Kourtney Irons likes a challenge.
She was once told that it could be difficult, if not impossible, for her to balance playing multiple sports while keeping her AP and honors grades up.
The two-sport standout excelled both inside the classroom and out on the basketball and volleyball courts. Irons is graduating Magna Cum Laude with academic scholarship offers to Millsaps, Louisiana-Lafayette, Belhaven, Loyola, Xavier, University of South Alabama and the University of Alabama-Birmingham. She was a key member of Lady Tiger squads that earned district championships in both sports over her time with each program.
“It’s kind of bittersweet because high school is a safe space, but I’m excited to get out into the real world and have some new experiences,” Irons said.
She was voted Most Athletic at prom by her fellow students. Irons was a member of Beta Club, National Honor Society and was the treasurer of the school’s National Spanish Honor Society. She earned Presidential Scholarship honors and also earned the Don Raymond Scholarship, among her many academic accolades.
Affectionately nicknamed “Woogie” by her family and friends, Irons kept a strong desire to succeed at everything she did at Hahnville – but she stressed academics came first.
“That was my main focus,” she said. “I found a way to balance things by scheduling out times, what to study and when … some classes were easier for me, some tougher, and I just prioritized whatever I thought I needed to at a particular time.”
It certainly would have been easy for her to take her eye off the ball.
After Hurricane Ida hit at the beginning of her junior year, Irons, her five siblings and her mother and father were living in a hotel and then a camper for nine months as their home was badly damaged.
Staying focused was difficult, Irons admitted, but at the same time there was a special, unique joy that came with re-joining her volleyball teammates once school events began again.
“Just being able to get away from all of it and not think about Ida, just be out there with your friends, it was like an escape,” Irons said.
Irons said she’s not yet sure what she plans to major in, but has a good idea of the direction she would like to take. She hopes to one day be an athletic director or a coach and is weighing potential academic paths toward that goal.
Irons credited Hahnville athletic director and volleyball coach Mendi LeBoeuf as an inspiration.
“Coach LeBoeuf taught us so many life lessons we can use outside of volleyball … about setting goals, and how progress comes in small increments, not overnight,” Irons said.
On the basketball court, Irons was known for her 3-point shooting accuracy.
“My parents were my coaches when I was younger and they always pushed me to be the best I could be,” she said. “I didn’t realize I was going to be a good shooter until around 8th grade. Before that, it wasn’t really needed, but once I started playing summer ball and AAU I really worked on it and started getting better at it.”