Athlete of the Week: Nathanial Juga

Senior’s big hit sparks Gresham in conference win

Contributed Photo Gresham senior Nathanial Juga hit a grand slam to help his team defeat Marion on May 10.

Athlete: Nathanial Juga

Sport: Baseball

School: Gresham Community High School

Year: Senior

Gresham Community High School senior Nathanial Juga has enjoyed a strong senior season batting in the cleanup spot in the Wildcats batting lineup. Juga has delivered timely hits and drawn some walks as well, but his best game of the season came against Marion on May 10.

Trailing 4-0 entering the bottom of the fifth, Gresham needed a spark. After the Wildcats trimmed their deficit down to just one, Juga delivered a clutch hit, hitting a grand slam home run to put Gresham up 7-4.

It was Juga’s first varsity homer and highlighted a two-hit game in which he also scored twice. Gresham went on to claim a 12-5 victory.

Q: When did your interest in baseball begin?

A: It all began when I watched it on TV with my grandpa (Guy Juga) when I was little.

Q: What is your favorite part about the baseball season?

A: Just practicing with the guys.

Q: As the season wraps up, what does the team need to be doing to put together a playoff run?

A: Just work as a team like we have been lately.

Q: Explain the feeling you got when you hit the grand slam home run against Marion on May 10.

A: It felt great, especially because it was a grand slam. It was a big momentum boost for my team and me.

Q: What’s your favorite memory of competing on the Gresham baseball team?

A: Has to be when we made it to the sectional finals my freshman year.

Q: What are you going to miss most when your baseball career is over at Gresham?

A: I’m going to miss the guys and my coaches.

Q: You also have golfed for the Menominee Indian/Gresham co-op this spring. What has competing in two sports been like for you?

A: It was different. It was my first time doing two sports. It was a good experience for me.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do when you are not in school or competing in a high school sport?

A: Play video games with my friends.

Q: Favorite TV show, movie and musical artist?

A: TV show: “Impractical Jokers.” Movie: “Avengers: Infinity War.” Musical artist: Eminem.

Q: Name one thing about yourself that not many people know.

A: I actually enjoy school.

Q: What’s the greatest piece of advice you have ever been told?

A: To never give up. That’s in my head every time I’m out there competing.