A spotlight on the Times’ bay area players of the week.
Female Hot Shot: Alexandra Aitchison, East Lake
Skinny: Aitchison, a distance specialist, has become East Lake’s best female swimmer in the postseason, as evidenced by her performance at the 4A-6 district meet, where she won the 200 free (1:47.42) and 500 free (4:47.11) and was on the winning 200 free and 400 free relays. She followed that up by winning both of her individual events at regionals. It is more than Aitchison expected when she moved here from Arizona over the past summer. “The level of competition is so much greater in this area and it has pushed me to a whole new level,” she said. Aitchison also helped the Eagles make up for the loss of Sydney Pickrem, the defending state 200 IM champion who missed the first two postseason meets because she was competing at an international meet.
Male Hot Shot: Michael Ford, Tarpon Springs
Skinny: In last Friday’s regular-season finale, Ford ran with conviction, with a lowered shoulder and shifty, his legs pumping with fury in the same manner that helped him become a 1,000- yard rusher this season. Most of all, Ford made the most of his limited action, scoring five touchdowns (four rushing, one receiving) on 10 touches in a 63-32 victory over Dixie Hollins. “It was our last home game of the regular season, and we needed to do something to give us confidence going into the playoffs,” said Ford, who finished with 167 yards rushing on eight carries and 56 receiving on two catches. “I felt like I had a good game in me because I felt healthy.” Ford had played through a nagging shoulder injury for the past month.