As winter sports are nearing their end and a new year is just beginning, Naples High School students voted on an online poll to name this month’s Athlete of the Month.   

The coaches for each fall-winter sport submitted their nomination of an athlete who they felt had the most qualifying qualities of leadership, outstanding performance in their respective sport and team contribution. 

Harvey Sarajian

Senior Harvey Sarajian has gained widespread attention for his consistent high-level performance on the soccer pitch. Sarajian plays soccer in the winter season but previously played for the Golden Eagle’s football team in the fall. 

“[I] was just recently selected for a national all-star event where hundreds of college coaches will watch me play,” Sarajian said.

Sarajian gives it his all on the field, but when he leaves the field, he likes to wind down and allow himself to participate in other hobbies. 

“I like to play video games in my free time,” Sarajian said. 

Soccer is important to Sarajian, but he knows that it may not be his path forever. Regardless of what he does, he wants to be successful and put his best foot forward.

“My goal in the future is to be successful no matter where life takes me,” Sarajian said. 

Coaches, players and parents have had a lot of impact on Sarajian growing up and throughout his career. But there is one word of advice that has stuck with him most.

“The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is that the biggest part of your game is in your head,” Sarajian said. “If you’re mentally strong and controlled, you will succeed.” 

Applying that advice to his playing style is not the only factor that is responsible for his success. The physical factor and sheer skill are what keep him on top of every game, every day. 

“I think my speed and dribbling ability are very important to my game,” Sarajian said.

Mackenzie Leiti

Sophomore Mackenzie Leiti, a softball and weightlifting team member, was named this month’s Athlete of the Month because of her placements in their competitions. 

“My main sport is softball, I’m just trying to compete in weightlifting and get stronger to better myself in softball,” Leiti said.

Leiti stays focused on her sport, even when the season is not in. 

“I never give up, even though I may take breaks,” Leiti said. “I keep pushing till I get what I want.” 

Weight training, at which she’s currently in season, is her way of staying strong and having peak performance for softball season.

“My goal for the future is to become stronger so I’m prepared when I go play softball in college,” Leiti said.

As far as her goals for the future go, sports is still the theme. She wants to make sure that she is as polished as she can be.

“I hope to have the form and technique perfect so I can be the strongest I can be,” Leiti said.