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O’Rourke is USC’s Triple “A” Award recipient

Senior has many different interests which keep her occupied

By Kevin Mertens - Staff Writer | Feb 7, 2021

Izzy O’Rourke, above, stands outside of the United South Central High School building. She stays busy with a wide variety of activities in school and out.

Izzy (Issabelle) O’Rourke was recently named the Triple “A” (Academics, Arts and Athletics) Award recipient for United South Central High School.

Recipients of the award are chosen on the basis of their participation in the arts and athletics, as well as their athletic achievements.

O’Rourke is the daughter of Darren and Renae O’Rourke of Wells. She is the oldest of three children. She has a brother Braxton, who is 15 years old, and a sister Ivy, age 11. Her father helps farm with his father and raises sheep. Her mother is a pre-school teacher at USC.

She says she has been known as Izzy since birth, and that her parents gave her the nickname.

When it comes to participating in sports, O’Rourke is a rare four-sport athlete.

“When the Minnesota State High School League (MSHL) originally decided to not have the volleyball season until the spring of 2021, I decided to go out for tennis,” O’Rourke explains.

She not only participated in tennis, she was named to the All-State Academic Team for the sport.

“Then when it was decided volleyball would be played last fall, I resumed participating in that sport,” she says.

Unfortunately, the season did not go how O’Rourke had hoped it would.

“We only got to play three games,” she comments. “Either our team was quarantined because we had close contact with someone positive for COVID or the team we were going to play was unable because they were having to deal with COVID.”

She is now happy to be able to play basketball.

“It is my favorite sport,” O’Rourke shares. “I love to compete in basketball.”

O’Rourke can be tough for opposing teams to deal with. The senior is listed as being six-foot-one in the basketball program.

“I think I am really closer to six feet,” she says laughing. “But I like to mix it up on the court.”

When spring comes around you will find O’Rourke playing softball.

She has been named to the All-Conference Academic Team in all three of her usual sports – volleyball, basketball and softball.

When O’Rourke is not busy with athletics you are apt to find her keeping busy on her parent’s farm or with her 4-H club.

“I am the vice president of the Barber Flyers 4-H Club and am a member of the youth council for the Faribault County 4-H,” she explains.

And she does love her animals, especially sheep.

“I have been showing sheep since kindergarten,

O’Rourke mentions. “I also showed a goat one year.”

She also loves to sing and is a soprano in the USC choir.

“I also sing in some small groups,” she says. “I am hoping we get the chance to compete in the solo and ensemble contest this year. But, with COVID, we just don’t know if it will happen or not.”

She also is keeping a very ambitious academic schedule during her senior year.

“I took four college-level classes during the first semester,” O“Rourke comments. “They were PSEO (Post-secondary Education Options) classes. I took them online at the high school. I have three PSEO classes the second semester.”

She also does not hesitate to say what her favorite high school course is.

“I love my ag classes with Mr. Dylla,” O’Rourke states. “I really enjoy the horticulture classes.”

She also is active in other extra-curricular activities.

“I am a member of the National Honor Society and the chapter president for the FFA,” she says. “I am the FFA Region 7 treasurer and I compete in the General Livestock judging where we judge cows, pigs, sheep and goats.”

O’Rourke is planning on attending South Dakota State, in Brookings, this fall.

“I plan to major in ag business,” she comments. “I also want to get a minor in animal science. I am not sure what I want to do after college but I am leaning towards a farm management type of job.”

In the meantime she plans on enjoying the rest of her senior year.

“I love to play sports and hang out with my family and friends watching movies or going shopping,” O’Rourke explains. “If I cannot do that, I love just hanging out on the farm.”