There is not too many young female student-athletes out there that can balance schoolwork with juggling two extra-curricular activities for a full year, especially if the combination of those activities include cheerleading and softball.
Enter San Pedro High senior-to-be Chase Wong.
Not only has Wong been able to maintain a high GPA while being able to cheer for the many sports teams in the Fall and Winter semesters, she has become quite the performer on the softball diamond as she earned her way up to the top of the batting order late in the 2014 season, helping the Pirates to a 21-9 record and second place Marine League finish.
Wong missed the 2013 season (her sophomore year) to focus on full-time cheerleading after a successful freshman year, then only did scholastic cheer which made her eligible to play softball again for her junior year.
"My main goal was to really get back to where I was, and it turns out I've been doing better," says Wong, who made All-Marine League second team in hitting .317 with 12 RBIs, 13 hits and 13 runs scored.
Trying to maintain a balanced high school life has also been a challenge for Wong, and yet her GPA still finished at a solid 3.9. Being successful in managing her school work, cheer and softball at the third oldest school in the LAUSD is pretty amazing.
"It's not always easy and at times it's very stressful," Wong says. "But I somehow always work everything out. It requires some nights getting close to no sleep, but it's worth it."
Cheer is another big part of Wong's life at San Pedro High, especially during football season where the Pirate Stadium is nearly packed to the rafters every time the Pirates' football team pass through the Victory Arch.
"I like getting dressed up and cheering our sports," Wong says on the atmosphere at San Pedro High. "I love sports so it's fun to get into the game without playing. In all honesty it's like living two separate lives in regards to playing softball. However, it has made me a lot more flexible which is a plus."
In the season's final weeks, Wong was able to showcase her softball skills in a big way against fellow Marine League powers Carson and Banning of Wilmington in a pair of road games.
Wong sparked a late Pirate rally by hitting a two-run home run, the first of her career, in a 10-8 loss to the defending City Division I champion Colts, a game where the Pirates battled and nearly completed a magnificent comeback down 9-0 after three innings on May 6.
On May 9 at Banning, Wong was able to rewrite history on one big swing.
Leading off the game, Wong drilled a 3-and-2 pitch just over the left field fence for a rare game-opening home run which was able to galvanize the Pirates to an eventual 8-4 victory. Wong ended up going 3-for-5 on the day with 3 RBIs, also hitting a two-run single in a four-run fifth inning that allowed San Pedro to pull away. Wong became the first player in San Pedro softball history since former City Player Of The Year Wynter Turner in 2001 to hit a game-opening home run.
"I feel great and thankful," Wong says of being mentioned in the same breath as one of the former Pirate softball greats. "I always knew that I had it in me."
Wong will be one of five returning seniors for the 2015 softball season.