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The Spartans' soccer, basketball and tennis player takes her role as mentor seriously.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Hillsboro High School's Margaret Shively puts up a shot during the Spartans' game against Glencoe earlier this season.Hillsboro's Margaret Shively is a leader.

Don't get me wrong, she won't tell you that, for that might be pretentious. But she will tell you she likes to be heard, and if possible, make others' lives simpler if given the opportunity.

"I enjoy making someone's life easier," Shively said. "If I have a chance to have more of a voice or more of a sense of responsibility and helpfulness, I like to take that chance."

Shively did just that for the Spartans' soccer team this past fall, for the basketball team this winter, and for the student body as senior class president for the past six months. But while taking leadership seriously now, she'd be the first to tell you it wasn't always that way for the three-sport athlete (she also plays tennis in the spring). And while she's evolved, so has her idea of what a leader really is.

"I think when I was younger, I thought of leaders as people with power," she said. "But as I've gotten older, I've learned that it's more about helpfulness and compassion for other people."

Shively learned that, she says, from the people around her — coaches, teachers, and even teammates like former Hilhi standout Kylie Fernstrom, whom Shively said taught her the importance of staying positive and being a friend, but also being relatively stern when the situation calls for it.

"You have to be flexible," Shively said. "It's like the difference between coaching boys and girls. Boys respond more to yelling, while girls seem to need more compassion."

On the basketball court, Shively is a sharpshooter who's not afraid to put the ball up. She's averaging 14 points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals per game, and she has been one of the primary reasons Hillsboro is 12-7 overall and in position to make the 5A state playoffs. She said she's been happy with the year to this point, and to be honest, a bit surprised by their success due to some key departures and the complications that have come with the ongoing pandemic.

"We lost a lot of players from last year, and we didn't really get a chance to grow as a team because of COVID," Shively said. "So, with such an inexperienced team, I kind of had low expectations, but I think we've done surprisingly well and kind of blown it away."

As one of just three seniors and as someone who's been playing varsity basketball since her freshman year, Shively said it's been fun helping her younger teammates navigate the somewhat unknown waters of being an underclassmen.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Hillsboro High School's Margaret Shively during a Spartans soccer game this past season. Shively plays three sports for the Sparts and is the senior class president."I remember being in their position and being scared to talk to the coach or try new things," she said. "To help them come out of their comfort zone has been a lot of fun for me."

The senior said her affinity for athletics came both from a natural ability for sport, but also with help from a competitiveness fostered by having athletic older brothers. She still enjoys the games, but she added that what she enjoys about them has evolved over time.

"I think when I was younger, it was a passion for me, but now I just like getting out there and meeting new people," Shively said. "I've made so many different connections playing sports. It's been really nice."

And what's her favorite? Tennis. She said she enjoys the individuality of it, along with the pressure that comes from having no one else to blame for a defeat or poor showing.

"Since it's up to me to win and up to me if I lose, it gives me that much more of a push to be better," Shively said. "Plus, I just like that it's something I can do even when I get older."

And speaking of getting older, Shively will be graduating this spring and said she's considering studying something in business. She's been accepted at Gonzaga University, although she said she's still considering Oregon State University and the University of Portland as viable options. But ultimately it all comes back a couple things: people and experiences.

"I enjoy communicating with people, and with business, you can connect with people all over the world," Shively said. "I've been thinking of different career pathways that fit that, and business is my top choice."

Hillsboro head coach Sara Harsin — whom Shively has known since the second grade — said she's enjoyed watching the senior grow on and off the court and has little doubt she'll be a success going forward.

"Margaret is a great kid and fun to be around," Harsin said. "It's been fun watching her grow and mature into the 'almost-adult' she is. She's been a big part of our program for the last four years and is going to an asset to any community she's a part of."

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