The Ukiah Daily Journal

Liam Pothast proves he’s got hustle

- By Jennifer Saunders Fort Bragg Advocate-News

MENDOCINO >> In high school sports, there’s always one kid who just shines bright and not necessaril­y because of his natural talents and popularity, but because of his innate energy. In Mendocino, Liam Pothast is that kid.

Pothast can run for days, he will give you all of his energy for every single play, and with tremendous hustle, he will fight for every possession.

A true test to these qualities came just three months ago when the Mendocino Cardinals varsity basketball team faced the Point Arena Pirates for a chance to enter the three-way tie for first place showdown.

The Cards had to win the game in order to advance. With the gym completely packed against them and the vibes of old rivalry swirling about, the Cards faced one of their biggest challenges of the year.

Of course, both teams would give their best in this environmen­t, and no one knew for sure who would be the victor after each quarter with the score so close.

However, late in the third quarter, as the heat began to rise, the buckets from the outside for the Cards were failing, and the Cards lost senior Isiah Williams to a foul. But Liam Pothast and his determinat­ion to seek out on every possession kept the Cards alive.

“We just entered the ball into Liam every time down the court and had him go to work!” said Coach River Saunders. “He just kept running, pursuing, attacking, and showed more determinat­ion than ever. You could just see it all over his game, that he wanted the win more than anything and we piggybacke­d heavily on this energy and hustle which in the end, helped us prevail in a very sticky situation.”

Pothast was unstoppabl­e in that game, scoring 28 points and gathering 16 rebounds. He helped his team to a two-point victory, 5452, in the final ten seconds of the game which sent the Cards to the three-way NCL III tie showdown.

The next day, Pothast was drained — both physically and mentally — but he had to rise up and travel that very next day to lead his team yet again to a “door-die” situation into Round Valley, where the Mustangs were waiting patiently to knock off the Cards.

The team, running completely on faith, somehow managed to muster up that same energy for the follow up game.

This time, captain Pothast and his team sailed out of the second half, hitting the outside shots and securing the inside game, leaving the valley with yet another win.

“I just want to win, and I want to do what it takes, as the win was so clearly joyful to everyone,” Pothast said.

Watching someone play a sport with passion, intensity, energy, consistenc­y and heart is the true joy to watch.

The coastal community has been very proud and lucky to have had such an awesome athlete cruise through the sports scene, making it “joyful” to watch high school sports.

In addition to his skills on the court, Pothast is undeniably one of the best lacrosse and soccer players to represent as a Cardinal.

Pothast is a senior, which means he missed his last year of lacrosse because of the Coronaviru­s, but said he looks forward to college and continuing to play sports.

This Mendocino senior has so much more to give to the game, and still has fuel to fire not only himself, but the next team that will be lucky to have him.

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 ?? PHOTO CONTRIBUTE­D ?? Liam Pothast of Mendocino High School plays basketball, lacrosse and soccer.
PHOTO CONTRIBUTE­D Liam Pothast of Mendocino High School plays basketball, lacrosse and soccer.

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