Sports schedule packed for athletic Oaklander

AWARD WINNER: Cassandra Pilacinski at the Town Crier’s Athlete of the Year awards back in June, receives her plaque as a nominee for the South Region.

De La Salle’s Pilacinski joins two teams each season

Cassandra Pilacinski is one busy girl leading up to the start of her grade 12 year at De La Salle College.

She’s immersed in the under-18 beach volleyball nationals, and once that’s over she’ll be back as an Oaklander pursuing a six-pack of sports.

In the fall she’s doing cross-country and jumping back into her basketball shoes. When the snow hits, she’s on the slopes with the ski team and at the net for v-ball. Finally in the thaw, she’s playing footie and taking to the track.

For Pilacinski it takes a lot of time management.

“Whenever I have free time I do my work,” she said. “There’s a lot of late nights that’s for sure.”

Her yen for athletics comes from being one of triplets, as her brothers Greg and Richard are just as sporting.

“I have two brothers and we’ve always been very athletic,” she said. “We started with soccer first and then once school started I was participating in every sport I could.”

She admits that soccer used to be her favourite sport, but now the Wilson has taken control of her life.

“I don’t know why it’s the sport I love,” she said. “I’ve been playing it since I was really little.”

Still, she’s had plenty of success with the Oaklanders squad as well as outside of the school. As a member of the Toronto West Volleyball Club, Pilacinski won a gold at the McGregor Cup back in February.

This year, she will reunite with Steph Susman to shut down fellow CISAA contenders in Division 1 after finishing with a 4-7 record in 2010.

There’s never a moment for repose, as Pilacinski will also take part in charity runs including the Sporting Life 10 K and the Run For The Cure in support of her aunt who is a breast cancer survivor.

Though Pilacinski is reticent to give her aunt’s name, she admits the entire family gets involved for the cause.

“I like doing runs because it makes me feel like I’m giving back to the community and I’m helping kids go to camp,” she said. “We know a lot of people who are suffering, so we want to raise awareness as well.”

Her attention during her senior year will be attracted by academia though, as she plans for the next step: university.

“I’m hoping to do well in academics, but also show leadership in the sports I do play this year,” she said. “Definitely managing my time between school and sports, knowing when to take a break and when not to take a break.”

She’s hoping to pick up a scholarship to play volleyball in the U.S. but she isn’t ruling out Queen’s or Dalhousie for kinesiology.

Her pursuit is exemplary of De La Salle’s team name.

“An Oaklander is someone who is usually a great student, but also manages their time to play sports or help their community in any way,” she said.

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