Newsday Athlete of the Week is Oceanside's Mikayla Danon
If you talk to those around Mikayla Danon, a word you will routinely hear is "special."
"She’s the ultimate team player and a special individual," Oceanside advisor Frank Luisi said. "Danon is a leader, going 100 miles per hour the entire game when she’s on the field."
Danon, who is Newsday’s Athlete of the Week, is a two-sport athlete who plays on Oceanside’s varsity soccer and lacrosse teams. When she isn’t on the field, she is laser focused on her schoolwork, compiling a 98.6 GPA.
"One day I may not be playing sports, but my education is always going to stick with me," Danon said. "I’m very organized, I make sure to tackle my work before practice or before a game."
Danon’s leadership led her to be named captain of the lacrosse team. She was chosen as a Nassau scholar athlete and voted as a County all-conference defender.
"She can be elite, she has unlimited potential," Oceanside lacrosse coach Ralph Montera said. "She’s a special talent, she’s got a motor, the frame, and a desire, those are things that you can’t teach."
The senior defender led Oceanside with 60 ground balls in the pandemic shortened season. She also plays lacrosse outside of school on the club team ICON. She attributes her prowess defensively to coaching.
"It definitely started with my coaches, they always had a lot of faith in me," Danon said. "They always pushed me and taught me defensive drills that I could practice on my own, that has helped me get to where I am right now."
Danon has also just completed her third year on Oceanside’s soccer team, where she is an outside midfielder. Her proficiency in lacrosse has certainly lent itself to her skills on the soccer field.
"Lacrosse and soccer are so similar, especially in the positions she plays," Sailors soccer coach Marianna Winchester said. "I can see that the agility and quickness are always there."
Her final season on the soccer field didn’t come without its challenges. She started her first two years and had to adjust to a bench role in year three. The "determination" she always displays once again shined bright.
"It was difficult for me, but I was determined to make sure everyone did their best," Danon said. "No matter what stands in my way, I’m always determined to achieve the goals I set for myself."