Girls rule this year’s Prep Elite section and each one of these five young ladies is lively, engaging, smart and interesting. From the basketball court to the stage, from the concert hall to the debate competition, these young ladies representing Maple Grove High School, Osseo High School and Providence Academy certainly bring something special to everything they do.
Maple Grove Senior High
In the short term, athlete and honor student Angie Davison has her future pretty well planned out and it includes reuniting with her role model on the basketball court. Next year, Davison, a point guard, will be joining her sister Stephanie, a former Maple Grove Magazine Prep Elite, at the University of Northern Iowa, a Division 1 school.
“It’s a dream come true for me that I’ll get to have another chance to play with her,” says Angie Davison. “She has been my role model since I started playing sports.”
For now, Davison wants to get the girls basketball team to the state tournament. (She is also a captain of the Maple Grove girls soccer team). Don’t doubt that this girl thrives on competition. According to mom Cori (who also coaches her daughter’s Minnesota Suns AAU basketball team) Angie said her first words while they were “racing” up the stairs—with Angie crawling.
“She said, ‘Nah, nah, me win’,” says Cori with a laugh. “Right then, I knew we were in trouble.”
When asked about her most memorable high school moment, Davison’s competitive nature flares again as she recalls “beating Osseo two years ago in the section championship, and then beating them again this year in our house during “Pink Out” night.”
One of Davison’s favorite quotations is about the spirit and perseverance needed to be a champion: “Attitude is contagious. How you respond to adversity is more important than how you respond to success.”
Favorite subject: Math (she’d like to be an elementary school teacher with an emphasis on math someday)
Three words she’d use to describe herself: Competitive, outgoing and positive
Pre-game ritual: “Our whole team paints one nail and puts on temporary tattoos,” says Davison. “I personally eat a Snickers bar before every game.”
Big dream: To compete in the NCAA Tournament
Maple Grove Senior High
Sasha Shilko has already experienced what it means to follow a passion. Thanks to her organizational skills and determination, Maple Grove now has a speech and debate team and a very successful one at that.
At the end of her freshman year, Shilko approached the school administration about launching a team and got the green light. The first season, they didn’t have a coach so parents would transporting the fledgling team to competitions, and also serve as judges.
Last year’s team, under head coach Heather Fairbanks, had more than 50 members. Several took placed in the Novice division in the state championships and four, including Shilko, traveled to Indianapolis in June to compete in the nationals.
“I was so happy when I realized that if I hadn’t wanted a speech and debate team so much and hadn’t tried so hard to make it happen, none of us would have gotten as far as we did,” she says.
Shilko is already a step ahead in her academic life as a PSEO (Post Secondary Enrollment Options) student at the University of Minnesota where she takes several classes. She is contemplating a career in law, business or government, but right now is eagerly awaiting the start of another speech and debate season at Maple Grove High School, where she has already learned a valuable lesson about life.
“Everyone sees the world through a different lens. To fully appreciate how profound those differences can be, you have to engage a wide range of people on a wide range of topics,” says Shilko. “I’ve discovered that a person can believe in something contrary to what I do, but just as sincerely and for just as good reasons.”
Favorite subject: Civics and government, economics
Three words she’d use to describe herself: Strong-minded, level headed and inquisitive
Pre-debate ritual: My family never has muffins at home, so whenever they are sold at a speech or debate tournament, I always get one before the first round.
Big dream: To be happy. That is unquestionably always the goal.
Osseo High School
Grace Mathre not only loves the written word—reading and writing are two favorite pastimes—but she also loves to bring words to life on stage. Last year, Mathre received an all-conference medal for her outstanding performance in the Minnesota State High School League One-Act Play competition for her role as Amelia in “War Brides”.
“I read the text of the play very carefully because I really wanted to get the character down,” she says. “When we first started rehearsals, our director, Mark Monfils, asked us to choose an animal that we thought our character represented. I picked a Golden Retriever: Amelia was a good girl and very loyal, but she still wanted to do her own thing.”
Mathre counts a church mission trip to inner-city Chicago two years ago as one of the highlights of her high school years. At a Boys and Girls Club, she was put in charge of a group of 11 to 13-year-old girls, who “put a smile on my face every day”, she recalls.
Whether it’s through acting (she’d like to play Beatrice in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing) or teaching English, Mathre wants “to bring happiness to a world that is full of sadness”, and enjoy every day.
“I’ve had a lot of important people in my life pass away,” she says. “I’ve come to learn that I need to hold on to happy memories and keep persevering. Besides, it’s already tomorrow in Australia, so what’s to fret about?”
Favorite subject: English
Three words she’d use to describe herself: Loyal, humble and whimsical
Pre-performance ritual: “To get ‘in the zone’, I start singing “Magic Dance” by David Bowie to myself. It’s a silly way of releasing unneeded energy.”
Big plans: Mathre and a friend are traveling in Europe after high school graduation. Upon returning, she wants to go to a community college for an associate’s degree before transferring to a university.
Osseo High School
Phillis Webb’s abundant skills in three different sports are apparent in a story she tells about her most memorable high school moment. During a close basketball sections game last year against Coon Rapids, Webb found herself on the opposite end of the floor from a Coon Rapids player who had the ball, so she sprinted down the court (Webb broke Osseo’s record for the 400m in 2011 as part of the track team) and blocked the player’s shot at the basket (she is being recruited by several Division 1 and 2 basketball programs) with a classic volleyball spike (she’s a middle hitter with the Osseo volleyball team.).
“I was not going to let that girl make that shot,” says Webb, with a laugh. Osseo won the game.
Joey Waters, girl’s basketball coach at Osseo, calls Webb “one of the hardest working kids I know. She is extremely coachable and really driven.”
Webb has been around basketball her entire life; her brother and father both played college basketball. She started playing when she was in second grade and, in addition to the school team, Webb plays for the Minnesota Stars, an AAU team, considered “friendly rivals” with Angie Davison’s Minnesota Suns team. The two have played against each other several times over the years.
Webb will have another busy year, on and off the court, but she is ready for everything that is coming her way.
“My dad always tells me if you do something you love, you never have to work a day in your life,” Webb says.
Favorite subject: History
Three words she’d use to describe herself: Modest, inspired and understanding
Pre-game ritual: “I listen to a specific kind of music, like Nicki Minaj, to get ready, get competitive. Sometimes, I’ll crimp my hair and wear it down if I’m feeling that.”
Big dream: To play in the WNBA
Music has filled Ashlen Hagelberg’s life for many years. She has been playing the B flat clarinet since fifth grade, and has also played E flat and A clarinets, as well as the piano. Her favorite composers are Carl Maria Von Weber and Hakan Rosengren, but she admits, “I enjoy playing almost everything that is put in front of me.”
Her mother, Annette Hildebrandt, who is also her daughter’s pre-calculus teacher at Providence, says she’s never had to remind Ashlen to practice her clarinet, or to do her math homework for that matter.
“It has simply been her natural love and desire that has prompted her to practice every day,” says Hildebrandt. “I have simply been the beneficiary to all the wonderful music she provides.”
One of Hagelberg’s most memorable high school moments occurred during her sophomore year when she was accepted into the All-State symphonic band—the first in Providence history to receive the honor as a sophomore.
“I was shocked! It was one of those moments when you can see your hard work truly pay off,” says Hagelberg, who adds that spending a week at Concordia-Moorhead last summer with other young musicians was “amazing”.
Inspirational people in her life include her lower- and middle-school band teacher, Nicole Clark, who taught Hagelberg to play the clarinet and to “always challenge” herself. She also is inspired by upper-school band director Alison Haseman and Greg Kajiware, who she’s taken private lessons from for the past two years.
With plans to attend either Luther College in Iowa or St. Ben’s in St. Joseph, Hagelberg is not sure if she will major in music in college, but she knows it will definitely remain a part of her life.
Most valuable lesson outside the classroom?:“You have to take one day at a time and be grateful for each day you have,” she says. “My favorite quote is by Tony Robbins who says “Life is a gift and it offers us the privilege, opportunity and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.”
Favorite subject: Religion
Three words she’d use to describe herself: Diligent, musical and joyful
Pre-performance ritual: “My lesson teacher told me that eating a banana a couple of hours before a performance will calm you down, so I do that. I always pray and ask God for a good performance.”
Big dream: “It is simply to follow God’s plan for me. I remind myself that with His strength, I cannot fall, so I just have to be the best person I can be.”