Tonawanda News — Former Tonawanda athletic director Dawn Bak-Schmitt knew Kalyn Compeau was going to be special.
Back at the original Clinton H. Small Stadium during a Lady Warriors varsity soccer game, when Compeau was just a seventh grader on the JV team, Bak-Schmitt said to keep an eye on her. Compeau scored crazy high on the fitness tests and was going to be an amazing athlete.
One year later, almost to the day, Compeau as an eighth grader scored her first varsity goal. A game-winner in OT to beat rival Alden — and the Compeau legend was officially born.
From that first varsity soccer goal to what eventually will be her last bucket for the varsity basketball team, Compeau, now a senior, cannot put into words how truly blessed she feels. And how all these amazing moments in her life are sewn together.
“Definitely all sewn together,” Compeau said with a smile as she reflected on her career. “I really think that, yeah there were some loses that hurt, but nothing bad happened. Everything that happened was kind of insane and still mind blowing to this day.”
Compeau has been the catalyst on two of the most successful teams during what can arguably be called the greatest era of success in THS’ athletics. Compeau not only helped the varsity soccer team get to the Class B sectional title game and earn a share of the ECIC IV title in soccer last fall, she helped the basketball team make school history by capturing back-to-back league titles during her sophomore and junior seasons.
“It feels amazing,” she said. “I did my part. I definitely played defense mostly, that’s my thing. Being a part of it is kind of cool because I never thought I would be part of something that big.”
Thinking about the bond with her basketball teammates, Compeau said that she and all of the girls who were part of those teams were lucky enough to be part of something truly special.
“Sometimes I’ve got to sit back and take a breath thinking about all of it,” Compeau said. “It’s sad for it to all end, but definitely proud of everything that has happened in all my years of varsity sports.”
Warriors varsity basketball coach Jay Hall said it’s almost impossible to sum the positive affect Compeau has had. Not just on basketball, but Tonawanda High School athletics as a whole.
“It is hard to put into words. What can you say about her?” said Hall. “She goes out. She does the job on the court. She’s great in practice. She’s just an outstanding person to have around. She’s an outstanding athlete and an outstanding person.”
Hall said that every girl has played a role in the recent run of success in basketball. While most girls had one key strength she could bring, Hall said Compeau was the rare player who was reliable in all facets.
“She was that steady rock that we needed throughout the last couple of years,” he said.
Compeau knows that talent is one thing. The true blessing is being fortunate enough to have people in your life who care enough to help cultivate that skill through support, love and encouragement. Kalyn Compeau doesn’t have to search long to find the cornerstones of her life; her older brother, Cory Compeau, and their mom, Christine Deeb.
“Oh my God,” Compeau said, as her face lit up at the mere mention of her family. “Cory and my mom, they give up so much just to be at my games. My mom took me to all of my travel practices. They give up everything. ... They’ll do anything for me and I love them. I couldn’t thank them enough. I don’t know how I could have done it without them. Even after a bad game or something they’ll say, ‘You’re an amazing athlete, don’t hang your head.’”
Praising the kind of person and athlete Compeau has been, Hall said there is no doubt in his mind that a spot on the Tonawanda Athletic Wall of Fame should be reserved for Compeau.
“I would think so,” Hall said. “Not only is she a great athlete, she’s just a great, super kid. She doesn’t care if she scores 20 points or whatever. All she cares about is if the team wins. That’s what you need around here.”
Not even entertaining thoughts of the Wall of Fame, Compeau wants her legacy to be a simple one.
A girl who tried her best and tried to help others reach their potential, too.
“Definitely not giving up and pushing others to be the best that they can be,” Compeau said. “Everyone, all of my teammates that I had for soccer and basketball, I definitely pushed them to be the best that they can. And to be the best team that we can be. Even though we’re a small school we’re a very talented soccer and basketball team.”Follow @tonanewssports and contributor @DaveARicci on Twitter for complete high school sports coverage.