Fresh faces turn Wildcats athletics heads


Athena Benjamin, Staff Writer

With the new season of sports getting underway, there are many new athletes joining the Linfield teams. These athletes have been suggested by their teammates and coaches for potentially making a big impact in their sport.

The lacrosse team introduces two strong midfield freshmen Bethany Shade and Josie Duey to the division. The pair are roommates and close friends, as well as an unstoppable duo on the field.

“They have this really great connection on the field since day one,” Coach Lindsay Kibler said about them.

Women’s tennis freshmen Tessa Kern and Maggie Fiocchi exceed expectations. Both women were highly recruited players by Linfield.

Kern, from Corvallis, Oregon, is currently out with an injury. She had a great fall season and made the semi-finals of the fall ITA in singles and doubles.

“She showed that she has the ability to be one of the top players in our league,” Head Coach Lisa Macy-Baker said.

Fiocchi, from Kennewick, Washington, is a skilled doubles player and is working her way into singles. The track and field team welcome freshmen Ani Keliiheleua, Tyler Post, Matt Metcalf, Nick Oja-Zdroy, and, Ronan Krutzikowsky. 

Keliiheleua, from Amity Oregon, competes in 100-meter hurdles and also plays for the volleyball team. She placed fifth in state last year.

Coach Travis Olson said that Keliiheleua “has shown great promise so far.”

Metcalf, from Eugene, Oregon, went to Sheldon high school. He also plays offensive guard for the Linfield football team.

“[He] will have an immediate impact in the Javelin and Hammer in our conference,” Olson said.

Post, a defensive tackle for Linfield’s football team, shows great promise for shot put. He’s from Marshfield high school and was the 5A state champion in shot put.

Krutzikowsky, also on the soccer team, will compete in pole vault, 400-meter hurdles, and decathlon. He is expected to be successful in the pole vault.

Oja-Zdroy, a cross country runner for Linfield also runs long distance events for track.

“He has shown some very good potential in the mid distances and should ultimately make the conference title in the 800,” Olson said.