Abby Knapp - Pennsylvania Nomination & Photography by Dave Cyphert, ProPoint Media Photography Studio Issue 50 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
Nomination: Abby has played softball for 6 years- with 3 years travel experience. She is the starting varsity centerfielder and made 3rd team all conference last year. Abby is also a part of her varsity high school cheerleading squad whom placed 8th in the 2020 PIAA State Competition. She has also played volleyball for 4 years- with 1 year club experience. Abby is a member of the local youth council, works part-time at the local ice cream shop, and earns honor roll for her grades every semester. In her spare time, Abby paints and plays with her guinea pig, Oreo.
Photography by Dave Cyphert, ProPoint Media Photography Studio
What would you most like to be interviewed about/what should we definitely know about you in 100 words or less? I'm open to everything. Talking about our run up through districts in softball and our trip to states in cheer is something that means a lot to me. I have also attended softball camp at FSU for the past few years. Something a lot of people don't know about me is that I am very artistic. I love art and painting in general. During covid I especially got into it. It was a form of therapy almost for me. I also manage to keep up with my life while having anxiety and ADHD. I also have a great relationship with my family, especially my siblings.
Tell us more about your softball career. I started playing softball when I was 10 in little league. I am the starting centerfielder for my varsity softball team and the backup catcher. I love both positions because I am always moving and feel like am a part of the action! Softball is a huge part of my life and I am hoping to be able to play while in college.
What was it like running up through districts? It was amazing! We were so nervous the entire time because our school had never made it as far as we did. But, we believed in ourselves and that we could do it and we did! A lot of us have played together for a long time. We played Little League and travel ball together. It was great to be able to do that with girls who I have been friends with for so long.
When did you start cheering and what is your team like? What are states like? I started cheering only last year. Going to states was amazing. We never imagined that we would get to go that far. It was in this huge stadium with tv monitors everywhere. There were so many great teams there competing. It still feels like a dream. Walking out on the mat the first time was so scary and exciting all at once. We had a few things change right before our performance and I ended up flying in one our stunts. We were all just so excited when they called our name and told us our place in the competition!
What is a favorite memory from cheer? My all-time favorite memory was when we took the day of practice before our run through districts and did some team bonding. We played games and just had fun together. I played a game called “Barrel Racing” and was partnered with my teammate Mason. They have to pick up your legs while you race forward on your hands. We crushed everyone in the race. It was so funny to watch everyone try and stay up and not fall!
Artwork by Abby Knapp
We would love to see a picture of an art piece you created! I made this painting for my all-time favorite person, my Papa. He was having heart surgery a year ago and I made this for him to make him feel better. Now he is healthier than ever and the painting is still hanging in his house.
What are some of the things you love doing with your family? My family and I love doing anything outdoors. I love going side by side riding with my dad and absolutely anything to do at the river. We also like to stay in a cabin in the woods every year. I have gone to a softball camp at Florida State University and this past year I ever took 2 of my friends with my sister and I. Hopefully maybe I will even attend college there.
What inspiring things about you does your nomination not cover? I live my life every day with anxiety and ADHD. Sometimes it makes doing everything I do harder, but in some ways, I am better for it. I've learned to deal with it and manage it. It is especially true during playing sports!
What advice would you give to someone who doesn't have ADHD and isn't used to being around someone who does? I was officially diagnosed with ADHD last year. Not a lot of people knew that I was being tested. I’ve always been very enthusiastic and some of my peers would talk meanly behind my back because they didn’t understand. My advice would be just to take it in and really think about what is going on with that person. We can’t help being the way we are, and bullying isn’t the answer. Since I have talked to my friends about it, they are much more understanding and patient.
If you were to present a topic to a group of your peers, what would it be and why? I would like to present to a group on mental health. A lot of teens these days struggle with depression and anxiety. I would like to help them understand ways to cope and figure out if any of their friends are struggling their health too. I personally know several teens affected by this daily. I struggle with anxiety, depression, and ADHD and have figured out ways to help myself overcome it.
Photography by Dave Cyphert, ProPoint Media Photography Studio
What was your photo shoot like with ProPoint Media? My photo shoot with ProPoint Media was really fun and I enjoyed it a lot! Dave really helped put me at ease and taught me how to get used to posing and making faces for the photos. We laugh a lot and have so much fun. I even have a funny photo of me making a double chin!
What made you choose them and what did you love most about it? Dave has taken my photos for sports for 3 years now and the photos always turn out great. He said I was a natural with getting my photo taken and we have complete trust in him. I am really interested in learning photography, and he shows me things as we go. It has really helped to build my confidence too.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years/what are your plans? Attend college at FSU and earn a degree in early elementary education. I would like to continue to play sports in college and also adopt a French bulldog and name him Buster. Look for Abby in issue 50 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!