As we continue this special San Pedro News Pilot Class Of 2020 Spotlight feature series on student athletes at the San Pedro-based high schools whose senior years were cut short due to the coronavirus, here is our feature on Port Of Los Angeles High softball outfielder Briana Vigil.
A member of back-to-back Coliseum League championship teams her first two years (2017 & 2018), Vigil established herself as a solid defensive center fielder that covered a lot of ground for the Polar Bears, as she threw out five wold-be runs from her position at home plate without the need for a cut-off throw. Vigil was also a solid contact hitter with speed on the bases who can hit anywhere in the lineup, with her preferred spot at POLA being in the middle of the order.
Vigil has signed on to play at Westcliff University in Irvine, as a hip injury during practice three days before the 2020 season opener at Bell Gardens on March 5 (POLA won 3-2) prevented her from playing, and limiting her to just one game all year on March 9 at Peninsula where Vigil went 1-for-3 with a double and had two assists at shortstop.
Little did anyone including Vigil suspect, that it would be the only game she would play in 2020 with the season officially ending on March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
WHEN YOU FOUND OUT THE SEASON WAS ENDING DUE TO COVID-19, HOW DID YOU FEEL IN REGARDS TO THAT TURN OF EVENTS?: "When I found out about COVID-19 ending my senior year, I was devastated. It upset me that I wasn't going to play my last season, something I've looked forward to since my freshman year."
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE SEASON OUT OF YOUR FOUR YEARS AT POLAHS?: "Definitely my sophomore season (2018) was one of my favorites. It was one of the most memorable seasons for me, adjusting to new coaches, playing with a great group of girls, winning the league championship, and being named the team defensive player of the year."
WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT IN A GAME?: "Making a game-saving defensive play against King-Drew my sophomore year. I knew instantly where to go with the ball once it was hit to me and I knew I had a strong catcher, Larissa Mercado behind the plate to help me make a great play. It will always be memorable throughout my softball career."
WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE WESTCLIFF UNIVERSITY AS YOUR COLLEGE DESTINATION?: "During my visit to Westcliff University, I instantly knew this was the perfect school for me. The school reminded me a lot like POLAHS because of the size and how everyone felt like a family there. Another reason why I chose this school is because I will be joining their first softball team in school history."
WHAT WILL YOU MISS THE MOST AT POLAHS?: "Being able to play with my closest friends in Angelina and Larissa Mercado (sisters). POLAHS has helped me grow as a person and prepared me for my future throughout my four years there. I've always had so much support at POLAHS with the staff, teachers and students. POLAHS is a shool that truly cares about their students and I'm so blessed that I was able to attend POLAHS and represent my school as a student athlete."
FAVORITE QUOTE: "Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." - Buddha.
WHAT IS YOUR MAIN GOAL THAT YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE ONCE YOU SET FOOT ON CAMPUS AT WESTCLIFF?: "I want to accomplish focusing on my major in Business and making a great impact player there. Since it's going to be the first softball team there, I want to win and work with a great group of girls and coaching staff."
FINALLY, IF YOU HAVE A MESSAGE FOR THE TEAMS AT POLA YOU LEAVE BEHIND, WHAT WILL THAT MESSAGE BE?: "I will truly miss all of my teammates at POLAHS. It's been great playing with these girls. Always give it your all and work hard. Play every game like it's your last because you never know when it could be your last."