Madera senior demonstrates understanding, hard work
One of the hardest things to do entering a new environment is settling in and making new friends, especially in Fikse’s case as she commutes from her house in Madera to Fresno.In her first year at the school, Fikse wanted to join the tennis team to connect with other students.
“When I first played tennis it was my freshman year in high school,” Fikse said. “I joined because I wanted to get involved since I was new to this school. My favorite part about tennis is how the sport is laid back, but also competitive. Everyone does their own part, so you don’t feel as pressured as other sports.”
Tennis aided her attempt to create new friendships and it also brought meaningful memories.
“My favorite memory with tennis was going to Harris Ranch,” Fikse continued. “After the match, our coach took all of us to Harris Ranch. It was fun because we all just hung out there and bonded.”
This season, the girls tennis team features a new head coach, Daniel Jessing. Jessing additionally works as the assistant coach for boys varsity.
“Mariana is our foundation,” Jessing said. “I’m so thankful to have her senior leadership with this group of girls that is very new to the sport. She has the unique ability to lead both with words and with actions. She’s one of the best players in our league but she’s also her teammates biggest cheerleader and I love that. My goal is that she will have an amazing senior season filled with lots of individual and team victories.”
One of Fikse’s teammates Annabelle Messer, ’20, did not know Fikse well before tennis. However, Messer was overwhelmed by Fikse’s kindness and her ability to teach.
“I don’t know her as well as some of the other girls on the team,” Messer said. “One thing that stands out about her is that she is that she is super nice and encouraging to the rest of us. Mariana always sets an example for us all on the team on how to work hard and lead.”
Mariana is our foundation. I’m so thankful to have her senior leadership with this group of girls that is very new to the sport. She has the unique ability to lead both with words and with actions. She’s one of the best players in our league but she’s also her teammates biggest cheerleader and I love that. My goal is that she will have an amazing senior season filled with lots of individual and team victories. — Daniel Jessing
Growing up on a ranch, Fikse played basketball as a kid. It was a different from tennis, largely because of all the physical contact. She continues to play basketball during the winter sports seasons. One of her teammates Macie Thompson, ‘19, has competed with Fikse for the past two seasons.
“Mariana Fikse is such a great friend,” Thompson said. “She is so sweet and doesn’t treat any of us younger friends any different. She definitely is like an older sister to me and has influenced me in so many ways. When she handles situations that the average person would lose their mind over she just smiles and handles it with a patience and peace. She has helped me in my walk with God and has taught me to love Him more than anything or anyone.”
One of Fikse’s favorite thing to do at home is to hang out with her siblings and cousins. Mariana’s sister Julia Fikse, who also attends FC, enjoys hanging out with her sister at home.
“My favorite things to do with my sister are driving around with her and riding bikes,” Julia said. “We both enjoy listening and singing songs together as well as playing the piano.”
Being so close in grades, Julia has some of the same classes with Mariana and they sometimes help each other with homework.
“I love having my sister at school because she is always there to help me out,” Julia continued. “It’s fun having some of the same classes together so we can help each other with our homework.”
Mariana also works Co-Editor-in-Chief for The Feather. She plans to attend college after high school and major in journalism. She does not want to leave the state due to her love of California.@thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.
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