Athletes of the Month: Ali Mariah Lukkasson & Avery Jones
Ali Mariah Lukkasson: Peninsula High School
Sixteen-year-old Ali Mariah Lukkasson strives to be the best she can be when it comes to both athletics and academics. She has a GPA of 3.8, is enrolled in AP classes and is working on lettering in volunteerism. In addition, she is a member of Peninsula High School’s varsity bowling team.
This is Ali’s first year on the bowling team, and she said one of the biggest challenges she has faced is being consistent. “Getting to know your ball and adjusting yourself, your stance and your rhythm accordingly. It’s difficult to keep consistency throughout each game,” shared Ali.
She likes the fact that bowling can be both an individual and team sport. “You’re constantly playing against yourself but also have teammates to help keep (up) your morale.”
Her future plans include attending a four-year college while also continuing to bowl.
“I plan on pursuing a career in the medical field,” said Ali. “(I am) continually debating between different careers. I have narrowed my choices down to radiology or psychiatry, but there is no final decision at this time. I have a passion for helping the community and giving back.”
She said that there are things she has learned through bowling that she applies in her everyday life. “Bowling is very much a mental game, and you have to keep your cool in order to succeed. My team reminds each other that every frame is a new chance to do your best.”
Photo Courtesy of Washington State University Athletics.
Avery Jones: Gig Harbor High School
Never give up. That is the life lesson that 17-year-old senior Avery Jones has learned from being involved in athletics. A varsity athlete since sophomore year in both basketball and baseball, Avery was second team all league in basketball as a senior and second team all league in baseball as a junior.
Avery has received an athletic scholarship from Washington State University and will continue his baseball career as a pitcher at the collegiate level. While at WSU, Avery plans to study business or finance. “I enjoy working with numbers and people as well,” he said.
One of the biggest challenges Avery has faced came when he was only 15 and chosen to play for the Narrows Baseball Club on the 18u/19u team.
“At first it was intimidating to be playing against guys with full beards while I was still relying on my mom to get me to practice and games on time,” said Avery. “My mom and my coaches helped me realize that I was on that team for a reason, and I decided I was there to compete. Later that season I received several scholarship offers from Division 1 schools. This taught me to never doubt myself no matter how uncomfortable I might feel.”
When asked about what he enjoys most about the game, Avery responded that it is the mental toughness and the strategy of pitching.
“Baseball is a game of failure, and in order to be successful, you have to learn how to deal with failure and not let it affect your next performance.”