Freshmen on Varsity: Jade Sanchez

Jasleen Arora, Staff Writer

Jade Sanchez steps onto the court with a focused mindset, ready to dominate. Although she is only a freshman, she is notably one of the strongest girls on the team. Her tall stature and skills make her seem threatening on the court.

“At first Jade was very shy and definitely a little intimidated by being a freshman on varsity. But she soon came out of her shell and has become such a great teammate. She is always so loud on and off the bench,” said senior captain Katie Joiner. “She is a great defender and always knows where the ball is going next, allowing us to get more steals.”

Sanchez has been playing basketball for seven years. Her love for the sport has only made her more dedicated to improve. She joined an elite program called Synergy, now known as Starting 5. Starting 5 plays a major role in helping Sanchez obtain the required skills to be a post on varsity, but Coach Fandino recently challenged Sanchez to learn a new guard position that he believes will allow Jade to contribute more to the team.

“Jade is versatile and can play in the post or shoot 3’s from downtown. Jade is working on her guard skills and brings depth to this team,” said Coach Fandino.

Senior captains Kendall Fortner and Katie Joiner have eased Sanchez’s transition into high school. Their overwhelming support have made her feel more welcome onto the older team.

“It was a hard transition between travel basketball to high school varsity. You have a family with your travel team and now you have to create a whole new family with people you don’t even know. But it’s also cool because you are going to meet all these people that are going to become your friends,” said Sanchez.

In addition to playing with a whole new team the one thing that Sanchez looks forward to most is just bonding with her new team. And with West Ranch becoming open enrollment, Sanchez made an interesting choice: choosing to come to West Ranch instead of going to Valencia.

“I chose to come to West Ranch to meet new people,” said Sanchez. “Valencia seemed too crowded and I just wanted to play with girls who I thought I would get along with.”

With the introduction of such a talented player like Sanchez, the rest of the team is still working hard to prepare for this upcoming season.

Jade Sanchez is sure to be a strong contributor to the team this year with outstanding skills that are beyond her years. Good luck this year, Cats!