Gig Harbor High School
Nate Jones, a 17-year-old junior at Gig Harbor High School, is passionate about the game of soccer. His hard work and dedication have certainly paid off as he has been named All-League, All-County and All-State over the course of the past two years. In addition, he holds a 3.7 GPA.
He said one of the biggest challenges he has had to overcome when it comes to playing soccer is to not overthink things.
Nate shares that what he loves about the game of soccer is the family aspect of the team and camaraderie. “With my club team, we have spent thousands of hours on trips, at practice or just hanging out, and at that point you are not just teammates anymore,“ said Nate.
He is not sure yet of his post high school plans, however, he does want to pursue playing soccer at the collegiate level. Looking ahead to a career, Nate is interested in politics and economics.
He is grateful to his coaches, especially Coach John Yorke, who has taught him that the players who do the hard work are the ones who will get more playing time than those who have natural talent but may not work as hard. This is a lesson that Nate plans to take with him through life as he continues to be dedicated to all that he sets out to do.
Peninsula High School
Fifteen-year-old sophomore Audrey Krishnadasan thoroughly enjoys the game of softball. She was the starting shortstop on varsity last year, and this year she is also trying her hand at pitching.
“I love softball for many reasons—the camaraderie, the competition and the pure joy of making a diving play or hitting the game-winning RBI,” said Audrey. “But the thing that I love about softball the most is the fact that it is so fast paced.”
Last year, PHS was one game away from state, and Audrey said she is excited to see where the team can go this year.
In addition to playing for Peninsula, Audrey plays club softball for the Seattle Sundodgers, traveling to several out-of-state recruiting tournaments throughout the year.
Although she still has time to decide on her college plans, Audrey says that from the moment she was introduced to college softball, she knew that is what she wanted to do.
“I have dreamed of the commitment and intensity of playing at the collegiate level. I plan to attend a small liberal arts college following high school,” she said.
Audrey shares that she has learned a lot from her coaches, but one in particular, Kaija Gibson, who plays softball for University of Washington and who has helped coach Audrey’s club team, said something that has made an impact on Audrey.
“Her main message was this: Even if you are not playing on the field, what can you be doing in the dugout to help your team win?” said Audrey. “I started to understand that I could use my voice to be a leader in the dugout. I could find the pattern of the opposing pitcher and inform my teammates. I could make sure everyone in the field knew that the runner at one was going to two. While making physical plays is important, games are not won solely by the nine on the field; every single person in the dugout can and will have a direct effect on the outcome of the game. Knowing my role is probably the biggest factor into what inspires me to be a leader on and off the field.”