MORRISTOWN — It is rare to meet a high school athlete like 2021 Morristown senior Emma Theobald. Dedicated. Driven. And most of all, humble.
In a day and age where athletes boast about their accolades on Twitter and other forms of social media, Theobald is old school. She never posted game highlights or her individual statistics after playing one of her three sports – volleyball, basketball and tennis. To Theobald, numbers never mattered. It was always about the team’s success.
For her mature attitude this past school year, Theobald has been given The Shelbyville News’ Sportsmanship Award.
Maybe she got it from her older brother? Or maybe it just runs in the family.
Theobald’s older brother, Logan, was a junior guard on the 2018 Morristown state championship team. He was the exact same way. Theobald also has a younger sister, Katie, who is an eighth grader at Morristown.
“We have always had that drive,” said Theobald, who is the daughter of Michael and Angie Theobald. “Our parents played sports in high school and were competitive, too. I think it is how we were raised. We were always pushed. It we wanted a spot, we had to earn it. What I did, I worked for it for my team. Not for me.
“I am also very introverted and don’t like attention at all. I feel comfortable on the court. But away from it, I don’t like eyes on me.”
Unfortunately, Theobald had a painful shoulder injury during her final tennis season. But did she complain or make excuses? Absolutely not.
After winning her semifinal match of the Mid-Hoosier Conference Tournament, Theobald was one win away from a conference title (No. 1 singles). Not bad after picking up the sport as a sophomore. However, she was forced to forfeit the championship match due to the nagging pain. It was the right decision with the postseason right around the corner.
“I had been having shoulder pain since volleyball season,” Theobald said. “In my mind, I already pushed through volleyball and basketball… but I needed to push through tennis, too. I had never been in that position (unable to compete or finish). I didn’t want that to be in people’s minds, that I was just giving up. I just remember crying from being in so much pain.”
Theobald was still able to make the all-conference tennis team, something she did in volleyball and basketball, as well. She also regrouped and was able to compete one last time at the Shelbyville Tennis Sectional.
Theobald, who plans to study nursing at Marian University, finished her final volleyball season with 428 assists and averaged 11.3 points per game during basketball season.
At the end of the school year, she received the 2021 Albi Award and the IHSAA Foundation Post-Secondary Tuition Scholarship (one of two seniors in state), among other scholarships and awards. The Albi Award is named after Lowell Albertson, former longtime athletic director at MHS.
“The Albi Award is about dedication and what it means to be an athlete,” Theobald said. “He (Albertson) has always played a major role in my life. Sports are important to him, but he cares about your character.”
It was a fitting end to a fantastic, well-rounded high school career.