“Erika is unique in that she leads and inspires through her work ethic, commitment, and dedication. Many students try running when our season first starts in September, but few last more than a few weeks. Her perseverance really turned the heads of the entire team, and motivates and inspires us all.” These are the well-thought words of MHS Cross Country Team Head Coach Scott Luke, when asked about this week’s Mammoth High School Athlete of the Week: Erika Maravillas.
Ms. Maravillas is a 12th grader at MHS, currently competing in her first year as a member of the X-Country Running Team. I asked Erika what her impressions of the Team are, having started so late in her high school career. “I think it’s great!” she said. “But sometimes hard. At first, it was super hard due to lack of conditioning. But now I’m enjoying it.” Yep, Luke is correct when he uses the term “perseverance” to best describe this unique 12th grader.
Along with X-Country, Erika is gearing up to shoot hoops this upcoming winter with the high school varsity squad. She did not play hoops her freshman and sophomore years, since the girl’s team was on a hiatus due to low numbers. Last year, she practiced with the team. This season, she is aiming to play every game.
It isn’t hard to miss Erika, either on the single-track, basketball court, or in the classroom. I’m quite fortunate to have Erika in this semester’s Economics course, and her cheerful presence is noticed every day. She is inquisitive, attentive, and most importantly, a team player. She is an ideal student.
Erika’s favorite class in school is English. She really enjoys attending class with Mr. Cooper. “We read plays,” she said. “I get to read and act out, and make people laugh.”
Erika is motivated by an internal sense of understanding that hard work pays off. “I try to think that it’s for my own good and for my health,” she said. “I will be healthier and in better condition.” She shared those words with me when I asked about how she pushes herself the extra mile each day at practice. She gets a bit of external motivation from her coaches, she said, speaking highly of Scott Luke, saying that he pushes her to do her best.
Erika’s goal in athletics this year is to be a tri-sport athlete for the first time ever. She wants to play softball in spring, after basketball. In school, Maravillas has her sights set on finishing high school, then continuing on to college or to a police academy. For a career, Erika wants to give back to society. She is most interested in pursuing a career within the law enforcement field.
The L.A. Lakers and Chicago Bulls are her favorite professional sports teams. Derrick Martell Rose of the Chicago Bulls is her favorite athlete.
As for words of wisdom which this all-star has for you: “If you want to try new sports, don’t let anyone get you down.” Erika Maravillas has earned the title “MHS Athlete of the Week!”