Emma Schmitz: Rising Varsity Athlete

Freshman Emma Schmitz is making a fast break in her basketball career


Credit: Emmy Franklin

Schmitz, in the center, alongside basketball teammates, boosts the team/s energy.

Emerson Ritter, Staff Writer

Emma Schmitz is a varsity basketball player in her freshman year, averaging 18 points per game. Unfortunately, Schmitz got a non-displaced fracture near her growth plate below one of her fingers at practice earlier this season. During the injury, Schmitz said, “I am really looking forward to getting back to playing basketball. It is definitely hard being injured but I believe that everything happens for a reason and something good will come out of this.”

On February 10, Schmitz rejoined her teammates on the court to beat Fluvanna County in the Jefferson District semifinals. Western won with a score of 38-32, and Schmitz scored 14 of those points, showing that she is back and means business. She started playing basketball in 5th grade. When asked about her proudest moment, Schmitz said that she is most proud of when her team advanced into the championship game in the Daily Progress Holiday tournament. 

Beyond the points she scores, Schmitz leaves a lasting impression on every person that she meets. At cross country and track meets she will make friends with people at the starting line, and stay in touch with them through Instagram or other sources like that.

According to Western girl’s basketball coach, Kris Wright, “Emma is a talented player that brings a lot of skill to the court in areas including shooting, dribbling, and defense, but beyond that, she is a terrific teammate that is supportive of everyone around her, and she has a tremendous work ethic that makes all of us in the program better.” Wright also said that “Emma is only a freshman and is already one of the more talented players in our area,” showing again just how talented Schmitz really is at basketball. 

Schmitz’s next steps? “Just to always continue improving and playing my hardest every time I am on the court.”

Schmitz happily shared the way she balances school and sports. “I think that playing a sport improves my school work. It helps me take a break after the school day to have fun and do my favorite thing. When I get home from practice I am able to focus better on my homework.” Schmitz balances her time between school and different sports depending on the season. This is a significant feat, because she has to find time to finish schoolwork while still competing as a varsity athlete in three different sports. She competes in cross country, basketball, and outdoor track.

Schmitz started running for Crozet Crew when she was in 7th grade, and since then she has continued to grow with the team. “It takes a lot of mental strength,” Schmitz says. Schmitz was all-state this year for Cross Country and ran a personal best of 18:49 in a 5K. She placed 4th at Districts, 14th at Regionals, and 15th at States.

Last year, Schmitz raced in the Ragged Mountain Middle School Track Meet and ran the 1600m, winning with a time of 5:13.92. This time qualified her for nationals in Boston, Massachusetts. However, since she was in middle school, she could not compete. However, that time stands as a qualifier this year, and she went to nationals along with running teammates Jordan Stone, sisters Carter and AJ Torrence, Grace Cook, and Hailey Hodson. Schmitz says, “I am most looking forward to competing and being with my teammates. I think it will be really fun and an exciting environment.” Schmitz competed in the 1600 and 4×1600 relay. But that’s a story for another time.