Amy Morikawa’s parents had a philosophy when it came to youth sports for their kids—expose them to as many sports as possible and let them find what they love to play. And even though they had backgrounds in volleyball and basketball, they let their kids find their own paths.
“They let us play whatever we wanted, and I just fell in love with soccer,” says Morikawa. “And even though I was pretty good at swimming when I was younger…they let me choose the sport I was in love with instead of choosing the sport they thought I was better at.”
That choice allowed the Rosary Academy senior and three-year varsity soccer player to grow her passion for the game. A long time defender, Morikawa enjoys the unique qualities of the sport.
“The thing I love most about soccer, I think, is the fluid dynamic of the game,” says Morikawa. “It allows for creativity, but also has a certain structure to it that’s beautiful and unique to soccer, that you can’t find in any other game. And it’s also an outlet for passion and your emotions. You can really play what you feel.”
Entering her final year as a Royal, the 17-year-old reflects on how wearing the Rosary name and bonding with her teammates has made all the difference in how she faces life’s challenges.
“By far, my biggest challenge has definitely been myself. I’ve been my own worst enemy,” says Morikawa. “Especially during my high school season, I grew as an individual…my style of play became better because I became more confident in myself. I can definitely say that high school soccer, especially the Rosary program, has helped me to be the person that I am today and has helped me be a lot more confident.”
And Morikawa is taking what she’s learned from the game and applying it to her life off the field.
“I think the most important value that I’ve learned is perseverance, and overall, to not be afraid to dream and to do what is in my heart. By continuing to work hard and to persevere, that has been translated into everything else that I do.”
The Yorba Linda resident is active in serving at her parish and hopes to continue to play soccer in college while pursing a career in the medical field. She considers her parents and family to be her “rock,” and leans on her faith as the motivation behind her actions.
“My faith was there for me when no one else was, or when I wasn’t even there for myself,” says Morikawa. “My faith is the most important thing to me in my life, and without it, I wouldn’t be the person I am, [and] I wouldn’t be the player that I am.”