Being on a varsity team is not an every day occurrence, but being a freshman on varsity is usually unheard of. This fall sports season, 14 freshmen have reached the greatest level of competition in high school. Six of the 14 are on the varsity soccer team alone. That in itself is quite a feat.
These freshmen have put in countless hours over the summer and into the 2010 season. Most of them attended preseason workouts at the school working on improving their athletic abilities. By the time tryouts rolled around, the transition from middle school to high school did not seem to affect their ability to perform against more seasoned veterans.
Jack Pearce, a nationally-ranked runner in his 14-and-under age group, said, “I’ve been working hard, telling myself to push through because running is really mentally tough.”
Pearce, who finished 11th in the WesCo 3A Cross Country Championships in Lakewood, mentally prepares for races by sitting down, closing his eyes, and zoning out for a couple minutes. Pearce should be a strong contender for the in the cross country world.
Justine Kelly, a setter for women’s volleyball team, said, “It’s really easy when you all love playing volleyball and you’re all playing together. It’s easier to just be a team and fit with each other.”
Starting running back Devante Downs has emerged as a leader in rushing yards in WesCo. Downs began the first three games of the year as a wide receiver, but quickly took over the running back position.
“I was scared at first, but then I knew what to expect,” Downs said of his first varsity running back experience.
Remarkably, Downs has managed to capture the attention of his teammates, coaches, fans and opposing teams with his physical style of play. At this rate, Downs will be a force to be reckoned with and a leader for the football team for the foreseeable future.
Another freshman on the football team is defensive end Jevin Pahinui. Pahinui plays a big role in the defensive line, especially in the first several games before being diagnosed with a concussion. However, this injury has not ended his season. He is expected to return for Thursday’s game against Lynnwood.
When asked about the direct transition from the middle school level to the varsity level, Pahinui said, “I just came back from a year where I was dominating and now just going up a big step to varsity, guys are bigger, faster and stronger than me.”