Gabriel Aasland enjoys getting, staying involved
Staying busy, getting involved, and leading by example sounds like a nice, active path for a young man looking ahead to “what’s next.”
For Molalla High senior Gabriel Aasland, he is all those things and more. It’s why he’s been selected as the 2023 Pamplin Media Group Amazing Kid for the Molalla area.
“I’m very honored by it, and I’m glad to hear that there is an organization that honors people for the simple accomplishment of being a good and ‘amazing’ person,” Aasland said of the honor.
From sports to leadership, Aasland keeps his hand in multiple areas in the high school and the people and places he frequents outside MHS.
He has been involved in soccer and track for several years and discovered that the leadership skills he demonstrated on the field translate just fine to his first year as a member of the high school’s leadership class. He has some definite ideas about what that means.
“When I think of leaders, I think leading by example is my main focus,” Aasland said. “Also, part of leading is making sure you’re doing the right things all the time – doing the right thing even when no one sees it.”
Aasland started playing soccer as a kindergartner, then jumped into track in the sixth grade. He sees a definite difference between the two sports, which attracts him to each.
“I’ve always loved doing sports,” he said. “I’d always wanted to do track but had to wait until middle school. Soccer is a team sport, and you really have to learn to communicate and form bonds with the people you play with, which is pretty cool. Track is more about pushing yourself. I think my favorite part of it is trying to be your best and striving to improve. I also like seeing other people run. When we go to state, I feel like track is where you see incredible athletes all in one place – the best of the best.”
When walking the halls of Molalla High School, Aasland is not only a member of the leadership class but also president of the high school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter and a member of the National Honor Society.
He said that his work with FCA helps provide a place for his Christian faith to show through and bring a special atmosphere to the school. “I’m just trying to reach more high schoolers because I think high school is a hard time for some people. I want to help.”
In his spare time, Aasland said he’s up for anything that allows for a chance to socialize with his friends. He’s into snowboarding and braving the cold waters of the Oregon Coast for occasional surfing forays, and he recently joined some friends for his first axe-throwing adventure.
A self-aware young man, Aasland said he’s made it a point to be aware of the people around him and hopes he’s learned some valuable lessons from them.
“Instead of learning from your own mistakes, learn from other people’s,” he explained. “It’s important to be able to see people that have taken the steps ahead of you and apply what you learn.”
Aasland plans to continue pursuing his love of sports by earning a degree in exercise science, emphasizing sports performance, when he starts at Grand Canyon University in the fall. The long-term goal, he said, is to be an athletic trainer at a school so he can stay involved in sports. Additionally, coaching track and field at some point is another option that intrigues him.
“I know me, and for me, a desk job wouldn’t do it,” he said. “That’s just not for me.”
Looking back at his time at Molalla High School, Aasland said his regret is that he knows he could have gotten more out of it. As a freshman, he didn’t go to many games or activities, and he said that if he had it to do all over again, he’d have gotten more involved early in his high school career.
“I like being involved, helping, and just enjoying all these experiences,” he said.