Christ and sports – a way of life for Mara Hunziker

Stillwater's Mara Hunziker. Photo by Amy Daniel.

You can tell what is important to a person by the way that person spends her time.

Mara Hunziker likes sports. Whether playing, assisting or just watching them, sports of all kinds are a part of her life.

OSN-Mara-Hunziker-Golf-A

Photo by Amy Daniel.

Hunziker just completed her senior year at Stillwater High School and she tracks the last nine months by what athletic season it was.

“In the fall, I spent every Friday night at the football stadium watching football,” Hunziker said. “And once the football season ended, I went back for basketball. I really like to be at high school events and to be involved.”

A significant amount of her time in the fall was also spent at the volleyball court, where Hunziker was a manager this year. And after football, volleyball and basketball, the attention turns to the links.

Hunizker was a part of the Pioneers’ girls golf team. The group made it to the state tournament again and excelled in more than one aspect.

“Our golf team made it to the state tournament and we won academic state. And then placed the highest that any Stillwater high school golf team has ever placed in the state tournament. So we were really proud of that.”

Her athletic life also included activity outside the bounds of SHS.

Senior picture. Photo by Hart Photography.

Photo by Hart Photography.

“Outside the school I do crossfit, which I consider a sport, but it’s not like a school sport.” Crossfit is a fitness regimen that has also given way to competitive fitness sport.

And as her schedule showed the place sports plays in her life, so also it showed her focus on Christ.

Hunziker set apart time her senior year to serve as the president of the Stillwater High School Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She considered the responsibilities of that position to not stop at the door after a huddle.

“Being a president of FCA, I really just strive to be a light of Christ in the hallways and just glorify God in all the things I do, whether it’s playing sports or helping someone out with homework or with any struggle they might have.

“I just try to be a light of Christ and show them that there is something better for us. I really strive to be that person.”

Hunziker said FCA had a big impact in her life and that it is doing the same at her school.

“I think FCA is a great organization. It actually helped bring me closer to Christ and got me really going in my faith. And I think it’s really good for Stillwater. It’s going really well.

“We have between 30 and 50 students every Tuesday morning and that’s before school so students that are coming are getting up early to come and hear what whoever is speaking that week has to say. And I think it really does help show everyone that there’s a group of people you can always turn to and will always have your back and can always talk with you about Jesus and God.”

Stillwater girls golf team. Photo by Amy Daniel.

Stillwater girls golf team. Photo by Amy Daniel.

Hunziker, who was named an FCA All-Stater this year, has seen her relationship with Jesus develop through her life.

“I was born and raised Catholic. I was baptized since I was about six weeks old. But I really came to Christ and had my revelation going into my junior year.

“I got really sick and was in the hospital for a while. And I realized at my lowest of lows that He was always there for me. And that my being sick was just one of the crosses I had to carry for Him. He carried the cross for me and I carried that for Him.”

So she moves on from high school, but she won’t be moving far geographically. Hunziker will be attending Oklahoma State University starting in August.

“I am looking forward to the fall. I cannot wait. I’m kind of excited to get out of the house and to be my own person and make my own decisions. Just to be able to do what I want when I want. I can do that to a point now, but now I’ll be more independent, which is kind of exciting for me.”

Although OSU is an exciting choice for her, as with any college she could have chosen, there were pros and cons to consider regarding staying in Stillwater.

“It’s really cool for me to be able to stay at Oklahoma State. I had other schools in mind, but Oklahoma State was just the best fit for me.

FCA Spotlight presented by Texoma Manufacturing

FCA Spotlight presented by Texoma Manufacturing

“I thought it would be hard because with my dad (Dave Hunziker, play-by-play voice of OSU football and men’s basketball) working for the university and lots of people know him. I was afraid I would know everybody already and not get to meet new people. But as I’ve researched it, I realized I’ll have so many new friends. And just because I’ll be in Stillwater doesn’t mean I’m going to be with the same people.”

Hunziker’s love of Christ and sports will continue through the next step of her life’s journey. And although the distance from her high school campus to her college campus just more than a mile, she said she believes there will be change in her future.

“I think it will be a whole new experience, kind of like being in my own new world on campus.”