Freshman Athletes Take On Varsity Sports


Jasmine McIntosh

This fall season, there were eight freshmen on varsity teams.

Clara Hudson, Staff Reporter

High school students frequently participate in extracurricular sports. This fall, eight freshmen went above and beyond to earn a spot on their sport’s varsity squad.

Serafina Preciso:

Jasmine McIntosh

Freshman Serafina Preciso was a goalkeeper for this season’s varsity girls soccer team.

Preciso started to play soccer because of her grandpa. “My grandpa used to watch the Portland Timbers, and he taught me how to kick the ball,” she said.

Preciso has been playing soccer for 10 years and was one of La Salle’s two goalies on varsity.

For her, a challenge of being a freshman on varsity was getting picked on the most and the difference in ages from previous teams. “It’s just different playing with older people,” she said.

Preciso’s biggest influences on the team were all the captains: seniors Maia Gutmann, Emma Buchanan, and Emelia Warta.

Outside of high school soccer, she plays club soccer at Portland Thorns Academy and does personal training. “I do cardio or foot working drills, and then working out with weights and doing plyometrics with my trainers to create a higher vertical,” she said.

Looking ahead, Preciso hopes to play in college at the United States Military Academy West Point. “I want to be in the military, but it also has a good soccer program,” she said.

Greta Dazer:

Josephine Robinson

Freshman Greta Dazer was also a goalkeeper this past season for the varsity girls soccer team.

Dazer has been playing soccer since she was three years old and started playing because of her dad and brother. “My dad and brother played, so I kind of just eased into it and really liked it,” she said.

For Dazer, the biggest inspiration on her team were all the captains and seniors.

Coming to play for La Salle from her previous team wasn’t necessarily difficult for Dazer. “It was different, but I wouldn’t say difficult,” she said. However, one challenge Dazer has faced as a freshman on a varsity team is that she didn’t know anyone when she came to La Salle.

Dazer set a personal goal for the season. “To just train my hardest and get better,” she said.

Julia Hoesly:

Jasmine McIntosh

Freshman Julia Hoesly mainly played center mid for the varsity girls soccer team this past season, although she also played wing or forward.

For Hoesly, transitioning from her club team, Northwest Elite, to high school soccer wasn’t necessarily difficult, just different. “A lot of things were different, like speed of play,” she said.

Hoesly’s biggest influence from the team has been co-captain Maia Gutmann. “She is a really good leader,” she said. “She is always focused, she always gives everything 110 percent, and is always encouraging.”

Hoesly started playing when she was five or six years old after her parents signed her up for a team. Since then, she has found a deep adoration for soccer. “I’ve just always loved it, and it’s my favorite thing in the world,” she said.

Although she doesn’t have a certain school in mind, Hoesly is certain she wants to play soccer in the future. “I definitely want to play in college,” she said.

Lilly Erving:

Jasmine McIntosh

Freshman Lilly Erving played center and outside forward for the varsity girls soccer team.

Coming into La Salle, Erving found soccer as a good outlet for new friendships. “It helped me get introduced to new people in high school,” she said.

All three captains from the girls soccer team have had a big influence on Erving, but especially senior Emelia Warta. “I look up to her because she’s really good,” Erving said.

Transitioning from her club team, Portland City United, was different for Erving. “I like [La Salle’s Team] a lot more than my club team right now because I think the environment is a lot different,” she said. “And it’s nice playing with a different team.”

Another difference for Erving was the size of the girls she was playing against. “I am a little smaller than some [of] the other seniors I play against, so that is tough,” she said.

Although Erving also plays basketball, surfs, and snowboards, she considers her main sport to be soccer. She is looking to play in the future and has her eyes set on a couple of potential schools she might want to play for. “I want to go to Notre Dame or UCLA,” she said.

Declan O’Brien:

Jasmine McIntosh

Freshman Declan O’Brien primarily played defense this year for the varsity boys soccer team.

O’Brien said that junior Kevin Serrano-Maldonado is his biggest influence on the team. “He’s just always super positive, and I like the way he plays,” he said.

O’Brien has been playing soccer his whole life and was a captain of his club team. Shifting from being a captain to being the youngest on the team was a challenge for him, along with his size. “I was usually one of the bigger people on the field,” he said. “But now playing against these high schoolers, they are pretty strong.”

A few season goals that O’Brien set for himself were to improve overall and have a good time, along with the shared team goal of winning a state championship.

Along with soccer, O’Brien also plays baseball and basketball. His preferred sport is baseball, and if he plays a sport in college, he would want it to be baseball.

Mason McLean:

Jasmine McIntosh

Freshman Mason McLean played center back and midfield for the varsity boys soccer team.

McLean identifies senior Luke Warner as the teammate he looks up to most. “He is always nice to me every time I see him,” he said.

Outside of practice, McLean does many things to prepare himself for games and the future. “I touch the ball a lot at home every day,” he said. “I’m always thinking about how I can do well on the team.”

McLean started to play soccer in elementary school due to his father having played in college. In the future, he hopes to play soccer in college at either Gonzaga or Duke.

Some differences McLean noticed from his previous teams were competitiveness, pace, and age. “I’m not used to the level of competition because I’m playing against a lot older kids than I usually do,” he said.

Tony Luna:

Jasmine McIntosh

Freshman Tony Luna played kicker and linebacker for the varsity football team.

Luna decided to play football because, when he shadowed at La Salle, a lot of students told him that he would be a good fit.

Luna has been playing football for a few years and has found that such a short time playing challenging coming into high school. “[I haven’t had] as much experience as some of the varsity players since I’ve only played about two to three years when a lot of them have played since they were in middle school,” he said.

Junior Grant Ellison was the biggest influence for Luna this season. “He’s always so energetic, tries to keep the team up all the time, and just [has] a good overall vibe with him,” he said.

Thinking ahead, Luna is not sure if he wants to play in college. But “If that opportunity comes to me, I will for sure try to take it,” he said.

Abby Maulding:

Josephine Robinson

Freshman Abby Maulding was a setter for the varsity volleyball team.

Transitioning to the La Salle team, Maudling felt very welcomed into the community but also found some challenges along the way including “not really knowing how the program works at first,” she said. As well as being “very clueless when it came to traditions and any unspoken rules,” when she first joined the team.

Maulding started playing volleyball because of her sister, senior Olivia Maulding. “I watched from the sidelines and just instantly fell in love with it,” she said. Along with her sister, she also loves the speed of the game.

Outside of school volleyball, she plays on a club team called Oregon Juniors Volleyball Academy, recently transitioning from Athena Volleyball. Playing club volleyball has helped her prepare for high school volleyball.

In the future, Maulding is interested in playing in college in any division and she hopes to play at “any school with great academics,” she said.