Student athletes are required to balance both sports and school work. Considering the changes in this year’s schedule, it has been a challenge for students to find the time for extracurriculars. These athletes make significant contributions to their team while still excelling in their studies. San Marin student-athletes provide leadership and support to their team as well as their peers and classmates. Teamwork, leadership, are some of the valuable skills these athletes have gained in their sports. These individuals are the season of fall’s student athlete standout.
Sophomore Ava Kaplan has been playing tennis for seven years, and feels support and encouragement from the tennis community throughout that time.
“My most significant take away from tennis is just because you feel like you are alone on the court,” Kaplan said. “You are never truly alone because your teammates and friends are cheering you on.”
When playing a singles match last year, Kaplan felt the pressure of going against an advanced player. During the tiebreaker, Kaplan’s “mental drive was starting to rebuild.” ended up winning.
Senior Raymond Lunde is excited for the comeback of cross country after being unable to compete due to COVID-19 restrictions last year.
Lunde’s curiosity led him to competitive running during 7th grade at Sinaloa Middle School, and by joining the team, “It brought comradery,” Lunde said.
Lunde was inspired by Liam Anderson (a former student at Redwood High School) and his successes of winning state and receiving a full scholarship to Stanford; he became determined to do his best to follow in Anderson’s footsteps.
Sally Cesko, senior, has high expectations set for both herself and her team this year. “I always try to be a positive energy on the court,” Cesko said, “I want to be someone who is fun to play with.”
Cesko believes that attitude and confidence, from both the team and the crowd, plays a huge role in how the game goes.
“Everyone plays better when they’re feeling confident, prepared, and excited,” Cesko said. With that being said, she wants to remain consistent and make the most of this season in a team effort.
Taj Mariano Perez
Sophomore Taj Mariano-Perez is the first male cheerleader San Marin has had in 10 years. He wanted to “try something new this year” and he’s been enjoying the atmosphere of the cheer team since the start of the school year.
“I knew I had to do it,” said Mariano Perez. The support from his friends and parents motivated him to make the decision to become San Marin’s only male cheerleader.
Mariano-Perez says his biggest takeaway from cheer is the trust he is able to create with the team. “Our girls are always there for one another,” Mariano-Perez said, “[cheer] is all about support and trust.”