The Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé girls soccer coaches offer statements about each senior as graduation nears.
Shaylin Cesar: This is Shaylin’s fourth year with JDHS, all four as our varsity goalkeeper. We are proud to see Shaylin grow from a quiet, timid, goalkeeper her freshman and sophomore years, to a more vocal, animated and self-assured keeper her junior and senior years. Arguably one of the most technically sound keepers, this is evident as she is No. 1 in school history in career shutouts and sitting at No. 2 in individual shutouts in a season. We wish Shaylin all the best as she pursues soccer at Pacific Lutheran.
Bailey Wery Tagaban: This is Bailey’s fourth year with JDHS, having played various positions for junior varsity, such as goalkeeper and striker, to center back and wing back positions for varsity. We will never forget Bailey’s “rocket” goal from about 30 yards out against Thunder Mountain High School her freshman year on varsity. Blessed with speed, and always playing with tenacity, Bailey is a natural born leader and just a genuine person on and off the pitch. We wish Bailey the best as she plans to attend True North School of Leadership in Fairbanks.
McKenzie Dimond: This is McKenzie’s fourth year with JDHS, having mostly played the six and the eight on JV, and having some great times at wing and striker on varsity her senior year — even scoring a penalty kick on opening night this season against TMHS. Always calm and persistent, it has been great to see McKenzie grow as a player, such as field vision, passing and in overall confidence. We wish McKenzie all the best with her plan to study Early Childhood Education at Montana State in Bozeman.
Malia Miller: This is Malia’s fourth year with JDHS, all four years with varsity playing midfield or striker. Not much for words on the pitch, she lets her game do all the talking. Her game could be described in one word — phenomenal — ranging from her field vision, touch on the ball, to her ability to score. A fierce competitor, and maybe one of the most feared, she is No. 1 in school history for goals scored in a single season. We wish Malia all the best as she plans to play at Bellevue College in Washington.
Chloe Smith: This is Chloe’s second year with JDHS. Her first year she was a swing player, playing both for JV and varsity in the back line. Unfortunately this year, Chloe was not able to play due to injury. With that said, Chloe has stepped up as our team manager, and has been a huge help, as well as being our team photographer. Still, we greatly miss having Chloe on the pitch, especially her competitiveness, passion and her toughness in the backline. We wish Chloe the best with her plans to attend University of Alaska Southeast and transfer down to Idaho State to study marine biology.
Lily Otsea: This is Lily’s second year with JDHS, primarily playing wing the past two years for JV. We are happy to have Lily back this season and enjoy watching her keep things fun, upbeat and lively with her teammates on and off the pitch. However, when it’s game time, Lily is all business, using her speed, hustle and determination. We wish Lily all the best as she takes a gap year to travel, work and intern, exploring the world beyond Juneau, but more importantly, learning and understand more about herself.
Jessica Mayer: Jess has played four years total with JDHS, playing the 10 or the eight on JV her freshman year, and then primarily playing wing on varsity her last three years. Four games into her senior year, Jess suffered a season ending injury. Although she can no longer exhibit her energy, her “tough as nails” attitude, and being one of the more vocal players on the pitch, she continues to showcase these traits to her teammates, from the sidelines, by reminding them constantly that every 50/50 ball is theirs and constantly cheering her teammates on. We wish Jess all the best with her plans to go up to Fairbanks to pursue a degree in ministry while interning at a church.
Nikki Box: Nikki has played three years with JDHS, playing JV her sophomore year, and then varsity her junior and senior year, primarily either at the wing or striker position. Nikki is another individual who likes to keep things fun and lighthearted with teammates at practice and games, where at times, Matt’s patience may have been tested. We will miss Nikki’s speed on the pitch, and her ability to get the team pumped during pre game cheer. We wish Nikki all the best with her plans to attend the University of Montana to study wildlife biology.
Erica Hurtte: This is Erica’s third year with JDHS, playing the 10 or the eight her sophomore year on JV, and playing wingback her junior and senior year on varsity. We are happy to see Erica give the sport of soccer a chance. And just like the success she earned on the tennis court, we are pleased to see her earn success on the soccer pitch. We will miss Erica’s competitive drive, fearlessness and team-oriented nature. We wish Erica all the best with her plan to attend Marquette University to study biomedical sciences.
Michaela Bentley: This is Michaela’s fourth year with JDHS, playing the 10 or the eight her freshman year on JV and then the 10 her last three years with varsity. We think it is safe to say Michaela has a knack for making a goalkeeper nervous. With her ability to strike a ball from at least 40 yards out, and with such pace, more times than not, you see goalkeepers from around the state struggle to save her shots because Michaela catches them out of position. It is this ability where we will never forget her game-tying set piece goal in a nail biter against West in the 2017 state championship. We wish Michaela all the best in her future endeavors.
Brianna Jokerst: This is Brianna’s fourth year with JDHS, playing wing or striker her freshman year for JV, and then primarily playing the wing position her last three years on varsity. Another player that lets her actions on the pitch do the talking, Bri tends to put immediate pressure on opponents, primarily using her speed to win 50/50 balls, cutting in on defenders, or breathing down a defender’s back to win the ball. In addition to speed, we will miss Bri’s chill approach to the game, and her ability to play the game with amazing grace. We wish Bri all the best with plans for next year to work at a vegan restaurant down south and doing a volunteer program abroad.
Nicole Mannix: This is Nicole’s fourth year with JDHS, playing various positions for JV her freshman year, but primarily playing the center back position the last three years on varsity. Timid, quiet and maybe more than a little nervous, her freshman and sophomore year on the pitch, it is amazing to see Nicole’s confidence grow as a player over four years. Her ability to win 50/50 balls in the back, make tackles, communicate, even direct teammates, give advice … and be sassy towards Matt … are things that were pretty unheard of her first two years. But to see all these characteristics come to light the last two years have been truly awesome. We wish Nicole all the best as she looks at attending the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.
• This piece was submitted by JDHS girls soccer coach Matt Dusenberry.