Laila Alves, a senior at Lincoln High School, has been playing softball for 13 years. She is held in high esteem by her coaches and by her school. She has even been recognized by the college community, signing with Syracuse University earlier this year. “[Signing with a college] is a huge accomplishment because it has been a goal for me ever since I was a little girl” Laila Alves said.
Sports clearly play a large role in Alves’ interests. She plans to major in Health in Exercise Science during her time at Syracuse University. She hopes to become a physical therapist for professional athletes after college.
While she has big plans for her next stage in life, she is focused on her last year at Lincoln High. “Being a senior I hope to leave a strong impact on our softball program here at Lincoln” Alves said. “Laila is an exceptional student athlete both in the classroom and on the field,” Varsity Softball Coach Betty Zamora said, “She is a vocal leader, consistent hitter, and a team player”.
Alves carries herself with a unique confidence that causes her to stand out both on the field, and in the classroom. “She has a quiet confidence and lets her game speak for itself” Varsity Coach Abigail Lund said. “She controls only what she can and remains positive if plays don’t go as planned” Zamora said.
In addition to her humble character, Alves is described as a talented player. “Laila’s skills add a lot to our lineup, she has a really powerful bat and she is a great catcher as well” Lund said. Alves is also praised for her willingness to work hard, and to learn. “I appreciate how much she has grown since her Freshman year,” Zamora said, “Each year she has played, her softball knowledge has improved”.
Both on and off the field, Alves demonstrates character towards her teammates. “Laila is a great teammate, and treats all of her teammates with respect, regardless of their skill level” Lund said. She also shows compassion for her team. “She cares for her teammates,” Zamora said. When asked what her favorite aspect about the sport was, Alves responded with the relationships that she has developed with the girls on her team.
Like many, Alves is inspired by a professional athlete. Her figure, Jenny Topping, is a gold medalist Olympian softball player who was born in California. “I have always looked up to her for everything,” Alves said.
There is no doubt that Lincoln High will miss a star softball player next year. However, the Lincoln community is excited to see Alves demonstrate her great character and exceptional skills at Syracuse University.