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West Orange Times & Observer Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021 1 month ago

Athlete of the Week: Kaia Pritchett

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The Horizon junior is a big reason why the Hawks girls soccer team is off to a fast start this season.
by: Chris Martucci Sports Editor

Kaia Pritchett is a junior for the first Horizon Hawks varsity girls soccer team and has played a huge part in its fast start. She scored a hat trick in Horizon’s game against Umatilla, one of three she has scored in her high school career. Prior to coming to Horizon, Pritchett played two seasons at Windermere High School on its JV team. She also plays for the Florida Rush soccer club in Orlando. Upon graduating from Horizon, Pritchett wants to do something in psychology or law and help as many people as she can in either capacity. 

What’s your experience at Horizon been so far? 

I like it a lot. I’m in the Ace program, so (I) have a lot more classes pointed toward that rather than AP. It’s been really helpful, because the teachers know what they’re doing, they’re understanding, and I like their grading policy a lot — especially with late work. It was a rough transition leaving some friends behind, but it’s been a positive experience. 

What are some of your favorite classes so far? 

I really like my psychology class. I took one last year, but the teacher this year is really good. She’s really understanding and in tune with the students. I also have a lot of friends in the class, which makes it a good experience. I find it interesting to study the mind and all the different experiments. 

You scored a hat trick against Umatilla recently. Describe how that felt. 

It was one of my better moments — I was very proud. That was the first one I had for Horizon. We worked together well as a team in that game — especially the offense and defense. They did a great job keeping things clean. The adrenaline is definitely there. 

What’s one thing you attribute to the fast start your team has been on this season? 

Our coach. He makes sure our egos don’t get too high and makes sure we work well as a team. He pushes communication, too. We get along as people and not just players — both on and off the field. We’re working together, which makes it a great experience. 

You’ve played for Coach Brown before. What is it that you like about playing for him? 

You know what he wants — he has high expectations — but he never pushes you over the edge. It makes you more willing to go forward, because you’re connected to him. The communication is there between him and us. He knows when to have fun, but he also knows when to get serious. 

What is the ultimate goal for you this season? 

I hope we keep winning this season and that we make it to states. I think we have a good shot, because our team is so fluid, and we work together really well. It’s achievable, so I hope we can make it there. 

Favorite soccer player? 

Alex Morgan. She’s also a forward and, like me, she shoots with her left foot, though she’s right-footed. 

Favorite holiday movie? 

“Christmas Vacation.” It’s a family favorite; we watch it every year. 

Favorite TV/Netflix show? 

“Criminal Minds” or “Death Note.” 

Favorite anime? 

“Bungo Stray Dogs,” which led me to one of my favorite hobbies: collecting classic literature. 

Favorite book? 

“Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief,” because it introduces you to all the characters. 

What are some of your other hobbies? 

Listening to music and finding new artists, and drawing, as well. 

Favorite music and favorite artist? 

Alternative rock music, and I like Led Zeppelin. 

What’s an interesting thing about you that no one would expect to know? 

I have a ball python named Ramen that’s 2 years old. My mom and I made a deal that if I scored three goals in a game, she would let me have one. I then did that, and we got him. He’s really cool. 

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you want to go? 

Europe, in general. I’d like to visit France and see the Eiffel Tower and all that stuff. 

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Chris Martucci is the sports editor for the West Orange Times & Observer,  Southwest Orange Observer and OrangeObserver.com. He holds a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri — Columbia School of Journalism, as well as a bachelor's degree in...

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