The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

Junior Bianca Morrell ‘Runs,’ ‘Pitches,’ ‘Shoots’ and ‘Swims’ to New Heights

Whether she is batting the ball, sprinting across the track or shooting a basketball, junior Bianca Morrell can do it all. While Morrell is currently playing water polo this season, she has also participated in four additional sports so far: flag football for one year in school, track and field for one year in school, softball for eight years in and out of school, and basketball for eight years in and out of school.

“I like the new challenge of doing a new sport, and I really love the camaraderie of the team,” Morrell said. “After I started doing different sports, my social group expanded and that was really nice since I didn’t have that before.”

Morrell discovered her interest in sports when she first played basketball. Morrell said that being able to try something new first motivated her to play sports. Although each sport may have different rules, Morrell approaches them with the same mentality.

“I just focus on making sure I can do the best I can even though I don’t have that much experience within that sport,” Morrell said. “I just go into this knowing that I will do the best I can and do the best for my team, my teammates, my coaches and myself.”

Morrell has been able to apply this mentality to various aspects of her life by managing her time effectively and allocating it evenly between school and sports.

“There’s times [my team and I are], for example, striking out, missing a play,” Morrell said. “You have to flush it and focus on the next one. I like to integrate that with my school and life. Let’s say I didn’t do good on a test, I just flush it and know I’ll get the next one.”

Her grit and willingness to listen to feedback have led to quick improvements, according to head water polo coach Veronica Heidke.

“The beginning of the season, she struggled a little bit just because she’d never done a water sport,” Heidke said. “But once we got her swimming endurance up and she learned how to egg beater, she became a really big asset to varsity. Her other improvement was she learned to game IQ really fast, and she was able to pick up on that in one season, which was really impressive.”

Like in the past, Morrell’s motivation to play multiple sports stays the same. She feels the challenge to keep herself in shape by pushing herself to new limits and learning new strategies for each sport. In the future, Morrell hopes to keep pursuing her love of softball in college.

“It was one of the first sports that I ever played when I was a kid,” Morrell said. “I just like playing this sport. I love it, and I don’t see myself—can’t see myself—not playing in college.”

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About the Contributor
Stephanie Hwang, Assistant News Editor
Stephanie Hwang is the Assistant News Editor for her first year on Portola Pilot. This year, she hopes to connect with Portola Pilot members and learn all that she can. When she’s not playing indie games or attempting to monopolize the cafeteria’s daily supply of vinegar chips, Stephanie can be found trying to finish all the new books she’s been collecting. Or lamenting about her upcoming tests.
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