Athletes of the Week: Q&A’s with Peyton Hebert and Kira Ward


Credit to Savannah Wandzel and Wil Skaggs

Peyton Hebert runs in a cross country meet for Francis Howell North and Kira Ward prepares to serve for the girls varsity volleyball team.

By Fabian Schwuchow and Stacy Beasley

Peyton Hebert


Q: How do you balance school and sports?

A: It is a lot easier to balance my schedule with running cross country because it doesn’t take so much time, compared to football. I have more time after school to get my homework done.


Q: What are some of the biggest challenges in being an athlete in high school?

A: It can be if you let yourself go. I mean, if you stay focused and stay motivated, you’ll do pretty good.

Q: Why did you move from the football team to cross country?

A: I thought cross country would be a better fit for me, with my size.

Q: When you look back on this season, what went good and bad?

A: A big goal of mine when I came in was to run a 5k under 20 minutes. In my first meet I did, but one thing I really want to do is place at a meet and I’m on track to do that.


Q: Do you have any tips for people who would like to join a sport?

A: Don’t be scared, try something new, I wasn’t scared to join cross country I just did it and I’m really enjoying it.



Kira Ward

Q: How do you balance school and your sport?

A: I guess I’ve learned how to manage over the years, it was hard going into freshman year and then sorta balanced out sophomore year. I just make sure I’m diligent with getting my homework done after practice.

Q: What do you enjoy most about playing volleyball?

A: I think the sport is really fun, I think I’ve stuck with it so long that it’s become a way of life. It’s always there if I need a break or stress reliever.

Q: How much free time do you have?

A: Volleyball is my life. If I didn’t have volleyball I’d have too much free time.

Q: What went well for the team this season?

A: Compared to two seasons ago when we didn’t win a single game, we are doing pretty well. The girls are getting along great and having a lot of fun.

Q: How do you personally improve as a player?

A: I take my practices very seriously, I take private lessons from a coach and attend a lot of camps. I play sand volleyball too. I’m practicing year round.

Q: What’s some advice your coach has given you?

A: Keep a positive attitude, don’t let the last point get in way of the next point.

Q: What are some of the biggest challenges of being an athlete in high school?

A: Definitely balancing the sport and schoolwork is hard. There’s a lot of pressure to maintain good grades for me.

Q: How has playing volleyball affected your social life and friendships?

A: If I didn’t play high school volleyball I wouldn’t have the close bonds I do with my friends. I’m very close with my teammates and have built those relationships through volleyball.

Q: Is there anything you want to improve on for next year?

A: My goal is to just be the best that I can be at my position. No matter where I’m playing at I just want to try my best.