Tehya Banks: Sometimes a Break is All You Need


Tehya Banks

Tehya Banks (12) has achieved great heights since returning to Ayala softball.

Trina Lizama, Staff Writer

Dedication. One of the key mindsets an athlete needs to make it all the way, while everything else can only make it so far. 

Tehya Banks is a senior at Ayala High School and a 3rd year varsity player on the softball team. Banks has been playing softball since she was 5 years old. She committed to UCSB, UC Santa Barbara, as a shortstop and second baseman and plans to study along the lines of kinesiology.

Tehya didn’t have someone to be inspired to play at the age of 5. She just found a love for it as soon as she started playing. The rest will turn into history for Banks’ journey. 

“I don’t remember what inspired me to play because I played soccer when I was little,” Banks said. “All of the sudden I wanted to play softball and I’ve loved it ever since.”

Tehya had made a decision that not many athletes make really in their whole life. During her junior year of high school, what is considered the most important year for athletes to get recruited and looked at by colleges, Banks decided to take a season off.

“Last season, I decided to take a break from softball because of personal issues,” Banks said. “I didn’t think I was going to come back to play but I decided to come back. I think it was the best decision I’ve ever made.” 

As Banks she knew things would amp up with softball and college when she came back from her season break. Initially, she didn’t really have a dream college in mind. But when an opportunity came through a softball camp, a door opened for Tehya’s future. 

“I had schools I was interested in but not necessarily dream schools,” Banks said. “I constantly posted videos trying to get myself out there and ended up going o a softball camp at UC Santa Barbara. They kept following me from there and really liked my leadership on the field.” 

Friends seemed like a key component to get Tehya going. Whether that be people in other sports or friends made in class, some of Banks’ friends saw how much work she put in and were glad about what the outcome was. 

“Her mindset is a big part of [her comeback],” Ethan Nuñez, a close friend of Tehya, said. “She doesn’t wanna give up and the fact that she keeps going is impressive.” 

As someone who was with Banks during the break she took during junior year, her best friend has seen her constantly put in work both on and food the field.

“I’ve seen her put in a lot of work for softball like going to the gym every morning,” Taylor Ojeda, Tehya’s best friend, said. “She is the funniest person I know. I know she didn’t think she’d be able to play collegiate softball because of her break. Just seeing her go to the cages to put in extra work made her grow as a person.”

Throughout Tehya’s journey, she has had the motivation to make it to college. She has had the vision of her young self looking up at her now and being proud of continuing on. 

“I think my main motivation was, first off, it has been a dream of mine since I was 5 years old,” Banks said. “I just fell back in love with the game and I knew what I wanted to do and it made me happy.”