Many star athletes relish being in the limelight and enjoy reminiscing on their own achievements.
However, if you ask Overlake senior Alyson Peters about her most memorable moment from the girls’ golf season, it won’t be her miraculous hole-in-one on the eighth hole at Jackson Golf Course during the Emerald City League tournament, or her dominating 19-stroke victory in that same event. Nor will it be her second-place finish at the state tournament, which led Overlake to the 1A golf title.
Instead, Peters recalled a lighthearted moment from earlier in the season involving her teammate, first-year golfer Jessica Elliot.
“Jessica flipped her club over and hit left handed. … that was really funny. I taught her that one,” recalled Peters. “The ball was leaned up against a tree, so she flipped over a five iron and dinked it out. The coach wasn’t too happy with me, but it worked.”
Peters, a humble athlete with a team-first attitude and a ton of talent, is the Reporter’s Female Athlete of the Year.
Peters’ brilliant senior campaign began in the fall as captain and midfielder for the Overlake soccer team, which reached state for the second consecutive year. Peters’ coaches agree that her tenacity and leadership set a model for younger Owls to emulate.
“Alyson’s greatest asset is her determination,” said Overlake soccer coach Sally Goodspeed. “She will do everything within her power to improve herself and her team. She leaves everything on the field in each game, her teammates see that. … and work to emulate it. Her tremendous work ethic sets a good example for younger players to model.”
Peters’ soccer season was filled with memorable moments. She scored the winning goal in a thrilling 1-0 victory against Cedar Park Christian School back on October 2, which was the first time in “many years,” according to Goodspeed, that Overlake had defeated Cedar Park, but Peters remembered most fondly another 1-0 victory, against Seattle Academy, which had not lost in 12 straight matches before it met on Overlake’s home turf.
“It was a weird deflection goal, but we still pulled that one out,” recalled Peters with a laugh. “They were undefeated, and it was our senior night. … that game was really special for us.”
During the winter, the 5-foot-9 athlete continued to excel on the hardwood as a guard on the Overlake basketball team, averaging 8.7 points per game. A first-team selection on the 1A Emerald City all-league squad, Peters cited a team trip down to San Diego to participate in the annual “Surf & Slam” tournament as one of the highlights of her athletic career at Overlake.
“Basketball is my first love,” said Peters. “The team bonding is different, everyone just gets really tight.”
Peters also believes that the opportunity to participate in athletics has been an invaluable experience for her as she matured as a person during her four years playing at Overlake.
“(Being involved in sports) has definitely helped me grow as a person,” she said. “The teamwork and bonding are skills that you’ll need throughout your whole life. At school you have group projects. … but not the same level of teamwork as you have with sports. I think everyone should experience that.”
Soon to be an incoming freshman at the University of Washington business school next fall, Peters said she will probably stick to intramural sports to enable herself to focus on her studies, but playing at the NCAA level is something she is considering.
“My parents still want me to look into walking on, maybe for golf, and that’s a possibility,” she said. “I’m still thinking about it.”
But for now, having played her final match as a prep athlete, all Peters has left are the memories of the fellow teammates she has had the honor of sharing the field, court or course with.
“The camaraderie. … it’s something that I absolutely love about sports and you can’t really find to the same extent anywhere else,” said Peters. “I’ll definitely miss that, and the people I’ve played with. I can always play the sports, but it will just never be the same without them.”
Tim Watanabe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (425) 867-0353, ext. 5054.