Korysa Herrick: a leader everyone can follow
“Leadership is a big role that you do on and off the court, anything in life that you do,” Korysa Herrick said. “Leadership is not just vocal, but it is also leading by example. I think positive leadership is key in defining leadership.”
It’s almost game time. Korysa Herrick, a senior guard for the Lakeview Lakers girls basketball team, is shooting the ball, talking and laughing with teammates before the game begins. As they’re in the lines, she continuously encourages her teammates and pats them on the back getting ready for the upcoming game.
The Lakers would ultimately lose, but nothing about Herrick’s demeanor changes. She is passionately playing the game she loves along with the teammates she loves because it’s more than just basketball to Herrick. It’s about being a leader that everyone can follow on and off the court.
At an early age, the sport was a part of her life. Her mother, Amy Herrick, played and coached basketball for many years. Her father, Korey Herrick, was going to slow pitch the softball team and also coached sports, including Herrick’s teams, for many years.
Herrick loves being out there with her friends and having fun with her teammates, which is the main reason why she played sports.
Herrick has received academic and athletic awards. She has received numerous accolades, including All-Academic conference awards, an All-Conference volleyball nod, and was All-State in track last year.
“I honestly feel like my parents are still coaching me to this day,” Herrick said. “On the court, I’m coached by my varsity coach. but when I’m at home. they’re always giving me pointers on how I can be better. It was a good way for me to see how I should interact with others by the way of my parents coaching my teammates and me.”
Herrick has two siblings–a younger brother, Logan, and a younger sister, Kenzie. All three of the Herricks played sports growing up and were very competitive with each other.
Humble as she can be, Korysa said Logan is the better basketball player and Kenzie is the better volleyball player.
“The biggest thing that I will miss about volleyball is the practices,” Herrick said. “Our biggest motto this season was win. Win in everything that you do.”
The Lakeview girls basketball and volleyball teams graduated several seniors in the past two years. As an upperclassman, Herrick stepped up into a leadership role.
The Volleyball team compiled two wins on the season, but the outlook Herrick had on her team remained consistent. She knew that developing chemistry with the right attitude is key.
“Not going to lie, I hate being the bad guy,” Herrick said. “However, at times, you’ve got to do it. It is either that or you’re going to fail. You never want to be okay with losing, because it feels like crap. The main thing is though to have fun with your teammates that you enjoy being around and try to win games. Working hard and having the right attitudes.”
Herrick’s favorite sport to play is basketball and her favorite player to play with was Grace Rausch, who graduated from Lakeview last year.
Coming into this basketball season with head coach Mike Imes, Herrick knew it would be challenging to compete with the teams in the conference. but was looking forward to seeing what she and her teammates could do.
The relationship between Imes and Herrick is long-standing as Imes knew Herrick when she was little. Imes’ daughter, Kiana Imes, is one of Herrick’s best friends. The impact that coach Imes has had on Herrick’s life, leadership skills, and basketball play is evident.
“He’s always been around in my family,” Herrick said of Imes. “I feel like if it wasn’t basketball, I could go to him for help and he’d do it in a heartbeat. He would be the one person I would call if my parents weren’t around. He has shown me what a good leader should be like. He has taught me some leadership qualities and he’s a great guy to look up to.”
A memory that Imes and Herrick shared earlier this season was around the Lakeview Holiday Classic when Imes asked Herrick after subbing out four of her teammates in a game:
“Are you okay to stay in”?
“Good, because you don’t have a choice.”
It was a moment that Herrick looks back on with comfort knowing how special her coach is in her life. Herrick’s teammates are also very important to her and she enjoys the process of getting prepared for games with them.
“Korysa is a great leader for our team,” Aubreigh Rausch, a sophomore guard for the Lakers, said. “Coming into the season, we had very limited experience on the varsity level. This never stopped her from holding all of us to a higher standard. Herrick is someone I know that will always have my back on and off the court. I know she will always be there to pick me up. Herrick brings her effort all the time. She is always giving 110%, no matter the situation, and pushing us all to be the best we can be.”
Outside of playing sports, Herrick also participates in band and choir. In everything she is involved in, individuals look to her as a leader through her actions and people respect her because of it.
“If you think of any team in our school and you want to think of the type of player you want on that team we want everybody to be like Korysa Herrick,” Lakeview high school principal and head football coach Scott Hanson said. “She is determined and selfless and she always puts others first. She is a great teammate. She has a great desire to make herself and others around her better. She is a leader by hard work, by example, and most of all, doing the right things all the time.”
Herrick will be participating in track in the spring to complete her high school athletic career.
In the fall, Herrick will be attending Southwest Minnesota State University to pursue an education degree following in the footsteps of her mother, Amy. Although the basketball season may not be going the way Herrick wanted it to, she is still enjoying every last minute with her sisters as she refers to them as. Herrick will be coaching Junior Olympic volleyball in the spring as well and continue to exemplify why she is a leader that everyone can follow.
Matt Konrad, an ex-track coach and athletic director of Lakeview High School, explained how much Korysa will be missed and appreciated for her time at Lakeview.
“Though she will be missed, I am happy that she will be staying nearby and attending SMSU to enter into the education department. Korysa will thrive as a teacher due to her caring personality. I wish her the best and am excited to see what her future has in store for her.”