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Student-Athlete of the Week: Carly Toothaker

Series: Student-Athlete of the Week | Story 87

One of the first gifts Carly Toothaker could remember receiving as a young child was a soccer ball, and after some time to reflect on her recently-completed high school career, that present can be considered an ember to a life encapsulated by sport.

Toothaker's father became her first soccer coach, with her mother doing the same in basketball. The immense early guidance helped her become a multi-year varsity starter in both sports at Niwot High.

In soccer, which she considers her primary sport, Toothaker played goalkeeper for the Cougars. After struggling out of the gates during non-conference play this season, Niwot regrouped and finished the year 8-8 (7-2 4A/3A Longs Peak League), including a first-round loss in the 4A state playoffs. Toothaker also enjoyed some time in the field and scored two goals against Fort Morgan in April.

Basketball season wrapped in February and Toothaker said it was perhaps her favorite year in the program. She recorded a career-high .8 assists per game while averaging 4.2 points for the 7-15 Cougars.

"It was such a fun season," she said. "I don't think I've ever enjoyed basketball as much as I did this year and just felt as confident as I did. (First-year head) Coach (Jon) Hill and the rest of his coaching staff are just the most phenomenal people."

In the fall, Toothaker plans on studying exercise science with an emphasis in athletic training at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. Her passion for athletics fueled the decision and she even got a taste of the field while in high school by taking a medical terminology course at the St. Vrain Valley School District's Career Elevation and Technology Center. For the class, she was required to interview someone in her desired area, and Niwot athletic trainer Maja Watne was an immediate help.

"(Watne) talked me through a day in her life, her entire education and what led her to that and what she plans on doing in the future," Toothaker said. "That really helped me make a decision on where I wanted to go and what program I needed to be in."

Watne was even gracious enough to write Toothaker a letter of recommendation for an athletic training scholarship, which was later won.

Toothaker brimmed with gratitude towards her slew of mentors.

"The people, the coaches, the teachers, I think Niwot is a really special place just in general," she said. "But I'd say my favorite thing was just all the adults in my life that ended up supporting me so much throughout sports and school."


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