Senior Athletes Take the Stage

Senior Athletes Take the Stage

A quick look at some of Arcata High School’s most aspiring athletes
Noah Macknicki: Soccer
Noah Macknicki: Soccer

Noah Macknicki has been competing in varsity soccer for all four years he has been at AHS.

Macknicki is the team captain of
the soccer team this year, leading
them to top three in the league so

Last year, Macknicki broke his
foot right before track season, which ended his season. However, this year he is back with vengeance.

Macknicki would love to continue playing soccer in college, whether it be on a college team or a travel league.

He is Ronaldo’s number-one
fan, miles ahead of Messi. He has
looked up to Ronaldo ever since he
started playing soccer.

Macknicki’s family has always
been there to support him when
times were rough due to injuries
and other issues, and that is what
makes him the amazing athlete
that he is today.

Pre-Game meal:
“Nothing, I don’t eat”
Pre-Game song:
“Dreams and Nightmares by
Meek Mill.”
Teammate known the longest:
“Izaiah Grosveld, through
playing soccer with him.”

Nathan Whitney: Cross Country
Nathan Whitney: Cross Country

Runner Nathan Whitney started sports during his sophomore year with both cross-country and track and field.

Whitney is currently in the middle of his cross-country season, consistently taking third place in the county, and will be continuing that trajectory into his third track and field season later this year.

Right now he is working on getting PRs (personal records) so he can run at either Cal Poly Humboldt or College of the Redwoods.

However, he is open to other schools as well if they show any interest in having him on the team.

During his sports career, Whitney’s mom, Kristin Lane, has been very influential to him. She has always encouraged him to get involved in sports and outdoor activities, even when he wasn’t feeling up to it, which ultimately led him to get involved in cross country and track.

Whitney has his eyes on the
prize this year, trying to lead his
cross-country team down to state
for the first time since 2013.


Pre-Game meal:
“Spaghetti and meatballs with
sweet potatoes.”
Favorite memory:
“Going down to NCS junior year
and competing against the top
runners in the state.”
Teammate known the longest:
“Kai Frimodig… Only one who
likes to get up at 5 a.m. and run 8
miles with me.”

Emma Martin: Cross Country
Emma Martin: Cross Country

Long-distance runner Emma
Martin is a dynamic person both in and out of her cross-country seasons.

This year is her final season
of high school sports, capping off three years of Varsity long-distance running.

Just last year, Martin PR’d at the
HDN League Championship meet. She qualified for the CIF Section
meet, PRing at that event too. As
they’re gearing up to dominate
the league once again, Martin is
also going through the motions
of senior life: applying to colleges,
taking hard classes, and being an
overall academic weapon.

Martin feels cross country has
helped her grow as a person, and
offers some running advice that’s
also applicable to life.

“Doing bad at a race is not that
deep, don’t beat yourself up over
it,” she said.


Pre-Game meal:
“Peanut butter and jelly
Favorite memory:
“Going to sections and
swimming in a super cold hotel
pool with a big group of people.”

Jasmine McKnight: Tennis
Jasmine McKnight: Tennis

Jasmine Mcknight, an Arcata High girls’ tennis player, is enjoying a prolific season on the courts this year.

A four-year letter winner for
the sport, McKnight says that she
loves the girl’s tennis team’s sense
of community.

“We have a really friendly team
environment, and a really fun
group of four seniors,” she said.
Even though the team is small,
they’re very close-knit friends
who spend time together outside
of their games and practices.

McKnight hopes that the traditions the team has started this year will carry on into future teams.

“We started doing team dinners
this year!” she said. “The seniors
would make food, everyone would come over, and we’d all eat together.”


Favorite doubles player:
“Natalie Dreyer.”
Player you would not let date
your child:
“Natalie Dreyer.”
Three words to describe the
“Fun, friendly, and team-spirited.”

Nora Talty: Volleyball
Nora Talty: Volleyball

Nora Talty has been playing volleyball since fifth grade and has been on varsity since her sophomore year.

Her older sister, Grace Talty, got
her into volleyball. Talty said one
of the most memorable moments
from her career was winning the
Brookings tournament this season.

She said she loves volleyball because, “it’s a team sport, so it’s not like it’s just based on one person.”

Talty eventually wants to travel after college. She wants to go to places like Costa Rica and Panama.

Taya Holmes: Volleyball
Taya Holmes: Volleyball

Senior Taya Holmes’s friends were all playing volleyball in 7th grade, so Holmes decided to play. “Working with my teammates, In high school you have a much closer relationship with your teammates especially as you play with them for more years,” Holmes said when explaining how she’s grown as an athlete. She might want to play volleyball for a club or intramural team in college. Holmes is interested in going into a stem major or engineering.

Milani Hunnicutt: Soccer
Milani Hunnicutt: Soccer

Milani Hunnicutt has been playing soccer for 14 years. “It’s been a family tradition to go play soccer at the park, little pick-up games every now and then, and it made me love the sport,” Hunnicutt said.

She enjoys the spaghetti feeds
and team dinners they do twice a week. She said that it wasn’t something she got to do on her old soccer team.

Hunnicutt doesn’t plan to go to
college but she still wants to play
pick-up games and keep up her

Quinlynn Rush-Copple: Soccer
Quinlynn Rush-Copple: Soccer

Quinlynn Rush-Copple has been
playing soccer since she was four
years old.

A family friend of Rush-Copple
would come over and put a soccer
game on and it made her want to play. Rush-Copple’s favorite memory was back when she was playing club soccer.

“I remember going down to San
Francisco, and we all stayed in this
huge house, we had a lot of fun,
and it was a big bonding moment,”
she said. Rush-copple wants to
play soccer and the college level, and is interested in some community colleges.

Brycen Collinson: Football
Brycen Collinson: Football

Collinson has found that he is able to grow in football by learning to be patient.

He started playing because of his buddy David Halligan and hopes to continue playing for CR after high school.

Collinson doesn’t have any pre-
game rituals but he enjoys the brotherhood of the team. He is also fast and many people might not know that.

Evangelina Reed: Cheer
Evangelina Reed: Cheer

Evangelina Reed has been cheering since her freshman year.

She wanted to try something new after Covid when everyone came back to school, so she signed up for the team.

Reed loves how fun it is, and how cheer isn’t about being super serious.

Reed likes to get Dutch Bros and wants to try doing cheer in college. She especially loves when they have morning practices because they are fun.

Destinalee Mendez: Football
Destinalee Mendez: Football

Destinalee Mendez has been playing football since his junior year.

He originally wanted to play because it sounded fun.

He doesn’t have any pre-game
rituals and thinks he might play in college because life would be boring without sports.

He has enjoyed the contact aspect and making friends on the team. Mendez says he has learned a lot about football and hopes to play in college wherever he ends up. Mendez is also Apache, Kuruk, and Yurok.

Jafet Herrera: Football
Jafet Herrera: Football

Jafet Herrera has been playing football since he was little, he just joined the AHS football team last year.

He has made special bonds with his teammates and has gotten stronger. His friends were the ones who convinced him to play. Herrea likes to play music before games and hopes to keep playing in college. He likes the aspect of football of being able to hit and tackle people without getting in trouble.

He hopes to attend a JUCO in Santa Rosa or CR to become a Dental Hygienist.

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