The Valley Echo

The Valley Echo

The Valley Echo

The Valley Echo

The Valley Echo

The Valley Echo

Female Athlete of the Year: Celina Bussanich

Matt Austin
Tri-sport athlete Celina Bussanich is named the 2024 female athlete of the year.

PV junior Celina Bussanich played an integral part in each sport she played this year. In the fall she played soccer, basketball in the winter, and lacrosse in the spring to finish it off. 

Bussanich started playing basketball and soccer as a kid, but joined lacrosse as a freshman in high school. She decided to continue playing in high school because she likes to always be active and never sit at home. 

“I like doing things, and I don’t like sitting home and being bored, so they [sports] keep me occupied, and I enjoy them,” Bussanich said.

Being a three-sport athlete comes with the challenge of time management, but Bussanich makes sure to get her work done so she can keep up with her grades. 

“I try to get all my work done as soon as I can, so I have time to practice. After practice, I finish some work too,” Bussanich said. 

Bussanich’s love for sports comes from the competitiveness that they bring. Whether it be on the field or on the court, the aspect of competition makes Bussanich determined to win and be successful.

“They are all really competitive, and I am a really competitive person and don’t like losing,” Bussanich said. 

Bussanich found success in all three sports this year. Soccer finished with a 16-3-1 record, basketball a 16-11 record, and lacrosse finished 13-5. 

Celina Bussanich on the lacrosse field (Contributed by Celina Bussanich)

On Feb. 16, Bussanich reached the  milestone of 1000 career points in a home game against West Milford. Scoring her 1000th point isn’t the final goal Bussanich has set for herself.

“I want to get first team all league for soccer and first team all county again for basketball,” Bussanich said.

Bussanich has a good relationship with all her coaches and can trust them to put her in the best position to succeed. 

“I feel comfortable going to them [my coaches] whenever I need to ask them something or talk to them,” Bussanich said. 

Since Bussanich is only a junior, she still has a year to decide what she wants to do after high school, but she plans on attending a college or university to play basketball. 

Being a three sport athlete gives you many memorable moments to choose from. Bussanich shared that she has a favorite memory in all three of her sports whether it be individual or team related. 

“In soccer, I would choose [a moment from] my freshman year. I scored the overtime goal and didn’t even realize that I did,” Bussanich said. “[For] Basketball, I would say when I got to my 1000th point and [for] lacrosse, I would say last year when Ella Saxon scored the winning goal to move us into the second round of states.”

PV Girls Soccer Head Coach Leah Jerome had a few things to say about Celina.

Celina Bussanich passes to her teammate as they prepare for the next game against Immaculate Heart. (Olivia Jackson)

“She’s the full package,” Jerome said. “She’s got the talent, she’s a great teammate, she’s coachable, and she loves the game.”

Jerome also explained the best part of Celina’s game on the soccer field. 

“She’s so competitive,” Jerome said. “She just has this refusal to lose. She refuses to lose more than anybody, and when a big play needs to happen, she can often come up with that play because she is going to put 110% into any aspect of the game.”

In the winter, Bussanich plays basketball under Head Coach Jeff Jasper.

Jasper spoke about some of Celina’s attributes on the court.

“She’s tireless; she has a never give up mentality, never buys into being fatigued,” Jasper said.

Jasper also commented on Bussanich’s leadership on and off the court.

“She’s one of those leaders who leads by example,” Jasper said. “She’s not a ‘rah, rah’ kind of leader. She’s not going to stand up and make some kind of speech; instead she says we are all going to work hard.”

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About the Contributors
Ava Kim
Ava Kim, Photo Editor
Ava Kim is a senior who has been a part of The Valley Echo since her freshman year. This is her second year as a photo editor and she is looking forward to pursuing her passion for photography. When she is not taking photos for the publication, Ava can be seen baking or cheering on the Pascack Valley varsity and competition cheer team.  
Matt Austin
Matt Austin, Photo Editor
Matt Austin graduated in 2022.

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