams.

Emma has played varsity volleyball for four years, earning Most Improved Player her freshman year and Most Valuable Player her senior year along with multiple other honors, like Heart for the Game, in between.

“[Emma] set the highest standard for the achievement of team goals before individual honors, [which is] rare in a player of her ability,” Simley Volleyball Coach Mark Kaschke said.

Emma’s hockey career started with her being named Most Improved Player and earning an All Conference Honorable Mention, but during her junior year, she decided not to play hockey. At the end of the season, she spoke to Simley Girls Hockey Coach Tom Patnode about rejoining for her senior year.

“Not only did she play,” Coach Patnode said, “she played varsity.” Even after a volleyball season injury kept her from conditioning and the first weeks of the season, she played her first varsity game less than a week after returning to the ice and never missed a game after that.

“[Emma] taking a complete year off of one of [her sports] and then playing varsity upon return says something about her as an athlete.”

Emma has decided to play softball after she starts at the University of St. Thomas this fall. She has been on Simley’s varsity softball team for five years and has been a varsity starter for four of them. Her awards, in addition to All Conference, All State, and All Section, include the Silver Slugger and Golden Glove.

Simley Softball Coach Becca Ostby said she was chosen to be a captain her senior year because “she is an awesome role model both in softball and in the classroom.”

“She is a great team player, always looking for different ways that she can help the team,” Coach Ostby said, which included mentoring a younger teammate last year. “Her determination and drive set her apart from other athletes her age.”