ELKHART — The court. The pool. The track. The classroom.
They were all places for Central High School senior Zoe Disori to learn and flourish.
Thursday night, Disori was named the Catherine Wolf Award winner as Elkhart Community Schools’ top senior female athlete following a career full of academic and athletic achievement.
“When I was a freshman, I was all about athletics. I wanted to be a D-I athlete,” says Disori, who represented the Blue Blazers in volleyball, swimming and track and is bound for Purdue University to study engineering. “Then I matured. I knew the thing that will get me farther in life is academics.”
The daughter of Francis and Betsy Disori and older sister of Cosmo (a Central freshman in the fall) began doing triathlons in South Bend while in grade school, fell in love with volleyball around the sixth grade and came to appreciate swimming and track in high school.
“I love athletics,” says Disori. “They are a great part of my life. Volleyball taught me perseverance. Swimming taught me to focus and keep calm. In track, I am a pole vaulter. I learned to overcome fear and go for a higher height.”
Her Central coaches — Yolanda Stahl (volleyball), Ryan Bounds (swimming) and Crystal Davis (track) — all talk about Disori in glowing terms.
“True athletes commit to extra time and extra effort just to pursue the ability to play, to help the team, to contribute the best they possibly can,” says Stahl. “They do it with sweat and tears and sometimes pain, but they never give up. Zoe is a true athlete.”
Bounds notes that Disori achieved while taking Advanced Placement classes at a school ranked 11th in the state for college preparation and still found time to excel.
“Zoe truly embodies what it means to be a student-athlete rather than an athletic student,” says Bounds.
“Zoe has always displayed a strong desire to stand out from her peers,” says Davis. “Zoe has always taken the path less traveled in order to achieve her goals. She isn’t led astray by peer pressure or difficulty. She achieves her goals through hard work and being positive.”
Disori, a former Riverview Elementary and Pierre Moran Middle School student, plans to keep athletics in the mix while at Purdue as a member of the crew (rowing) team.
“We’re only given a small amount of time on this earth, you might as well try different things,” says Disori.
One of the things she remembers fondly about her time at Central is her involvement with the Student Athletic Council. Started by athletic director Brian Buckley, the SAC planned pep sessions and other events and Disori served as the organization’s president. At the youth leadership conference in Indianapolis, she was able to address hundreds of athletes from around Indiana.
“It was so neat to talk to athletes,” says Disori.
Who: Central High School senior.
What: Catherine Wolf Award winner as Elkhart Community Schools’ top senior female athlete.
Sports: Volleyball — Two-time letterwinner and two-time sectional team participant. Swimming — Four-year letterwinner; Rookie of the Year and High Point (2008-09), Mental Attitude and High Point (2009-10); Sectional participant (four years). Track — Four-year letterwinner; four-year sectional participant; two-time regional participant (2010, 2011); Team captain (2011, 2012); Mental attitude and Coaches awards (2010); Captain’s Award (2011).
Participated as a pole vaulter and 400 relay runner.
Other honors: Central Female Athlete of the Year; Central Kiwanis Female Athlete of the Year.
Community: Elkhart Flames Soccer Club volunteer; Distinguished Young Woman (formerly Junior Miss).
School clubs/activities: National Honor Society; Student Athletic Council (president); Class social chairperson (four years), Homecoming Court finalist (2010, 2011, 2012), Orchestra state finalist (2010, 2011); fourth in state orchestra (2012).
Church: Hilltop Lutheran Church member, Sunday School teacher and choir member.
GPA: 3.7 (4.2) weighted (10th out of 340). Member of the Principal’s Honor Roll (four years).
College: Purdue University, to major in engineering and compete in crew (rowing).