Alexandria, VA – The Zebra is proud to highlight the achievements of these four standout athletes and members of T.C. Williams’ Class of 2019.
Trinity Palacio, Girls Basketball
Trinity Palacio started at point guard for the T.C. Williams High School varsity team beginning in her freshman year. She led the Lady Titans in scoring and assists each season. Palacio averaged 16.5 points, five assists, three rebounds and two steals as a senior. In 24 of 26 games this season, she scored in double-digits, putting up 20-plus in 10 games. She earned numerous accolades over four years, including All-State honors (three times); Alexandria Sportsman Club Player of the Year (2017 & 2018); District Conference Player of the Year (three times); and All-Met Honorable Mention (three times).
Palacio, who said her proudest moment on the court this season was winning a fourth consecutive District Championship with her teammates, will attend the College of Charleston in West Virginia this fall on a full scholarship.
“I am looking forward to earning my degree in Communications debt free, competing collegiately, and winning with my new team family in the sport that I love,” Palacio said when asked what she looks forward to most about the college experience.
Sasha Bates, Girls Basketball
Sasha Bates played guard this season; however her versatility allowed her to play center and power forward as well, primarily to slow down her skilled opponents in the post. She averaged 15.5 points, five assists, and five rebounds per game. She scored 20 points in a win over rival West Potomac. As half of a formidable backcourt duo with Palacio, she was also known for her defensive play, averaging five steals per game. Bates was named First Team All-District this season and was twice named Defensive Player of the Year.
Bates credits her coach, former WNBA player Lisa Willis, for teaching her that change is not always bad. Before Willis took the reigns this past season, Bates told the Zebra she had played for the same coach for six years.
“It was a challenge to have a coach change my senior year, but in the end Coach Willis coached us well [and] taught us leadership skills that helped us have a very good season,” she said.
Bates will attend Concord University in West Virginia on an athletic scholarship. When asked about her proudest moment in the classroom, Bates recalled the pride she felt in doubling her SAT scores by putting in the work during prep classes and studying in the days leading up to the exam.
Sahle Theodros, Rugby
Sahle Theodros plays one of the two props at the front line of the Titan scrum. He has scored on one try so far (a total of five points) and averages five to six carries a game. In an interview, he recalled the play during a scrimmage against St. John’s where he really felt the team gel.
“One of our [team]mates made a game-changing tackle and got hurt pretty bad. We, as a unit, fought hard and came together as brothers,” Theodros said. “At that moment, I knew that this was the season to remember.”
He said he has learned many lessons this season, the most important being that getting to the 60th minute in a contest is crucial. Rugby is an 80-minute game with no stoppage in between plays, unlike football. If the more energetic team can play as hard at the 60th minute as they did in the beginning, then victory is near.
Theodros will attend Alderson Broaddus University in West Virginia on a rugby scholarship. He looks forward to his time as a college athlete and stresses that he will do everything he can to show how T.C. Rugby has shaped him.
“I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere without the T.C. Rugby team,” Theodros said.
Zyeiki Carter, Rugby
Carter plays inside and outside center, the positions where players must be adept at passing and creating space between opposing defenders. On defense, the center is the first player to make a tackle and must be aggressive. Carter, in a game against rival Bell Multicultural School, led the Titans with 15 tackles.
“When people hear T.C. Rugby, they laugh because we struggled with getting [players] for a while,” Carter said. “And I just want to show people that there are talented athletes that come [from] places that you wouldn’t expect.”
His proudest moment in the classroom was when an administrator visited and recognized him as part of the rugby team. She told Carter that she was really proud of what the team has done and how it has grown.
Carter will join the Air Force upon graduation. He plans to play for their rugby team after completing basic and job training. He told the Zebra that as a college athlete, he looks forward to putting T.C. Rugby on the radar.