Julia Martens' final three months of high school were supposed to be filled with memories to last a lifetime.
She was ready to wrap up her final season with the Summit soccer team, spend time with friends she wouldn't see as much in college and put the finishing touches on a spectacular academic career.
In an instant, most of those plans were dashed when Missouri Gov. Mike Parson ordered schools across the state closed for the remainder of the school year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The Missouri State High Schools Activities Association followed with the news that all springs sports were canceled in early April.
Rather than face the harsh reality of a spring and summer without sports, Martens found an outlet.
The editor-in-chief of the Summit yearbook, the Pinnacle, Martens has stayed busy during a time when she would've normally been on the pitch. The recent Summit graduate and 2020 Post-Dispatch School Athlete has been putting the finishing touches on the annual publication along with her assistant editor Sydney Brewer and the rest of the class.
“I’ve been working on finishing up the yearbook for a pretty big chunk (of the spring). We finished it earlier this month,” Martens said. “We’ve been trying to rearrange the book and get interviews. We worked hard to cover things that have been going on. It took a lot of work to get it done, but we did."
Hard work is nothing new to Martens, who is a member of Summit’s National Honor Society. She finished 43rd out of the 314 students in her graduating class and will pursue a degree in the medical field at the University of Missouri in the fall.
Martens was set to be a soccer captain for the Falcons this spring. She easily transitioned that leadership into the classroom, even if it was over a Zoom meeting.
“When the pandemic hit and school was no longer in session, we would have Zoom meetings between myself and the remainder of the staff and Julia would set the assignments with her associate editors,” Pinnacle faculty adviser Clay Zigler said. “She would set them up, she would follow through with them, she would report back to me and it was great. She was the right person for this job when you consider all of the circumstances that had to be dealt with to finish the yearbook.”
Having a hands-on approach to finishing up the yearbook allowed Martens to take a walk down memory lane.
She helped the Summit girls basketball team win a school-record 26 games last winter, averaging four points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists. Prior to that she was part of a Falcons soccer team, which captured the Class 3 state championship in 2018 and finished second last season.
Martens would love nothing more than to lace up the cleats for the Falcons one last time, but she is not parting with the game altogether.
She's still holding out hope that she'll be able to play with some of her teammates on her summer club team, Lou Fusz 2001 Becher, in a State Cup-style tournament and has recently started practicing with some friends. She's also considering joining the club team at Mizzou.
It may not be the finish she wanted to high school, but Martens is taking it in stride and still making memories along the way.
“You work so hard for your last (soccer) season and it’s been the worst to not be able to finish your last games,” said Martens, who scored four goals and had nine assists as a junior. “We’ve been pretty successful and I was looking forward to going back to fight for another state championship. It stings. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs with this. It’s been pretty hard. You just have got to keep looking forward and know that there are better things coming.”
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