Six seniors honored with annual Westview athletics award

Elijah Johnson (12) was outside playing basketball when, from a distance, he spotted Athletic Director Steve McLaughlin walking toward him. Initially he was confused and surprised to see McLaughlin, not thinking much of the visit. Then, when he was presented the Athlete of the Year award, Johnson was flooded with feelings of surprise and gratitude. 

On May 25, McLaughlin visited each award-winner’s house to personally deliver their awards. Ariana Williams (12), Sara Stone (12), Robbie Greer (12), and Johnson were named Athletes of the Year, while Sarina Shah (12) and Richard Chen (12) were honored as Scholar Athletes of the Year. 

When recalling McLaughlin’s visit, Greer said it was a touching moment he would cherish. According to Greer, he and McLaughlin developed a tight bond both through football and Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a non-profit Christian ministry that works with middle school to professional-level athletes. 

“It was really a culminating moment when I was able to receive that award from him, especially after the great influence he’s had on me in developing my character and teaching me lessons on and off the field,” Greer said. 

While all the athletes’ initial reaction was that of surprise at the unexpected news, those emotions were immediately replaced with a sense of pride and assurance that their hard work had paid off. 

For Williams, who had played field hockey and basketball for four years at Westview and pole-vaulted for two, she said she especially felt grateful for everything she contributed to Westview athletics. 

“I was proud of myself because I had put in this hard work all four years with breaking bones, tearing muscles and straining muscles,” Williams said. “I was proud that I put in everything I could and ended up getting on top.” 

Similarly, Shah said she was proud of how much she had grown and improved as an athlete since playing on the varsity basketball team as a freshman. 

“I didn’t have a lot of confidence in myself and I was just trying to play well on the court and not make any mistakes,” Shah said. “But in my junior year, I realized that everyone’s going to make mistakes and that made me grow and have more self-confidence. I learned how to be mentally tougher and not let the little things get to me.” 

Although Williams, Johnson, Chen and Shah are not committed to playing a sport in college, they plan on participating in intramural sports and trying out new clubs as well.

On the other hand, Stone is committed to playing Division I field hockey at UC Berkeley and said she hopes to eventually play on the USA national women’s field hockey team. Greer plans to play Division I football at Cal Poly SLO and strives to make an impact as a freshman.

“From when I started playing football back in kindergarten, I knew I was going to work towards the goal of becoming a Division I football athlete,” Greer said. “Now at Cal Poly, I want to make each and every time I go out into the field a full effort and be proud of that.”