An athlete to watch – Paxton Nouchi

Nyler Acasio, An Vo, and various

When you think of an up-and-coming student athlete at McKinley High School, freshman Paxton Nouchi is one of them. 

“I started playing sports when I was quite young, I was four years old when I started my baseball career,” Nouchi said.

Nouchi took a break from baseball during middle school and played intramural flag football, which created a long-term love affair.

During his break from baseball, Nouchi “fell in love” with football and the NFL team Miami Dolphins, played one more season of flag with an outside league, and played tackle football during middle school.

 “My interest quickly shifted gears and I watched a lot of football,” he said. 

As a freshman at McKinley, Nouchi was one of the only freshmen chosen to play ball with the upperclassmen when McKinley decided not to have a junior varsity season last fall.

“I am really grateful for the chance Coach Pat gave me to play varsity football as a freshman. … I was a little shaky about having no JV, but I took this as an opportunity to take a bigger step into playing on a [higher] level because not many kids get to play varsity as a freshman,” Nouchi said. “It feels pretty special… I am just grateful for the opportunity.”

Nouchi decided to return to baseball and tried out for the junior varsity team in February at McKinley. His early start paid off and he made the team.

“It was a fun time but right after that (I’m) thankful for my coaches that they promoted me to play varsity baseball,” he said.

Before spring sports were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the team had multiple scrimmages to get the team ready for the regular season.

“At least we got some action before the season was postponed,” Nouchi said.

Nouchi said he feels “devastated” that the season was canceled after the team had worked so hard to prepare for the season but he is looking on the bright side.

“I should be thankful to be a part of this team instead of feeling angry about the season being canceled,” he said.

Nouchi plans on playing sports throughout his high school career. He said it would show disrespect to his coaches if he quit.

“Sports is also the one that gives me that motivation to stay up late and finish all my work or study for an upcoming test,” he said. “[I have] no doubt about playing [for] all four years!”

Nouchi feels pressured to maintain his grades while playing a sport. He said he feels grateful for his parents.

“That is the beauty of being a student athlete, knowing that there is a meaning behind everything you do,” he said. “Every ball I throw, every 240 yard runs I run, I know that I am doing this for my own good.”

Changes in structure and information were made on 5/18/2020.