Diane Slotsema Sietsema
Diane Slotsema Sietsema is a 1978 Grand Rapids Christian High School graduate who excelled in three team sports: basketball, volleyball, and softball. She earned eight varsity letters in her three years as an Eagle (9thgrade was not at the high school at the time). Diane was also chosen by the GRCHS varsity coaches as the recipient of the 1978 Eagle Award, an honor presented to the top female athlete in the school.
In basketball, the strong defensive forward finished her senior year as the number two scorer on an Eagle team that finished second in the City League. She co-captained the team and was voted the Most Valuable Player by her teammates. She also earned All-City honors her senior year.
The 1978 Eagle volleyball team won the City Championship Diane’s senior year. That team went on to win the State Quarterfinals but lost at Ford Field House in the Semifinals. Diane co-captained that team and was selected to the All-City and Class B All-State Teams.
In softball, Diane played third base and was known as a clutch hitter. She was team captain, an All-City selection as a junior, and led the team with 27 runs batted in, while hitting at a .455 clip that year. She received All-State honors.
To cap off her three outstanding years at GRCH, Diane was named the Female City Athlete of the Year in 1978. This award was voted on by the 100 members of the City League Coaches Association. She was selected over a field of the best athletes from each of the seven City League schools.
After graduating, Diane married Skip Sietsema and became the bookkeeper for the family business, Sietsema Orchards. When their children were younger, Diane coached many youth sports. She also volunteered in several church and community programs, including Holland Home, local missions, food banks, and outreach arms of the Christian Reformed Church. She and Skip have four children: Andy Sietsema, Liz Post, Sarah Wyma and Ben Sietsema, and are enjoying their twelve grandchildren. They live in Ada, MI.
Diane is grateful for her wonderful teammates and coaches, like Louise Sonderfan and Hall of Fame member Mary Afman, who exemplified Christ and made her high school years so enjoyable. One fun memory was learning the value of weight training from Coach Mary Geenen. This was in an era when female athletes didn’t lift – but what a difference this new training made in increasing strength and improving athletic performance.
Looking back, Diane recognizes that it was God who blessed her with her athletic ability and the opportunity to excel at GRCH in the sports she loved. Although a standout in many areas, she remembers playing with no pressure to perform. Her philosophy was quite simple: “I played because it was fun!”
Diane’s Favorite Scripture: Habakkuk 3:17
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord.