Armstrong challenges herself in soccer and surfing

By Brynn Gibson

Editor in Chief

Whether she’s tearing up a wave in Santa Cruz or tearing down the sideline at Helm Field, you will always find junior Piper Armstrong on the move. The second-youngest of four daughters, Armstrong’s parents raised her to value hard work and competition: “both my parents are super athletic… so that has always been a center of our household.”

Armstrong kicked off her soccer career at just three years old, attending camps with Kids Love Soccer. Throughout the years she played for both the Force and Los Gatos United, earning a spot on the Los Gatos High School Girls’ Varsity squad by high school. Her favorite part of playing for LGHS is the program’s “super close-knit community,” explaining that, “I really enjoy how we build off of each other.”

Teammate and fellow junior Kate Gruetter noted how grateful she is to have Armstrong on the team: “You just always know that she’ll be there to support you. And even when you mess up, she’ll always be there to crack a joke, even if you don’t want her to.”

Armstrong’s athletic pursuits expand beyond soccer. An avid surfer since kindergarten, she frequents the Hook and Capitola. However, her favorite surfing spots are along the coast of Southern California. While she can work with many different types of boards, longboarding holds a special place in Armstrong’s heart: “it’s really fun because you can be really creative on the wave with cross-stepping and walking.” 

On the academic side, Armstrong currently takes French 4 honors, which she began learning in seventh grade. Naturally gravitating towards French over Spanish, Armstrong is dedicated to making her studies worthwhile. In her opinion, “language opens a new door to so many different cultures,” and she does not plan to stop at French.

She had the chance to expand her foreign language skills this past summer, as Armstrong spent multiple weeks in Norway. “I met a lot of great people there,” Armstrong reminisced, “I also learned some Norwegian which was super fun.” She described her experience as eye-opening, noting how beneficial it was to learn about a foreign culture aside from French: “their daily life is similar to ours, but at the same time, it’s so very different.” 

Taking Anatomy and Physiology as her second elective this year, Armstrong hopes to become a travel nurse one day, combining her love of world exploration and drive to help others. Over summer break Armstrong also worked at a summer camp helping with community service projects. Armstrong described how this experience reinforced her dreams of becoming a nurse: “it taught me how to work and how to take care of people. I’ve never been on the working side of that.”

Categories: People

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