Dedication, commitment and drive describes five seniors from the Laguna Niguel Stake who have been successful in their young athletic lives to move on to compete at the collegiate level. Through sacrifice and the support of their families, these awesome youth have risen to the top of competitive play. Let’s meet them!
Sawyer Chesely is a member of the Laguna Beach Ward and plans to play baseball at Harvard University. Sawyer started when his parents signed him up for t-ball at the ripe young age of six. He loves that the game is always different and never throws the same situation at you. Sawyer has had many successes, but his top moments were winning MVP (most valuable player) and being victorious in the National High School Invitational in North Carolina (where 16 of the top teams across the country compete in a single elimination tournament) during his junior year at Orange Lutheran High School. He looks forward to advancing in baseball and attending the college he loves, but first he will be heading out on an LDS Mission serving in Viña del Mar, Chile.
Bella Folino is a member of the Wood Canyon Ward and will be competing at Brigham Young University on the women’s soccer team. Her dad coached Bella when she started at age four and quickly moved on to competitive club teams a couple of years later. She loves everything about the game especially the competitiveness, camaraderie amongst teammates and feeling part of a team. It has shaped her into who she is today! She has had to sacrifice a lot of church activities through the years, but that provided her with many missionary opportunities that she is thankful for. Her favorite moments from high school include winning league all years she played at Aliso Niguel High School and scoring the winning goal in CIF playoffs against Santa Margarita High School. Bella was also selected to participate in the US Women’s National Team U18 camp! She can’t wait to compete at the highest level and represent her school while being supported by family and friends.
Max McKhann is a member of the Dana Hills Ward and will be competing in track & field at Stanford University. His events are the hammer and discus. Max’s foray into Track & Field started auspiciously enough as his PE teacher did not believe he belonged in that class and led him to the track & field team. He found his place and successfully competed all four years. Max loves the team atmosphere of his sport, where everyone is trying to improve together, but “at the end of the day only you are responsible for your performance.” His favorite moment includes winning the Orange County Championship his senior year at Dana Hills High School in discus, and then watching his teammates break the school record in the 4x400 relay. Max looks forward to the training and coaching Stanford can provide to help him reach his full potential.
Maile Powell is a member of the Laguna Hills Ward and will be competing in volleyball at the University of Hawai’i Hilo. Maile takes after her dad, who is a beach volleyball player, and introduced her to the sport she now loves and has been playing for seven years. She loves the game and the culture of volleyball. Maile also relishes the team aspect of the game while working to better her individual skills as a player. Her favorite moment competing at Laguna Hills High School was going undefeated in league during her freshman year. Maile eagerly awaits being trained and playing at the collegiate level. Playing at Hawai’i, she will have the opportunity and looks forward to traveling to many different colleges to compete.
Jack Sterner is also a member of the Dana Hills Ward and will be playing baseball at Brigham Young University. Sports is in his family’s blood and he started baseball at the tender age of six while playing many others sports, as well. When he got to high school, he decided to focus primarily on baseball. Jack loves the competition and the one-on-one battles, especially when he’s pitching. He also enjoys the mental aspect of the game. Jack’s favorite moment from his time at Dana Hills High School was competing in the National High School Invitational in North Carolina his junior year, where his school met up with Sawyer Chesley’s school for the championship game. He loved being part of the great atmosphere with players from all over the country. Jack looks forward to competing at a Division I school with his brother Justin (who is also on the baseball team), representing BYU and to help contribute to the success of the program. His final words, “Go Cougs!”
As you can see, these athletes have all had different experiences but a similar way to achieve their goals – hard work! We wish them all the best as they move forward in their next endeavors!