By Riley Cable
To the outside world, senior Paige Sinicki is the girl who has been committed to the University of Oregon for softball since her freshman year, but what most people don’t know is the countless hours that she has put in to get where she is today. Not only is she a stellar athlete, but a leader as the senior class secretary, and she is academically strong, taking on AP and honors classes. More than just her accomplishments, Paige is also a kind friend and a positive energy to be around, and she has been a great addition to the Cougar family for the last four years.
Given the fact that Sinicki has been committed to a Division 1 school since her freshman year, it’s clear that she is a serious athlete. Playing on a travel team based out of Corona, California, Sinicki devotes ample time to driving back and forth for practices, games and tournaments. Despite the sacrifices she sometimes makes, her hard work clearly paid off when she received offers from a wide variety of schools, including Stanford, UCLA, and her pick, Oregon.
“My top two schools I was deciding between were UCLA and Oregon, but ultimately, I knew Oregon was the right fit for me,” Sinicki said. “The atmosphere, high level of competition, facilities, coaches, academics, and overall the culture at Oregon is unbeatable. I knew I wanted to win a championship there one day.”
Despite her excitement to play high school ball, Sinicki has actually only had the chance to play one season so far on the Coronado field. During her freshman year, she tore her ACL, leaving her with a 7-8 month recovery, that unfortunately fell right during the spring season. Although it was hard to not get to play, she almost acted as a student coach that season and feels that this helped her grow mentally, making her tougher when facing difficulties. When her sophomore season came around, she was stronger than ever mentally and physically. This new drive within her allowed her to help the team in winning regionals and win second in the state. With the state only having her stats from sophomore year, she still is ranked number one in the state by Max Preps, and is recognized nationally by Extra Innings Softball, ranked at number 14.
Although her softball accomplishments are hard to not focus on, there is so much more to Sinicki. Keeping herself academically challenged is important, so Sinicki has filled her courseload with honors and AP classes over the years. With multiple coaches keeping a close eye on her grades, she has to make sure to work and study hard.
“Academics have always been a big part of my life,” she said. “My parents have always made sure to emphasize the importance of working hard not only on the field but in the classroom too. Getting a good education has always been important to me.”
If there is one main thing to take away from Sinicki, it’s that she doesn’t shy away from a challenge. Even amidst the pandemic, she decided to take on the responsibility of senior class secretary. Never having participated in student council, Sinicki thought it would be a fun, new adventure to finish out her time at Coronado. With the remote learning, she has done her best in assisting the senior class council in trying to still make this year the best it can be. Her leadership skills followed her off the field and into the classroom as she brought a fresh perspective into the class.
“Paige inspires me because she gives 100% effort with everything she does,” senior Allison Brockelman says. “She always has a smile on her face and will be there if you need anything.”
Sinicki’s friends will tell you nothing less than how motivating and inspiring she is. Her natural ability to coach and cheer on everyone helps the people around her to strive for the best. She has a go-getter attitude that keeps everyone on their toes when they’re in her presence. Even with all her accomplishments, Sinicki still has so much more she wants to accomplish and continues to stay humble throughout it all.
“My dad has always told me that there is ‘someone better than you and working harder than you,’ so that is always something that’s in the back of my mind,” said Sinicki. “It makes me want to work harder to be the best athlete, student, and person I can be. I love having the opportunity to do amazing things, so my gratitude keeps me grounded and motivated to do something great every day.”