Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Thunder Mountain Falcons softball team will celebrate its senior players at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Dimond Park Fields before their 2 p.m. game against Juneau-Douglas. It will be the Falcons final home game until they host the Region V softball tournament May 27-29.
The Falcons seniors reflected on the lessons learned during the coronavirus pandemic the past two seasons and what they would tell their freshman selves.
“I learned how important that attitude is for a team to stay together,” Avery Kreischer said. “I think that our teams, for all sports, have really struggled with the challenges that COVID has brought up and just keeping a positive attitude and keeping that team bonding helps make our seasons more fun. I would tell my freshman self to make the most of it because it goes by really, really fast.”
Kreischer will attend the U.S. Air Force Academy, majoring in biology in pursuit of a career in dentistry. Her favorite food is chicken pad Thai, favorite movie “Forrest Gump” and favorite book “1984.”
Mariah Tanuvasa-Tuvaifale will attend Dixie State in St. George, Utah, majoring in health sciences. Her favorite food is teriyaki chicken with salad, favorite movie “Space Jam” and favorite book “Dr. Seuss.”
“Something I learned or picked up from not having a season last year was just to be patient,” Tanuvasa-Tuvaifale said. “And to enjoy the moments you are in. I would tell my freshman self to just enjoy the time that you are in and don’t take anything for granted.”
Emma Rice will be attending the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau, studying nursing. Her favorite food is macaroni and cheese, favorite movie “The Hunger Games” and favorite book “The Fault in Our Stars.”
“The things I have learned over the last two seasons is that life can take unexpected turns,” Rice said. “And you have to realize how to deal with that and kind of cope and come out with a good attitude. I would tell my freshman self to enjoy the little things and it is going to go by fast.”
Thunder Mountain coach Julie Herman commented on her seniors.
About Rice she said, “Emma is so valuable to the program because she can play any position. We have asked her to play several positions this year in the infield and outfield. She is a leader who can make the team better by doing what the team needs. For that, she will be missed.”
About Tanuvasa-Tuvaifale she said, “Mariah is a warrior every time she steps on the field. Softball is the type of sport that you need one or two outstanding plays every game to keep the momentum going. We can always count on Mariah to create those plays. She never quits on a play, and can make outs happen. For that, she will be missed.”
About Kreischer she said, “Avery has the personality of a leader. She leads by example, she leads by her voice, she leads by her skill. She is what you would call captain material. Avery has a very high softball I.Q. and when she is base running, batting or in the field, our program is at its best when she is out there. For that, she will be missed.”
The Falcons will also play Juneau-Douglas at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. tonight at Dimond Park Field. Senior Day is at 1:30 p.m. Saturday before their double-header beginning at 2 p.m. against the Crimson Bears.
Above: Thunder Mountain softball seniors Emma Rice, Mariah Tanuvasa-Tuvaifale and Avery Kreischer will be celebrated on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Dimond Park Fields before their 2 p.m. game against Juneau-Douglas. (Klas Stolpe/KINY)