Bulldogs of Ayala: Treading the Tides


Dallas Mangold, Staff Reporter

We are about 2 months into the 2022-2023 school year and of course seniors are already feeling the burn. School in general is hard to keep up with, especially when working a job, but adding sports onto that only makes things harder. No one knows this better than Senior Braxtin Sotomayor. Braxtin has attended Ayala since Freshman year and looks to graduate here as a Bulldog, experiencing some of the greatest things here. Even though graduation seems like a millennia away, the way she passes the time is her love and interest in Water Polo. Being able to do school, work, and to effectively play at the same time takes skill, and Braxtin has mastered that skill. To use that skill in real life is her goal, and after high school she wants to help more people than just on the Water Polo team, but far and wide as well. 

Braxtin took up Water Polo her freshman year, but it wasn’t her first choice. The way she chose it was very uneventful, as she only found interest through the sport on a pamphlet handed out when she was enrolling into Ayala. 

“It was the only other winter sport that seemed interesting. So I was like, let’s just try it out,” said Braxtin. 

This proved to be super beneficial for her, as she fell in love with the sport, and also being super good at it, making Varsity that same year. She, as well as her family, were surprised by how well she performed and stuck with it. To her it was easy, but it came mostly because of her hard working and physical style of play. If anyone has seen her play you too have seen her or heard her name being chanted by teammates and the crowd alike. She did this whilst working at In-n-Out, playing games during the week and serving people during the weekend. As a junior at the time, she was able to handle all of it no matter how it affected her physically or mentally. 

Besides sports, Braxtin expressed her time at Ayala, most of her time being cut short due to COVID. Many like her weren’t able to fully experience high school, but with what she could experience she will never forget. The football home games, the dances, and the friends met are all of what made high school a somewhat enjoyable experience for her. As a senior now, she stated that she is excited for what comes as a senior, stating,” I’m actually really excited for the senior stuff this year because you have memories of your senior year and so this will be the most memorable things about high school.” The senior burn comes though, as preparing for life after high school lingers around her, debating where her life goes. Wherever Braxtin goes, however, there is always a plan that follows.

When questioned about what future she wanted after high school, Braxtin had an immediate answer, a traveling nurse. 

“I just wanted to do something to help people,” said Braxtin. 

Her interest in this leads her to SDSU, mostly because the school not only offers classes based around her possible future, but it is also near the beach. This was a priority to her, as she grew up loving the beach and it hasn’t stopped since. Braxtin looks to continue her life story alongside her friends and family, the most influential and motivating factors to her life. Her journeys will lead her anywhere, but home is where Braxtin Sotomayor will always be.