A Look Back at 11 of This Year’s Freshmen Athletes on Fall Varsity Teams

Olivia Galbraith, Staff Reporter

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With winter sports in full swing, it’s time to look back at the fall season and the athletes who made an impact on La Salle’s varsity teams. This year, there were many freshman athletes on La Salle’s fall varsity teams. Here’s a look back on 11 of those athletes who show promise and made an impact during the season.

Football

Brody Crowley

Reilly Nesen
“Being a freshman on a varsity team is challenging. The hard part about it is that the expectation doesn’t change.”

When did you start playing football?

  • “I started playing football in first grade when my dad signed me up to play with third graders.”

What was it like being a freshman on a varsity team?

  • “Being a freshman on a varsity team is challenging. The hard part about it is that the expectation doesn’t change. It doesn’t matter that you’re younger … what matters is if you’ve got game or not.”

What is your favorite memory or highlight from the season?

  • “[My] best memory of the season was the first game. It was my very first high school game. I started on defense and got in on offense toward the end of the game and ended up getting my first touchdown!”

Are you excited for next season, and what are your goals for it?

  • “[I] can’t wait for this next season. I’m excited to grow and get stronger, so I can play a bigger part on the team. [My goal] for next season [is to play in the] two weeks of playoffs.”

Jacob Waterman

Reilly Nesen
“I felt a lot of pressure right at the start [in] the first few games, and then it got easier. “

How did you start playing football?

  • “I started with flag football in first grade, and then I started tackle football in third grade.”

What was it like being a freshman on a varsity team?

  • “I felt a lot of pressure right at the start [in] the first few games, and then it got easier. Some of the older guys helped me along the way.”

What’s your favorite memory or highlight from the season?

  • “It was definitely my one handed catch against Putnam.”

Are you looking forward to next season?

  • “Yes, it was so hard ending this season. I miss it a lot; I can’t wait for next season.”

Nolan Ahmann

Reilly Nesen
“[I made] the first field goal that we did, and I wasn’t expecting to.”

What was is like being a freshman on a varsity team?

  • “It wasn’t that difficult because I was the only place kicker on the team, but [the team] encouraged me a lot and [I had] fun.”

Did you feel intimidated, or feel a lot of pressure being a freshman?

  • “At first [I did] because I didn’t know [the team], but [once] we got through the start of the season, they pretty much became like any other regular friend.”

What’s your favorite memory and highlight from the season?

  • “[I made] the first field goal that we did, and I wasn’t expecting to.”

What’s your goal for next season?

  • “To [kick] more field goals [because] as of now I’m just doing a kickoff and extra points.”

Soccer

Kate Collins

Olivia Galbraith
“[The upperclassmen] were all supportive and encouraging.”

How and when did you start playing soccer?

  • “I started playing soccer because my older siblings played and my dad coached, so playing soccer was something that everyone in the family did. I’ve been playing soccer [since] kindergarten, so I’ve been playing for 10 years.”

Did you feel intimidated, or feel a lot of pressure from being a freshman?

  • “Being on a team with upperclassmen was fun and it was intimidating. [The upperclassmen] were all supportive and encouraging.”

What is your favorite memory or highlight from the season?

  • “The highlight of the season was when we beat Rex Putnam. It was a great game and on the bus ride home we had a lot of fun playing music and celebrating.”

Are you looking forward to next season?

  • “I can’t wait for next season and I hope next year we can make it farther in the playoffs.”

Abbie Reddick

Reilly Nesen
“The most memorable thing from my high school season was the first game. We were all so excited, and … it was just a really great feeling.”

How and when did you start playing soccer?

  • “I was five years old [when] I started playing soccer because of my dad. He always encouraged me to play sports when I was younger.”

What was it like being a freshman on a varsity team?

  • “Being a freshman on a varsity team was difficult, but still really fun. It was different from what I’m used to, since everyone was older and had more experience, but by the end of the season I felt like we had been playing together forever.”

What’s your favorite memory or highlight from the season?

  • “I think the most memorable thing from my high school season was the first game. We were all so excited, and everyone was really encouraging. It was just a really great feeling.”

Are you looking forward to next season, and what are your goals for it?

  • “I’m really excited for next season! I had a great experience this year, and I’m excited to play with my teammates again. I hope we can continue to work together as a team and make it farther in the playoffs next year.”

Natalie Pfleger

Reilly Nesen
“After the first week of being on the team, I felt so included with everyone because the seniors really encouraged us to do our best.”

How and when did you start playing soccer?

  • “I started playing soccer at the age of three. My mom and dad play soccer and they are both very into it. They wanted me to do the same.”

What was it like being a freshman on a varsity team?

  • “Being a freshman on the team was at first very intimidating … because I only knew two people going into tryouts. But, after the first week of being on the team, I felt so included with everyone because the seniors really encouraged us to do our best.”

What’s your favorite memory or highlight from the season?

  • My favorite highlight of the season was when we won our first game. I scored two goals, which made me feel good, but also our team ended up winning 5-0. I feel like this really brought the team together as a whole.”

Are you looking forward to next season, and what are your goals for it?

  • “I am so looking forward to next season! My goal … is to win first place in the finals!”

Mizael Harris

Reilly Nesen
“Being on the varsity team felt amazing. At first, it was difficult … and I had a hard time keeping up.”

How and when did you start playing soccer?

  • I started playing soccer because I’ve always liked kicking a ball and my grandpa would teach me how to pass and dribble. [I’ve been] playing since [I was] three and started competitively at the age of seven.”

What was it like being a freshman on a varsity team?

  • “Being on the varsity team felt amazing. At first, it was difficult … and I had a hard time keeping up, but my teammates were very encouraging throughout the season, which helped me become a better soccer player.”

What is your favorite memory from the season?

  • “The highlight of my season [was] when I scored my first high school soccer goal. It felt amazing to score and everyone was cheering after it happened.”

Are you looking forward to next season, and what are your goal for it?

  • “My hopes…for next season [is to] have fun with my team, improve as a soccer player … and hopefully try to win in the finals.”

Cross Country

Brin Brunkhorst

Reilly Nesen
“I started triathlon five years ago. I wanted to [play] a sport in high school, and I thought cross country was a good fit.”

How did you start running cross country?

  • “I started triathlon five years ago. I wanted to [play] a sport in high school, and I thought cross country was a good fit.”

What was it like being a freshman on a varsity team?

  • “I had another freshman on the varsity team … [and] we would train together … so it wasn’t difficult. [The team] was like a family.”

What’s your favorite memory from the season?

  • “My favorite highlight … is just being at practice every day.”

What’s your favorite thing to do outside of cross country?

  • “My favorite thing is riding horses. I’ve been riding horses since I was three.”

Erin McGinnis

Reilly Nesen
“It was a really cool experience because you got to be an example for other people too.”

How did you start running cross country?

  • “I’ve done a few races in the past [and] I think that is what got me into it. I really enjoyed it this year.”

What was it like being a freshman on a varsity team?

  • “[It was] definitely encouraging. It made me want to become better. I think it was a really cool experience because you got to be an example for other people too.”

What’s your favorite memory from the season?

  • “[My favorite memories are] our meets [where] everyone is cheering each other on as you’re running by; [it] is such a good feeling.”

What are your goals for next season?

  • “[To] keep pushing myself [and continue] becoming the best I can.”

Kaizen Littman

Reilly Nesen
“My first practice was way harder … [but] it was as hard as I made it.”

What inspired you to start running?

  • “I [went] to one of my friend’s track meets … and he introduced me to track and field. I started doing track and field. [When] I heard [about] cross country, I [thought], ‘Oh, it’s [similar] to track and field.”

What was it like being a freshman on a varsity team?

  • “My first practice was way harder … [but] it was as hard as I made it. Everyone was a lot faster than me; I had to work my way up.”

What’s your favorite memory from the season?

  • “When I was in sixth grade, watching a track meet, [I looked up to] a kid who won his event. Three years later, when I’m running for La Salle, I see him at one of my meets.”

What are your goals for next season?

  • “My goal is to break 17 minutes next season [in the 5K].”

Murphy Schuster

Reilly Nesen
“I never felt a lot of pressure running with upper classmen. Everyone was always encouraging and pushed each other to do better.”

When did you start running?

  • “I started running [in] fifth grade, on my school’s track team. I ran the long distance races.”

Was being on a team with upper classmen intimidating?

  • “No, I never felt a lot of pressure running with upper classmen. Everyone was always encouraging and pushed each other to do better.”

What’s your favorite memory from the season?

  • “The highlight from my season was the [team] trip to Boise [for the Nike   ”

What are your goals for next season?

  • “I hope to run a sub 18 [minute] 5K next year.”