Not many basketball forwards proved as difficult to defend as Crystal Lake South senior Annika Sevcik was this winter. And few soccer goalkeepers were as difficult to score on in the spring, when the Gators' two-sport athlete posted 14 shutouts for the Fox Valley Conference champions.
Sevcik was an All-FVC selection in both sports, taking Northwest Herald All-Area second-team honors in basketball and first-team honors in soccer. She led the Gators with 12.4 points and seven rebounds a game in basketball and let in only 12 goals in 22 games in soccer.
Sevcik's dominance in two sports landed her the 2017 Northwest Herald Female Athlete of the Year honor, voted on by the sports staff. South's athletic department will receive $2,500 from Dr. Steven Rochell’s Rochell Foundation for winning the honor.
The Alabama-bound Sevcik recently sat down to talk about her proudest sports moment, her most cherished memories at South, her early obsession with American Girl dolls, and more.
What is your favorite memory from senior year?
Sevcik: All of the friendships I've made over the past four years and new teammates this year; how close my teams were. Making new friends that I'm now hanging out with outside of sports.
What is your favorite ice cream?
Sevcik: Chocolate chip cookie dough.
What is one of the funniest things that has happened to you during a game?
Sevcik: During our Prairie Ridge game this year, one of my teammates was trying to make a post entry pass, and the ball was just a little too high. I got just a tip on it, and it went into the basket.
What is the best birthday present you've ever received?
Sevcik: When I was younger, I was really obsessed with American Girl dolls. For every birthday and Christmas, I would ask for either a new American Girl doll or clothes for my doll.
What sport that you don't play would you be good at?
Sevcik: I wish I could say volleyball because I'm tall and everyone thinks that I'd be really good at it, but I'm actually really bad.
If you were on a deserted island, what are three things you would want to have with you?
Sevcik: Food, water and probably another person because I'd be scared to be by myself.
Which one of your teammates really made you laugh the most?
Sevcik: Maddie Bush. She's a sophomore, and she might come across as shy a little bit, but once you really get to know her, everything that comes out of her mouth is funny.
Which professional athlete would you like to hang out with for a day?
Sevcik: Probably (Golden State Warriors guard) Steph Curry because his story is really cool. Even though he's so small, he's one of the best players in the league.
Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?
Sevcik: I don't really like superstitions, but before every basketball game I would eat a quesadilla and an apple. On the bus ride there and in the locker room, I'd have candy for a little bit of sugar before the game.
What would be your ideal vacation?
Sevcik: Anywhere on the beach where it's sunny.
What is your proudest sports moment?
Sevcik: I think any time we won regionals or conference, it was a huge accomplishment for all of us. Anytime it happened in basketball or soccer, we were so proud and motivated to get the next one.
What's your dream job?
Sevcik: I'm going to major in business because I think all of that is really interesting. Hopefully, something in finance.
Who is your hero?
Sevcik: My parents (Karin and Scott) are my biggest role models. They're both really successful and I look up to them a lot.
Which teammate inspires you?
Sevcik: (2016 South grad) Chanel Fanter. She's a year older than me, but I got to play with her for two years. She was just an all-around great person and player.
What are you looking forward to the most at the University of Alabama?
Sevcik: I'm really excited to live in the South and live their way of life, because it's so different than the Midwest. I feel like they appreciate things more than we do up here.
If you could have any vehicle, what would it be?
Sevcik: Jeep Wrangler.
What's a song on your iPod or iPhone people would not think is there?
Sevcik: I have the whole "Moana" soundtrack downloaded because I think all of the music from that movie is really cool.
What is your most prized possession?
Sevcik: The plaque and piece of net from the first regional title I ever won as a sophomore in basketball. I really looked up to the older teammates and felt really included on my new team.
If you could invite three people to dinner, who would you invite?
Sevcik: My grandfather (Bob Ort), who passed away when I was 4. He would've really enjoyed coming out to me and my sibling's games. Ellen DeGeneres because she is so inspiring with all the kindness she spreads and how much she gives back. Any of my Swedish relatives because even though we live far from each other, we always have fun when we have the opportunities to see each other.
What's one of your biggest pet peeves?
Sevcik: When my sister takes my clothes and jewelry every day and leaves it all for me to clean up. It'll be a real eye-opener for her when I leave for college in the fall.
What will you miss most about your time at Crystal Lake South?
Sevcik: I will miss the supportive atmosphere our school has, and how everyone always comes together at sporting events or to support another family. I think everyone has gotten really close, especially over the past four years, so I'm going to miss my whole senior class.