PREP SPORTS: ‘Your mindset is everything’: Fairview’s Isabella Lopez reflects on Aggie years

Fairview’s Isabella Lopez. (Courtesy of Isabella Lopez)

FAIRVIEW, Ala. — Fairview senior Isabella Lopez just graduated in May and in this interview, she talked about some of her favorite memories she made during her Aggie career. She had a blast being around so many great teammates and learned so much from them.

“One of the best memories I had on the softball team was one practice, the coaches surprised us with pizza, and they just let us connect with one another and just hang out. Another great softball memory is when we competed in the county championship game this year. For bowling, it would definitely be going to Regionals for both years that I played,” Lopez said. “It was amazing. They all had such great attitudes and such a great sense of humor. We were always able to make each other laugh and just have a good time. Even when things weren’t going well, they were always there to help lift your head up and remind you that they are there for you and that they love you. Being around them, you just learn about them and grow connections with each of them. They become your sisters, and it is one of the most beautiful things about doing sports.”

She added,

“I learned how to be there for them. Just listening to them talk about school or their struggles, I learned how to be there for them, and be the sister that I needed to be for them. I learned how to make them laugh or smile. I learned that they are some of the most amazing and strongest people that I know.”

Isabella felt blessed to be around so many amazing coaches and took away so much from them. She will remember a lot and deeply miss playing at Fairview.

“All of my coaches with softball were all so amazing. They worked hard for us, and they committed to helping us and making us not only better athletes, but better people. Everything that they taught us would translate back to the world outside of softball. They taught us to always work hard, and that the little things matter. They taught us how to deal with pressure. They are truly the best coaches I have ever had,” she said. “For softball, I remember our winning season and all the hard work we put in to have the season we had. I’m going to miss everything. I’m going to miss the practices and the games. I’m going to miss my coaches and teammates the most. For bowling, I will remember Regionals from both years and how far we got. I will miss my teammates the most. I got really close with them, and I loved showing up to practice and being able to bowl with them and get better with them. I’m going to miss my coaches and all the help they gave me to make me better.”

She made so many fun memories at Fairview and being an Aggie will hold a very special place in her heart.

“The football games will be at the top of the list. I loved going to the football games every Friday night and watching my boyfriend play the game he loves and watch all his hard work paid off. Next would be going to CATA for Culinary Arts. I made some really good friends there, and we always had a fun time. I loved prom this year. It was the only prom I went to throughout high school, and it was the best. Our teachers made it a time to remember, and being able to dance and have fun with my classmates will always have a special place in my heart.”

She added,

“I’ve been there since kindergarten, and I loved being able to grow up there and make some friends and memories there. The teachers I had helped me get to where I am today, and I have so many connections with them. To this day, I’m still close with teachers that I had in first grade and in middle school, and even my bus driver that I had since I started going there in kindergarten. They always made me feel loved, and they are truly some of the best people. The high school teachers are fun and caring, and I can’t think of a single teacher there that I had that didn’t leave a positive impact on me. They taught me and helped me and watched me grow. I can’t thank them enough. Everyone who works at Fairview is amazing. The custodians make sure everything is clean for us, and the lunch ladies make sure we eat. Our principals make sure we are doing good. Our SRO makes sure we are safe. Our counselor makes sure we are on track for success. Our secretary makes sure everything is in order. All of the stuff just has that Aggie pride and helps keep the school amazing.”

Lopez will remember so many things about being at Fairview and will miss being there next year. She gave advice to those students that will be starting high school in August.

“I will remember all of the memories I made there and all the people I met. I met some of my best friends. I’m going to miss my teachers and their smiles and jokes. I’m going to miss seeing my friends every day,” she said. “Make the most of it. One minute, you are a freshman trying to find your way around the halls, and the next minute, you are a senior just a week away from your last week in high school. You’ll need to cherish the moments you have, because they don’t last forever.”

Isabella talked about something life-changing that happened to her when she was in school that helped her out in a positive way.

“I would have to say when I left softball my sophomore year. At that time, my mental health was not the best, so I did what I felt was best for me. It was hard, because I loved softball so much, but I wanted to take care of myself. The time that I had off from softball, I worked on myself, and my mental health got better, my confidence was better, and I learned that taking care of myself and my mental health is important. By the time softball signups came around at the end of my junior year, I knew that I wanted to play one last time, especially for coach Simmons. If I wouldn’t have left my sophomore year, I wouldn’t have had the confidence and mindset that I do now. With the help of coach Simmons and all of his encouraging words after every practice, he has helped build me into an even more confident and strong-minded person.”

She gained so much from being in the Key Club and talked about receiving a scholarship to go to Wallace State Community College.

“Being in the Key Club was amazing. I loved being a part of such an amazing group. We helped out with book fairs, Halloween activities for the elementary kids, and we went to the senior center here in Fairview, and we got to hang out with them. I just loved getting to do many fun activities and just helping out,” she said. “I received a scholarship for Applied Technology at Wallace State Community College for $2,000, $500 per semester. It felt great receiving that scholarship. I felt very thankful for it. My mom had brought me the letter, stating where I had received the scholarship from one of my softball games, and she showed it to me in between games. I was excited, and I just thought it was great that I was receiving a scholarship to help out with college.”

She wanted to make her parents proud, whether it was in school or in sports, and she talked about her role models in sports. Isabella also gave some advice to those athletes getting their high school careers started.

“I just wanted to do the best that I could do and make my parents proud. In sports, my role models were my teammates. I looked up to them all in some way, and they really inspired me to work hard,” she said. “Work hard, the little things matter, and your mindset is everything. I want people to remember my work ethic and my character. I would go to school, sports, and then a lot of the time, work after all that. I have always loved to work hard for what I have, and I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished by working hard. With my character, I feel like people will remember you the most on how you act. I want to be remembered as being responsible, respectful, loving, and supportive.”

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