Set Back for Holy Family Star Athlete


Leigh Steiner (pictured in black) accepting her all-tournament team honors after averaging 16 points per game (20 before injury)

Two 20-point games in the state tournament, All-Tournament team, honorable mention All-State, and top 6 finisher for Miss Basketball Minnesota, Leigh Steiner had an amazing season. To go along with all her personal accomplishments, she also helped her team reach their goals. The Fire, with significant help from their star, Leigh Stiener, reached the state tournament for the first time since 2016, thanks to a stellar record of 20-5. Leigh led the way, averaging 16 points a game. The Fire took home 5th place in state, going 2-1 in the 2018-2019 state tournament all-together.

During the later part of the second half in the Fire’s Consolation championship game, against Proctor High School, Leigh Stiener was going in hard for a layup. She took off like she had done hundreds of times throughout the season, but this time was different. When Leigh hit the ground, she stayed down. An eerie silence went across the entire gym as everyone seemingly held their breath, hoping everything was alright…but, everything was not alright.

Leigh came down and tore her left ACL, without a doubt, the worst injury for a young athlete like herself.

“During the play my thought was what it is every time I steal the ball: get to the hoop and score. Next thing I knew, I was fouled hard, and my knee popped. When I landed, I immediately knew I wasn’t going to be stepping back on the court, which was something I never wanted to have to deal with. Once I got into the training room, the trainer and Coach T were just trying to calm me down. Despite the tears, they were able to get a couple laughs out of me. After calming me down, all I wanted to do was go back out and watch my teammates play and support them in our last game of the season. After the game, I had a whirlwind of emotions. Not only had I been injured, but I had just played in the last game of my basketball career. It was hard to know that it was all over, and it definitely was not the way I wanted it to end. However, having my teammates, coaches, and friends remind me of the great career I had, made me realize I had a lot to be proud of and could not let this one, unlucky moment define my high school basketball career. I rode the bus home with the team which really brought my spirits up even though I knew it was going to be a rough journey ahead,” Leigh Steiner told me.

Leigh is a dual sport athlete. After rattling off her accomplishments in basketball, you probably assumed that basketball is her main sport… wrong. Leigh is a Division I Lacrosse player, committed to the University of Marquette. There is no doubt the Holy Family lacrosse team is going to suffer hugely from the loss of Leigh, but you can count on Leigh going to all the games to give her best support. When asked about lacrosse, Leigh had this to say: “In terms of lacrosse, this injury will unfortunately prevent me from playing in my senior season, which I had been looking forward to and been training for all year. On top of that, ever since I was a freshman, my goal was to be nominated for Ms. Lacrosse, however, with this injury, that dream is over, but I know that I am going to learn a lot from my recovery and will come back stronger and better with 4 years to play at Marquette!”

An athlete is defined as a “person who has a natural aptitude for physical activities,” Leigh Steiner was born an athlete. On the basketball court, anyone could have showed up and immediately saw that she was the best player on the court. On the lacrosse field, she so easily sticks out, running past everyone and scoring goals left and right. To me, an athlete also needs to be defined as “one who overcomes adversity, and comes back better than he or she was before.” I can guarantee that Leigh fits both definitions of an athlete, and she will come back a better and stronger athlete than before this injury.

Stay tuned…