Charger Spotlight: Niko Pleasons
February 5, 2014
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By Alec Klein | Staff Writer
February 5 2013
At the age of seven, Niko Pleasons’ father took him to the beach, introducing him to the game that would change his life.
Ever since that day, Pleasons has played beach volleyball with older and more experienced athletes. Although he got picked on sometimes, it helped him to excel at something he loved.
In eighth grade he made a decision he hasn’t regretted: Pleasons took his beach volleyball skills to the court.
He was the first freshman on the DP varsity volleyball team in over ten years, following Dos Pueblos alumnus Jake Arnitz.
Over the last four years, Pleasons has been playing for the Chargers and Santa Barbara Volleyball Club.
“Volleyball has taught me about people, determination and hard work, but most of all about passion,” said Pleasons. “Through volleyball, I’ve learned the only way to truly change or truly accomplish your goals is to let the passion you feel pour out of you, and utilize it to push yourself farther than even you thought you could go. Passion, whether in a good way or a bad one, has played a significant role in my life on and off the court ever since I started putting my heart into the game.”
His determination and passion for the sport has paid off so far by rightfully being named All-Tournament First Team at the Tournament of Champions, along with players who went on to play at schools like UCLA, Ohio State, Stanford, and Penn State.
Mr. Hughes also gave him the Coach’s Award for our high school team; he was the first junior in ages to receive it, and he was the only local player named First Team all Tournament at the Tournament of Champions.
Pleasons is ready for this year’s volleyball season even though it’s his last high school season. He is prepared to bring his best and have an amazing time.
“I’m not captain yet, but chances are I will be that or co-, due to the experience I’ve had on the team. This year San Marcos has got a dominant squad, but I hope with our team of essentially all seniors, we will be able to hang with them and just have some fiery exciting play. That’s what I live for,” said Pleasons.
Pleasons hopes to see volleyball remain in his life past high school play. He is on the road to playing in college and beyond, hoping to return to the beach where it all began.
Along with being a big shot volleyball player, Niko Pleasons is a great teacher to others at this school. Continuing to play in first period volleyball (a class for beginners), he is full of encouragement and loves to help when ever needed.
And, while he continues to change others’ lives by introducing them to the sport, volleyball has changed his life as well.
“Volleyball has changed my life because it gave me an opportunity to do something that I could become lost in my passion for,” Pleasons said. “Passion, whether in a good way or a bad one, has played a significant role in my life on and off the court ever since I started putting my heart into the game, and into the success of others.