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Scholar & Athlete

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Lucas Nguyen- Paintball

Lucas Nguyen- Paintball

Lucas Nguyen, a junior at Tracy High School, has been playing paintball for five years and semi-professional for two of the five. He began paintball when he was 12 years old and has competed in national tournaments for his extreme sport. Nguyen has spent every weekend in Extreme Paintball Park in Modesto during his time playing. 

Nguyen was first introduced to this sport through his parents who used to play recreationally. Before joining a competitive program, his parents and YouTube videos helped him find his passion for paintball. 

Nguyen’s parents are extremely supportive of him and his sport. Competitive paintball consists of a pit crew for every team, which helps them clean up old paint stains and fills their paintball markers with paint for the next point of play.  

“My family was my pit crew,” Nguyen smiled.  

Nguyen’s dedication to his sport was unmatched, as he would spend countless hours every weekend perfecting his craft, even if that meant constantly missing hangouts with his friends.  

“It is definitely hard not getting to see my friends over the weekend,” Nguyen said. “But after getting my first win it was definitely worth it.” 

Nguyen’s most memorable moment in his career was winning his first tournament in Sacramento. It was his first semi-pro tournament, and he was so proud of himself and his teammates. Some other accomplishments Nguyen has achieved throughout his paintball career has been being awarded the golden gun, meaning most kills in a tournament.  

“It is really fun being good at something nobody knows I am good at,” Nguyen explained, when asked what it was like to be a part of an uncommon sport.

It is an extremely competitive sport and takes a huge work ethic according to Nguyen.

“Balancing life with paintball is extremely difficult,” Nguyen said. “The pressure of work before practice and after practice, having to do school homework between games is hard.”  

Nguyen says he couldn’t have done it without his parents’ support and their constant encouragement for him throughout his sport. He continues to work and hopes to one day go professional. 

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About the Contributor
Emma Sawin, News Editor
Emma Sawin is a junior at Tracy High School. She was born on May 24, 2007, into a family of five. Her family consists of her mom, dad, her older sister, Julia, who is a freshman at San Diego State University and her little sister, who is a seventh grader at Art Freiler Middel School. She also has two cats, Ollie and Charlie. Sawin is an international baton twirler and has been twirling for 14 years. She was recently part of Team USA for baton twirling in Liverpool, England, where she was able to take home fifth place. Sawin attended many national championships and has medaled multiple times in the last couple of years. Sawin is also the DARE representative for the state of California and is on the Youth Advocacy Board for the program. She strives to be a positive role model for the youth in her community. She helps teach a baton class for the Boys and Girls Club and has spoken at multiple DARE graduations. Sawin is extremely artistic. She enjoys scrapbooking all her adventures from everywhere she travels such as England, Canda and Florida. Her favorite memory of high school so far was getting to twirl on the football field with her older sister Julia Sawin. She loved getting to choreograph routines with Julia and sharing the spotlight on a Friday night. Sawin's goal after high school is to become the feature twirler for a four-year university. She takes her schoolwork seriously and has achieved all As and over a 4.0 GPA. Her favorite subjects are science, math, and history.  

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