A Fresh Start on Varsity



  Being a starting freshman on a varsity sport can be a daunting and intimidating task, but many freshmen this year have risen to the challenge and proven to be excellent additions to their teams. On the volleball team, five freshmen, including Sara Bares and Maddi Escher, helped contribute to the team’s first win against Trinity Christian.

   Escher is the team’s setter, and she is quite an experienced player outside of Pinewood as well. She has been playing volleyball since fourth grade, and has
already noticeably developed as a player in the first weeks of being on the Pinewood team.

   “Starting Maddi was a really easy decision for me because of her overall skills, her enthusiasm for the game, and her desire to learn new skills,” Coach Michael
Shorts said.

   Another great addition to the team is Sara Bares, who has remarkably only been playing competitively for one year. She starts at opposite, but unfortunately injured her foot in the first game of the season and is out for at least a week. According to her teammates, Bares’ best quality on the court is how supportive and positive she is towards herself and her teammates. They can’t wait to have
her back.

   “They’re solid players and I’m excited to work with them this year!” Captain Mehra Den Braven said.

   On the other hand, the varsity eight man football team started off their season with three great wins in the Pinewood Jamboree, and a dramatic tie-break With ten freshman on the team, the Panthers look sharper than ever and ready for the season.

   Freshman Bo Fick plays both offensive and defensive line. This is his first year playing tackle football, and he has proven to be a great weapon on the field. One of his best features is his size and strength, which help out the team tremendously. Captain Oscar Fick says that he can’t wait to play with his little brother and see
what the season holds for them.

   Another sibling of a starting player, Cache Fields stepped onto the field as a starting quarterback, throwing multiple touchdowns, including one to his brother Wilson Fields, in the Pinewood Jamboree. This is his first year playing
football, so all he needs is a little more experience and he will be unstoppable.

   “Cache has a lot of young talent,” teammate Jack
Sweat said.

   Other impact freshmen for football include Jackson Haun, Connor Riches, Julian Sanchez and Casey Bates, all of whom made big plays in the Panthers’ recent win over Anzar High. Freshman Alex Dagman, who has been a force on the defensive line, is currently out with
a concussion.

   Julia Owens has made a difference on girls tennis this season as well. Despite being a freshman who has never played a varsity sport, she has quickly become the No. 1 ranked player on the Pinewood team. Her brother, junior Gabe Owens, is a star player on boys tennis.

   “Julia is a great addition to the team,” senior tennis player Karina Uppal said of Owens’s contributions. It shows, too: Owens has helped the tennis team cruise through most of their matches early on this season.

   It’s early in the season, but these three teams are already looking forward to great seasons and lots of wins. Even though all teams had to suffer the
loss of valuable seniors, the varsity football, tennis and volleyball teams may have found their secret weapon in their incoming freshman.