Old High School Teammates Reunite on the Field
By Stefanie Dziawura
Northern Arizona University’s (NAU) Malia Tano played in her first Big Sky Conference game with her fellow Lumberjacks, and with an old, familiar face.
The freshman forward played the conference opener with a high school teammate, but this time, the two were not playing for the same team.
Both Tano and Southern Utah University’s (SUU) Sabrina Hernandez played soccer for El Toro High School in Lake Forest, Calif. The two years Tano and Hernandez played together, their team made it to the California Interscholastic Federation playoffs.
Switching from working together to against each other was an odd transition for both players.
“It is very different going from teammates to opponents,” Tano said. “It was weird seeing her out here, because I haven’t seen her since high school.”
The two have not been in touch since Hernandez graduated one-year before Tano and moved on to play soccer for SUU. Both Hernandez and Tano found it “weird” that after not remaining in contact over the years, they saw each other for the first time on a collegiate field.
“I don’t recall playing against any other old teammates from El Toro,” Hernandez said. “I think Malia is the only one. I haven’t kept in touch since high school, but she was looking really good out here.”
Even though the two have not seen each other play in years, they still remember how the other was as a teammate and a player.
“I remember her being a very good, solid player,” Hernandez said. “And tonight, she went for some really good runs and turned with the ball really well. She also looked very fast like she always did.”
Tano described Hernandez’s play as skillful, fast and rough. She also commented on the fact that her ex-teammate plays the same from high school.
“I definitely remember her being very quick and crafty,” stated Tano. “I’m surprised we were able to get a goal against her; we were really lucky.”
Tano and her fellow Lumberjacks defeated the Southern Utah Thunderbirds 1–0.
“I think both our teams played really well,” Tano said. “Towards the end, it was a little scrappy, but we just wanted to hold on to that win and were so happy we got it.”
Hernandez and Tano both look forward to possibly playing each other again in the future and wish the best of luck to their former high school teammate.