Varsity players commit ‘four’ life

Being one of the only freshmen on a varsity team can be an intimidating situation, but persevering through the initial anxiety has taught three seniors after four years of demanding and lengthy seasons, the importance of a cohesive team, leadership and time management.

“Playing soccer has actually really helped me stay focused on my academics throughout high school,” soccer captain Margaux Gaede said. “It is definitely a big commitment, but I’ve been able to adjust my schedule around it and still manage to have free time.”

Senior Jaime Hum-Nishikado (right),  varsity point guard, dribbles down the court during a game against the Urban School at Kezar Stadium. Hum-Nishikado played varsity all four years.

Senior Jaime Hum-Nishikado (right), varsity point guard, dribbles down the court during a game against the Urban School at Kezar Stadium. Hum-Nishikado played varsity all four years.


Athletes are required to maintain a 2.0 or higher GPA and attend every practice in order to participate in games and tournaments, according to Athletic Director Elena DeSantis.

“Basketball has allowed me to schedule my time around practice,” basketball captain Jaime Hum-Nishikado said, “because of the practices I have, and the time I have available, basketball made me do my homework.”

Varsity players take on a leadership role by sharing their insights from past seasons with younger teammates experiencing similar difficulties adjusting to the rigorous practices, according to track captain Tess Holland.

“I have become a role model for the underclassmen on the team,” Holland said. “Setting examples for them is apart of my job as captain. As an upperclassmen, I tend to take charge of the freshman, helping them grow as athletes.”

Players who have participated on varsity sports since freshman year often become captains because of their experience and dedication to the sport.

“Basketball has taught me to look out for other people,” Hum-Nishikado said. “I have to make sure that not only I’m doing my job but that everyone else on the team is too. In basketball there is a lot of different terminology, and on our team we have so many people on different levels.” If anyone doesn’t know what they’re doing, I break it down or show them what to do.”

Mentoring younger teammates has taught leadership skills, according to Gaede.

“Playing a sport has taught me to think of others as well as myself,” Gaede said. “As captain, I have to make sure that everyone is on the same page. That teamwork and collaboration I learned is something I will carry with me into college.”

— Makena House and Sophia Slacik contributed to this story.


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