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West Orange Times & Observer Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021 1 week ago

Athlete of the Week: Sarah Lytle

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The First Academy junior was named team captain prior to this season.
by: Chris Martucci Sports Editor

Sarah Lytle is a junior at The First Academy and plays on the girls basketball team. She is primarily a point guard but also plays shooting guard and small forward for the Royals. Prior to the season, she was named team captain, along with senior Ava Schmid. Lytle came to TFA for high school after attending another school in Kissimmee for middle school. She enjoys the team atmosphere TFA provides not only on the court but also in the classroom. 

How did you get started in basketball? 

I went to a private school in Kissimmee. The coach was Coach Bogues— he was a big name for basketball. He was one of my teachers and one of my friend’s dads. He always said, ‘You’d be really good at basketball,’ and so I tried out. I was a three-point shooter for the team, and now I’m at TFA playing point guard. The family and basketball kept me wanting to play. 

Describe your style of play as a point guard. 

I look to give it to someone else, and I love shooting threes. Any opportunity for that, I love to taking charge and being a good outlook to everybody there. I like to make everyone feel comfortable in their positions (and) knowing their specific shots. I make sure everyone is in their right spot, (and) I’ll give them the ball. 

Who are your basketball influences? 

Stephen Curry and Kobe Bryant. I watch a lot and know the game from their plays and how they made sure to take charge on and off the court. That’s what I want to be like. 

What was it like to be named team captain this year? 

It was interesting, because the girls voted anonymously. It was pretty cool to see everybody voted for me and how they saw that position in me. I love being a fun person on the court, because I enjoy the sport. I’ll play music at practice or make sure everyone is having a fun time at practice, because I don’t want it to be stressful at all for new girls. It’s made it such a fun atmosphere already this season. We’ve all had fun so far through four games, and it gets me excited. 

What are your goals heading into the season? 

Making sure basketball is always fun. No sport should ever not feel fun because of the team atmosphere or be grateful for the people surrounding you. Feeling like everyone has a position on the team and that it’s something they can enjoy. Being there for others this season and having fun doing it is what I want to do. 

Favorite holiday movie? 

“Elf.” 

Favorite TV/Netflix show? 

“The Flash” or a doctor show like “The Good Doctor.” I don’t have much time for TV, because I’m always practicing. 

With Thanksgiving upon us, what are three things that you are thankful for this year? 

My family, my supporters always being there and pushing me along where I need to be, sports, and God for giving me athletic ability. 

Favorite basketball memory?

Getting hyped in the locker room before the game. At my old school, coach would get hyped with us, and it felt like family and made everyone enjoy what we’re doing. Tournament days were fun, too. The family environment of it would probably be my favorite thing overall. 

Disney or Universal? 

Disney — my favorite ride is Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom, which is my favorite park. 

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

Australia or Bora Bora. They are two different places, but I like the outdoors field everywhere and the animals. I like animals. 

Favorite animal? 

Giraffes, elephants — safari animals, really. I like getting to see them on the Kilimanjaro Safaris ride at Animal Kingdom. 

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

My heart for others. People see it, but I’d like to go on a mission trip one day and put my heart out teaching kids that don’t have the opportunity to play sports. Serving others without being paid, and making others feel like their future is worth much more than they feel. 

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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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