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Buena Speaks

The Student News Site of Buena High School

Buena Speaks

The Student News Site of Buena High School

Buena Speaks

Sophomore Nathan Johnson makes a splash

Tanya Johnson
Moments before scoring a goal in his home pool in Canada.

Sophomore Nathan Johnson sits in the shade of a birch tree planted in the soil of Buena High School’s campus. Dressed in a Nike sweatshirt and denim shorts, Johnson unconsciously twirls blades of grass with his fingers, staring at his Ugg slippers. 

Johnson, originally from Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, now gets to experience first-hand the differences between the educational priorities of Canada and the U.S. With the intentions of furthering his opportunities in athletic and academic scholarships, he mentions the immediate differences he’s noticed at our school. 

“Our school district [in Canada] is about your learning style and learning about things for yourself. And then here it’s a lot like you learn so you can get a good mark on a test,” Johnson said.

Johnson, a skilled player for Buena’s boys water polo team, transferred just this school year filled with enthusiasm to work with Coach Tom, and ambition to achieve a scholarship for his efforts on the team. 

“Here, I have so many more opportunities for [water] polo,” said Johnson. “There’s only two teams in my province. We’re limited . . . so it’s hard to get good competition.”

Unfortunately, due to complications in CIF qualifications, Johnson is currently unable to participate in games this season. However, his schedule follows that of every other member of the team, with grueling daily training and attendance of every game and tournament. 

Johnson has adapted to the social and environmental changes found in Ventura, easily finding fellowship in the brotherhood of his team, and the newfound friendships in and out of class. This is especially prevalent in his connection with twin stars of Buena’s varsity water polo team, Mack and Wyatt Munger. 

“He’s a great addition to the team, and he has a fun personality,” said sophomore Mack Munger. “He’s part of the family.” 

Another difference made in Johnson’s life is the step backwards from being a junior in Canada to a sophomore in the U.S. However, he does not let this deter him from continuing to industriously work for his place in Buena’s records. He sees this as a chance to further his experience and skills in both the pool and in the classroom. 

“It’ll give me another year to grow as an athlete and to learn more in high school. I can become more mature for [when I attend a] university. I have a good mix of classes this year, and they’re different from last year’s for sure,” said Johnson.

From lakes to beach, and forests to avocado orchards, Johnson trades in his snow shoes for sandals and board shorts, optimizing his time in Southern California’s warm, sunny climate. Ventura presents many new interests for Johnson, from surfing our local beach breaks to thrifting downtown with friends. 

Finding a second home in Ventura, you’ll soon find Johnson’s name engraved in CIF records, representing Buena’s athletic program in high level competitions. 

“I look forward to the next three years of my life here at Buena,” said Johnson, “for the opportunities here, and eventually at a university. Next year I’ll finally be able to play for the school and show what I have to offer to Buena.”

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About the Contributor
Alyssa Angeles
Alyssa Angeles, Staff Writer
Alyssa Angeles is a sophomore at BHS and in her first year of journalism for Buena Speaks.

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  • C

    C JohnsonOct 28, 2023 at 7:57 am

    Nate is a great kid and will give 100%. So glad he is getting well deserved recognition Great well written article

  • N

    Naima DickersonOct 19, 2023 at 3:08 pm

    So good Alyssa! Gives a great perspective on who he is and what his ambitions are.