Sabercat Story: Ella Lavigne looks to the future


Ella Lavigne

A beloved member of Fossil’s basketball team, Ella Lavigne will be missed by many next year.

Jordan Brownhill, Co-Editor in Chief

A captain of Fossil Ridge High School’s girl’s varsity basketball team and friendly to everyone around her, now senior Ella Lavigne surprised many this year with her decision to accelerate her high school education.

While she loves basketball and plans to continue playing, it was not her first sport. Lavigne played soccer when she was younger, and at the time believed she would continue playing for as long as she could. However, when her dad suggested she give basketball a try, she fell in love with the sport and has continued playing ever since.

She began her basketball career in fifth grade and quickly decided to join a club team the following year. When she reached high school, she tried out for Fossil’s girls basketball team. She was on the junior varsity team as a freshman but moved to varsity in her sophomore year, where she continues to play now.

Currently holding two out of three of Fossil’s rebounding records for girls basketball, Lavigne is recognized by her coaches as being able to handle the ball well. Jamie Menefee, the head varsity coach of Fossil’s team, recalls a time during her freshman year when he showed her the record board for the first time and pointed out the rebounding records. 

“I said ‘you’re going to own all of those,’” Menefee recounts.

Playing basketball for so many years has been both a challenging and rewarding experience for Lavigne. Her time playing basketball has taught her how to work and interact with many different types of people. She has enjoyed getting to forge friendships and compete with her friends.

After noticing in StudentVUE that the credits she needed to graduate were completed, Lavigne was able to make the choice to speed up her high school career and graduate a year early, making her a senior this year. 

She reflected on her decision, “High school basketball, it’s been fun, I like having my friends and stuff but I think I’m ready for the next level.”

Lavigne trusts herself in her ability to make the right decision for her future, but the decision did not come without costs. “Next year I will definitely miss my friends the most. And all the Dutch Bros runs with them,” Lavigne comments.

The decision to graduate early, while the right one for her, is not one that Lavigne would advise everyone to make. 

“There’s a lot of experience you might miss out on here,” Lavigne warns. She believes that reclassification works for her because she has never felt an attachment to attending school events, such as football games and dances, but that students who enjoy those experiences would be better off taking as much time as they can to enjoy them.

Although as her coach, Menefee cannot help his disappointment that he will not have the opportunity to coach Lavigne for longer, he trusts that reclassification was a good decision for her.

Ella Lavigne matching up on defense in the game against Grandview. (Dylan Heinrich)

 “While we would love to have her play here for ten more years, that’s not her journey and so we’re going to support her the whole way,” Menefee says.

Lavigne plans to continue her basketball career at Central Maine Community College next year, and is ready to see what this new adventure will bring for her. “I’m mostly just excited to… move on with life in a positive way.”