Banks HS girls soccer team organizes beach cleanup

In this High School Spotlight, FOX 12 highlights the Banks girls soccer team who are making a difference away from the pitch.
Published: Sep. 1, 2023 at 6:25 AM PDT
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BANKS, Ore. (KPTV) - In this High School Spotlight, FOX 12 highlights the Banks girls soccer team who are making a difference away from the pitch.

New year, same goal for the gang from Banks High School.

“We made it to the second round of playoffs, further than we had in Banks’ girls soccer varsity history,” said Ireland Wilson, senior at Banks High School.

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Pushing forward to become better in the game and in life.

“We are a very tight-knit team,” junior Violet Allori said. “It means a lot to still have a really good sense of community and be together.”

Global good starts at home.

“We are really trying to be involved with our community. We are more than just soccer players,” Wilson said.

Allori, 16, is a lover of soccer and animals. The Braves’ leader cares for 26 chickens at home and was disgusted in what she saw on summer break while walking along her favorite sandy shoreline in Cannon Beach.

“I just looked down and there’s lines of plastic and I was like, ‘why? Why is that just right there?’ Knowing that birds can eat that plastic just makes me really sad,” she said.

Fretting isn’t fulfilling so Allori, who wants to study environmental science in college, went in search of a remedy.

“It feels kind of horrible knowing that humans were the cause of it and that means we should also be the solution,” she said.

Allori set out to set up offseason team building by combing the beaches.

“When she put it out on Team Snap, I was like, ‘that’s amazing that someone on our team would have that courage to say, ‘let’s go do something that helps us and helps the world be cleaner,’ so I was like, totally! I will cancel plans to do anything to be able to help with that,” said freshman Olivia Bunke.

Allori connected with Marc Ward of Sea Turtles Forever, an organization that has bene cleaning up the coast for a decade.

“He used filters to filter out the microplastics and it also creates a static charge that collects really tiny dust particles of plastic,” Allori said.

“We can’t keep doing this to our ocean, the damage being done to your marine food web is pretty much incalculable at this point,” said Ward.

Thirty-nine members of the Banks girls and boys teams banded together to sift out the junk at Treasure Cove in Manzanita.

“It was hard to see how much was there and to notice that just that little amount could kill so many birds,” said Bunke. “So it was cool that we were able to see the before and after of all that sand to notice that, when the microplastic was gone, we just saved the lives of 100 birds!”

The team collected 120 pounds of plastic on one August afternoon.

“It does affect us. We all have microplastics inside of us because we consume fish which have microplastics in them from eating the other organisms that consume them because they mistake them for food,” Allori said.

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The smallest things can make the biggest of changes.

“We are making a difference, even though it’s small, hopefully this can make a chain reaction and other people will start catching on,” said Allori.

Who should Nick Krupke spotlight next? If you know of a high school athlete doing good things on the field, in the classroom and in life, please send you High School Spotlight nomination for consideration to