Newest Bronco athletes: Dreams and realities

At the dawn of high school careers, they share motivations, hopes and aspirations

July 19, 2012 

“Dreams are the touchstones of our character.” — Henry David Thoreau


dreams. There need not be a cause, or a

bucket list — the dreams just show up when we slumber. Then there are the dreams we fashion in our youth, visions of what we hope to become in our most optimistic futures.

Three incoming Coast Union freshmen — Lane Sutherland, Ellie Magnuson

and Reagan Kniffen — bring talent, energy, wide-eyed optimism and full-color dreams to Bronco sports in the fall of 2012.

Sutherland has shown outstanding skills during his middle school career that will be bringing smiles to CUHS coaches in football, basketball and baseball. His strongest sport is baseball and he dreams of playing professional baseball.

In his mind’s eye he wonders, “how it will happen, how it will work out.” During an recent inter view with the three freshmen at a West Village restaurant, Sutherland asserted that his quest, “If it all goes well,” is to play in the big leagues.

Kniffen, who set the record for most push-ups (51) last year at Santa Lucia Middle School, will play volleyball, softball and her favorite, basketball, quickly referenced her sporting vision. “My dream has always been to play basketball at the University of Connecticut. There was a star named Maya Moore who played there. I want to go there and be like her.”

Magnuson, who pitches in a highly competitive club softball league, “definitely” wants to play college softball, the only sport she will participate in at Coast Union.

What matters most vis-à-vis athletic success—mental preparation or physical preparation?

“You have to be up, you have to be ready to play, so mental preparedness is more important,” Magnuson explained. Kniffen agrees. “Just one player who is really mentally ready, they can bring the rest of the team up. I play little scenes in my head as to how I want the game to go. I believe it’s mostly mental.”

Sutherland concurs. “Before every game I sit down and visualize every play I think is going to happen, and how it’s going to end.”

What about being the new kids on the block at Coast Union? Kniffen thinks of high school not in terms of pressure or challenges. “I think of sports. I’m more excited than nervous.”

Magnuson is “kind of ner vous” about high school, but since her older brother Grant is a junior at Coast Union, that brings a sense of calm.

Sutherland is totally comfor table with high school. He hangs out with

— and lifts weights with— sophomores and juniors in Bronco sports. His only concern? Because of the small enrollment at CUHS, suf ficient players might not be available to make a competitive team in a sport he’s playing during his career.

Families and role modeling

Magnuson’s mother Kate drives her to Creston several days a week to club softball practice. “My parents do push me but since I have personal goals, the only way I can get farther is if I push myself.”

Reagan’s brother Gehrig, a sophomore, has “A lot of expectations for me. He coaches me a lot during basketball season — and with other sports too. My parents also help but I push myself more than anyone pushes me.”

Sutherland said, “I’m the one who pushes myself to get to the next step but my parents have always driven me to my games and they know I’m not going to stop excelling in sports.”

Academics at Coast Union

The next question was, “What’s your favorite academic subject?” Kniffen grinned. “I would say P.E., but that doesn’t really count. I like most classes,” adding that she enjoys the classroom dynamic.

Magnuson likes math. “I like solving problems, getting things done, doing it using my own time management. For Sutherland, it’s “language. In English, instead of having to learn something new every week, you’re getting better at the same root elements. I like writing. I find it easy.”

The school district has purchased iPads for students. Magnuson said the iPad will be easy to use, “everything is at your fingertips.” Kniffen looks forward to using an iPad because “you get newer information instead of the textbook that might have information from years ago.”

Sutherland prefers textbooks. “A textbook is more set in stone. You aren’t going to click on a link and miss class work. You flip the page and the information’s right there.”

These three capable, competitive freshmen one day will flip the pages of their yearbooks and look back on their achievements at Coast Union — on the fields of dreams and in the classroom.

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