SPENCER – For the first few years of her high school career, Spencer’s Marisa Johnson learned from and followed her older sisters, Dani and Paige.
Now a senior, Johnson, a two-sport standout in volleyball and softball, is the leader and softball coach Jason Gorst has noticed.
“With her maturity, her leadership has emerged,” Gorst said. “She had two good examples in her sisters, but she’s taken it upon herself to be a leader for our program the last two years.”
Johnson leads the Rockets at the plate, hitting .478 and is showing power in her swing this year, according to Gorst.
“In the past we’ve had her do a lot of slap hitting, but she’s been hitting the ball hard this year,” Gorst said. “She has developed her strength, has speed and a lot of natural athletic ability. She’s off to a great season.”
Your team his 5-2 overall and currently 3-0 in the Cloverbelt Conference. What have the keys to this early success? I think our teamwork and communication has been very good. We’re always processing where the play should go before the pitch is thrown so we’re ready and know where the play should be. We also have good chemistry on our team.
How cool was it to see Macie Weber toss a no-hitter last week? That was really awesome. She came close in the Greenwood game, so it was cool to see a teammate have that kind of success. The team was happy for her, she deserved it.
What will you always remember about state volleyball your freshman year? The experience we had was incredible and the community support we had was amazing. When we got on the court and looked up in the stands, it was like the whole town was there. And I played with my sisters and that was special. Not to many people get a chance to compete in a state tournament with their siblings.
What does the team have to do to make sure you don’t have an early exit in the playoffs like the last two years? We have a lot of work to do yet and we can’t get too caught up in it. Everyone wants to go to state and it’s not easy to get there so your team needs to stay focused and be playing our best ball at the end of the season. I love my team and how we’re playing, so I hope we can make a run this year.
What have you always wanted to do, but haven’t had the chance yet? I’ve seen friends from other schools go to missions to countries like Haiti or somewhere in South America to help people. I think that would be interesting and seems really cool to be able to help people in another part of the world. I’d love to do that someday, I just haven’t had the time.
What is your biggest fear and what have you don’t to overcome it? Spiders. I hate spiders and I haven’t really overcome that fear. I make my mom or dad kill them for me.
How do you like being the only one at home? It’s lonely. I didn’t think I’d miss my sisters because we fought when we were kids. It’s been two years by myself now and I miss them. It’s fun when they come home from college. I’m going to UW-La Crosse next year and I’m going to try out for volleyball. I hope I make it so I can play with Dani again.
Name some things you want to accomplish by the time you’re 30: I hope to graduate from college and find a job right away. Hopefully I’ll have a husband and be starting a family as well.
You’ve been on varsity for two sports since your freshman year, what does that mean to you now that your a senior? It’s been a great experience, but it’s gone fast. I liked how we formed a family with my teammates. Getting on varsity my freshman year gave a boost of confidence and I had my sisters to push me to be better in everything I do.
Mark Massoglia can be reached at 715-423-7200, ext. 6736. Follow him on Twitter @markmazzy.
Sports: Volleyball, softball
Family: Dad, Jesse; mom, Carlyn; sisters, Dani, Paige
Favorite color: Light blue
Favorite food: Pasta
Favorite TV show: “Finding Carter”
Favorite movie: “Safe Haven”
Android or iPhone: iPhone
Pandora or Spotify: Spotify
Breakfast, lunch or dinner: Dinner
Spring, summer, fall or winter: Summer
Pulp or no pulp in your orange juice: No pulp