By Joey Crandall
Nevada Appeal News Service
MINDEN " From what Douglas senior Bridget Maestretti is able to remember of basketball tryouts during her freshman year, she still isn't quite sure how she made the team.
"I was really terrified," she said. "The whole thing was just a blur. I wasn't expecting to make the team and to me it wasn't going so well."
It didn't help that the senior class that year included players like four-year starter Erin Brinkmeyer and all-region pick Brittany Puzey " players that Maestretti had watched while growing up; players that had coached her during youth Tiger Camp just the year before.
"At first I couldn't even believe it," Maestretti said. "I was trying to do lay-ups and I couldn't even make one. I was so nervous."
Fortunately, the coaching staff had been watching her for quite some time.
"We knew from her seventh-grade year that Bridget would have a great chance to play as a freshman," Douglas girls' coach Werner Christen said. "She picked things up so quickly and she was such a remarkable athlete. We were excited to have her."
Even so, the news that she'd made it came as a shock.
"I didn't expect to make the team," Maestretti said. "I was in shock, it really didn't hit me for a while."
The thing was, she didn't just make the team. She was thrown into a starting role from the start and really never looked back.
Maestretti, who carried a GPA above 4.0 heading into her final semester, wrapped up her career at Douglas having started 120 out of 121 games for the Lady Tigers (the only time she didn't start was when she surrendered her spot as a freshman to a senior teammate during the team's senior night) and having earned all-league honors in each of the last three years.
Couple that with the nine varsity letters she earned in four years, along with two league titles and one state appearance from her four sports and Maestretti was the pick for the Sierra Nevada Media Group's 2007-2008 Female Athlete of the Year. She was picked from among all the athletes of the year who were chosen by staff members from Sierra Nevada Media Group newspapers.
"She's probably one of the top five athletes, and on of the better complete players, I've ever coached," said Christen, who has been coaching in the boys' and girls' programs at Douglas for 22 years. "She was a great kid off the floor and she'll be sorely missed."
After finishing her freshman year on the varsity softball team, Maestretti never played below the varsity level again.
She was vaulted up to the varsity volleyball squad as a sophomore, where she started out the season starting on the front line of a senior-laden and talent-loaded squad.
After the loss to Reno in volleyball and after Spanish Springs ended the Tigers' season in the first round of the basketball playoffs, it appeared that Maestretti's high school career would end without any statewide honors.
Maestretti had earned first-team all-league and all-region honors in basketball as a senior and probably could've been content with closing the book there.
But the morning after bowing out of the playoffs, the Tigers learned they'd won the state academic title in 4A girls' basketball and would be honored during halftime of the state championship game.
But that wasn't the only thing brewing for Maestretti. A thought had been floating around in her head and she decided to follow through with it.
"I'd been thinking about going out for track all through basketball season," she said.
"I decided that I didn't want to just to nothing because I didn't want to get bored or sad that basketball was over.
"So I decided to go out for track maybe a week before the first practice."
So the girl who'd narrowed her life down to two sports just two years before bumped it back up to three for her senior year.
Teamed with Sarah Hartley, Nicole Mehrer and Susie White, Maestretti helped the 4x400 relay team to a third-place finish at regionals with a time of 4:08.47, which was good enough for a trip to state.
"It hit me when we got to state that I'd tried to go to state in all my other sports and the time I get there is in the sport I just threw in at the last minute," Maestretti said. "It was ironic."
For all of the high school accolades Maestretti earned, it appears that she truly will be closing the book on her athletic career, at least for now.
Despite some interest from a couple of smaller schools, Maestretti made the decision to attend the University of Nevadsa and major in secondary education. She's not planning to attempt to walk on to the basketball team at this point.
"I just wanted to stay close to my family," she said. "I didn't want to go too far away because I really love it here.
And while there are no plans to continue playing now, Maestretti did leave the door open.
"Whenever I am done with a season, it's only a couple of weeks before I have to do something," she said. "I do better when I am busy. The hard part about not having a sport to play is not knowing how I'll handle it.
"Maybe I'll play intramurals or something."