Kiggins motivated by teammates

Published 8:13 am Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Dowagiac senior Mickie Kiggins says her teammates motivate her. (Leader photo/TIMOTHY RITTER)

Dowagiac senior Mickie Kiggins says her teammates motivate her. (Leader photo/TIMOTHY RITTER)

The Dowagiac volleyball team is off to a rough start in 2015, but that can’t stop senior Mickie Kiggins from being optimistic and staying motivated to.

“My team motivates me,” Kiggins said when talking about her family on the court.

“I feel like if I make a mistake they are always there to pick me up and I do the same for them.”

Mickie is a 17-year-old senior with very high goals for herself, both athletically and academically. She has been on the honor roll at Dowagiac Union High School since her first semester as a freshman and received high honors as a sophomore for posting a grade point average of 3.4 or higher.

On the court Kiggins is a 5-foot-8 ball hawk. She roams along the net waiting for opposing offenses to challenge her with a spike, most of which she turns away with a well-timed jump and block. On offense she has the power to bury the ball over just about anyone who has the fortitude to try and stop her.

Volleyball wasn’t Kiggins first love, though. Like most athletes, it is usually tee-ball or soccer that gets them started due to the lower age levels in those sports. For McKinzie it was softball and athletes like U.S. Olympics softball superstar, Jennie Finch that sparked her interest.

“Since I was young I have always looked up to Jennie Finch. She is one of the best Olympic softball players and that has always been my dream goal to accomplish.,” Kiggins said.  “As I got older I started to follow Sierra Romero who plays softball for the University of Michigan. Both of them are great team players.”

Softball may be her first love, athletically, but, in the class room, Kiggins loves to attend English class when she gets caught up reading books and writing papers.

“My favorite class is English. We always have to think outside of the box when writing papers in English and that can give me a different perspective on everything I do in life.”

As for volleyball, Kiggins was drawn to it the same way most of us are drawn to things as children, because someone we look up to is doing it, so it instantly becomes “like, the coolest thing in the world.”

I was tall. Not very coordinated, but tall. My older cousins played and, of course, I wanted to be like them,” Kiggins jokes. “I started playing in the seventh grade and have been playing ever since.”

Talking with McKinzie, it was clear how import family is to her and how much they have influenced and guided her throughout her young life.

“My family has always been there for me in anything that I chose to do. They attend all of my games, and they help me with homework after the games. They have taught me to be a well rounded person on and off of the court,” Kiggins said. “My mom, dad and sister have always gone out of their way to make sure I was happy. They take a lot of time out of their lives and devote it to my athletic career and for that I’m forever thankful.”

With this being her final year in high school, she has started to think about what she wants out of life. College is definitely in her future.

“I haven’t decided on a college yet, but I have applied to Oakland University and Bethel College so far and I plan on applying to few more,” Kiggins said. “My dream offer would be a full-ride to play softball, but I really want to attend college in the field of business. I would like to receiver my MBA and work my way to being a CEO.

It is clear that the future is bright for Kiggins. With a good head on her shoulders, a solid foundation of friends and family supporting her and the physical talent she posses, everyone who knows her believes the sky is the limit.