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Bishop’s School standout Maggie Johnson gets Student Athlete of the Year honor

Senior Maggie Johnson is a four-sport athlete at The Bishop’s School in La Jolla.
(File)

For Bishop’s School senior and four-sport athlete Maggie Johnson, the accolades just keep rolling in.

Johnson has been honored as a winter 2022 CIF San Diego Section/Mission Fed Credit Union Student Athlete of the Year for the Coastal Conference for her participation in field hockey, softball, swimming and water polo. Each year, CIF San Diego picks one male and one female athlete to recognize from each conference, based on nominations from the sports community.

This recognition comes after she claimed four CIF Open Division championships during her high school career and was named the CIF San Diego Section girls water polo Player of the Year last month.

“Maggie and each of the amazing scholar-athletes model the qualities of winning both on and off the field,” said Neville Billimoria, senior vice president of marketing and membership for Mission Fed. “They’re building leadership competencies that will serve our community well as they move from the classrooms to the boardrooms.”

Billimoria added that Johnson was chosen for “leading her [water polo] team to four straight CIF Open Division titles” and for maintaining a 4.1 grade point average.

Maggie Johnson (6) contributed to the Knights’ stifling water polo defense.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

“I’m really grateful to have gotten the opportunity to compete and study here at Bishop’s,” Johnson said. “All four of the sports I play are team games, so I credit my teammates and coaches. [Being named Student Athlete of the Year] is a huge honor, but it speaks to the strength of the program.

“Being one of the older players, I like to show the younger players the importance of working hard every day at practice. That is where you see the improvement, that’s where you have the ability to fail and learn from it. … That’s where you can get support and bond with your team. That way, when you get to the game you are as good as you can be.”

One might think that competing in field hockey, water polo, swimming and softball would be overwhelming. But not to this Bishop’s School junior.

Her coaches agree that she is a role model for younger teammates.

“It has been an honor to coach Maggie in field hockey, as she is a leader in the best sense of the word,” said coach Meghan Carr. “Each season she works hard to improve her skills and game knowledge. She is an incredible teammate, as she consistently gives excellent feedback and encourages her peers to give their all. She does all this while keeping a rigorous academic schedule. She is a model student-athlete with a big heart for all the teams she participates in during the school season.”

Water polo coach Doug Peabody said the recognition is “incredibly deserved” and that Johnson “is a constant motivator of her teammates, she sets the bar super high for herself and her teammates to be successful. She’s able to instruct as a leader on the team and run different drills. The magic she brings to the pool has to do with her ability to discern information as the game is unfolding and relay that information. She not only holds herself and her team to the higher standard, she comes early and stays late to help others.”

With the water polo and field hockey seasons behind her, Johnson is now focusing on softball and swimming.

“Maggie is a determined swimmer who takes every opportunity to improve her technique and skill,” swim coach Jim Jordan said. “Over spring break she worked with me one on one to improve underwater streamline, kick and turnover ratio. She is always looking to improve, and for that reason she will always be deserving of [Student Athlete of the Year] recognition.”

Softball coach Al Gomez said Johnson has been on the softball team for four years and is one of the captains.

“Maggie has been asked to play catcher and first base this season after having spent the last three seasons at third base,” Gomez said. “She has embraced this change of position with a team-first mentality while working hard to learn the skills required to play these new positions. Maggie brings her work ethic, competitiveness and grit to the field every day.”

Johnson said the combination of sports has made her senior year enjoyable.

“It’s super crazy, to be honest, that this is my last year,” she said. “I came to Bishop’s in eighth grade and I have grown so much as a person because of the support I have gotten here. People here want to see you succeed. I’m going to reflect on my time here fondly.”

She advised future generations of student-athletes to “approach every day as an opportunity to get better, academically or athletically. You are going to face setbacks and challenges, but use that as a learning moment and know it is OK to fail sometimes, so long as you improve from that. Use that to better yourself.” ◆