Northwest Herald Athletes of the Week for Oct. 7-13


Lindsay Cunningham and Isha Desai, Jacobs, girls tennis

Cunningham and Desai won the No. 1 doubles bracket at the Fox Valley Conference tournament and guided Jacobs to the team title. Cunningham and Desai defeated the defending FVC doubles champions (Cary-Grove’s Alina Krembuszewski and Karina Los) in the championship match, 6-1, 6-0.

They were voted Northwest Herald Female Athletes of the Week by readers and took a few minutes to answer questions from sports reporter Sean Hammond.

What was it like winning No. 1 doubles at the FVC?

Cunningham: We were playing really well together and we had a lot of fun. It was really exciting to come out on top.

Desai: I felt pretty proud because we’ve been working hard for a long time and it really paid off.

Who are your biggest tennis influences?

Cunningham: Professionally, I lover Roger Federer. He has such good sportsmanship and he’s such a good player. I’ve also always looked up to my dad [Scott Cunningham] because he played tennis in high school. He’s been an inspiration to me.

Desai: My coach [Jon Betts] and Serena Williams. And my peers who also play tennis. They push me to be better.

What’s your go-to pregame meal?

Cunningham: Usually just a granola bar.

Desai: A peanut butter sandwich.

Who’s your funniest teammate?

Cunningham: Lindsey Taylor. She always makes jokes and makes me laugh at practice.

Desai: Kaya Trumbo. Sometimes we share a lot of jokes and think the same things are funny.

What’s a sport you were never good at?

Cunningham: Soccer.

Desai: Baseball or soccer.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Cunningham: Slow walkers.

Desai: Eating with your mouth open.

What’s a place you’ve never been to but would like to visit?

Cunningham: Hawaii.

Desai: Italy.

What are three of your favorite movies?

Cunningham: “High School Musical,” “Toy Story” and “Monsters, Inc.”

Desai: “The Lion King,” “High School Musical” and “Jumanji.”


Damon Mueller, Harvard, football

Harvard senior Damon Mueller had a huge game last week in the Hornets’ 29-20 loss to Johnsburg.

Mueller picked off three passes on defense, and completed 12-of-20 passes for 189 yards in the second half. Harvard usually stays on the ground a lot in its option offense, but threw because it fell behind.

Mueller was voted to the Friday Night Drive Team of the Week for his three picks, and was selected Northwest Herald Male Athlete of the Week by the readers.

He tackled a few questions from sports writer Joe Stevenson about his big performance, among other things.

What do you remember most about your performance in last week’s game?

Mueller: I remember my teammate and best friend, Anthony Palella went down with an injury and the rest of the team and myself played the rest of the game for him.

Who is the most famous person you have taken a picture with?

Mueller: Rob Gronkowski, at his football camp in Boston.

What is your most prized possession?

Mueller: My autographed Kevin Durant Supersonics jersey because he is my favorite basketball player.

If you could play football at any college, where would it be?

Mueller: I would have to say LSU, I’ve been a Tigers’ fan my whole life.

Which of your teammates really inspires you?

Mueller: All my teammates as a whole inspire me and push me to be my best, but if I had to choose a couple it would be Marco Vasquez and Anthony Palella for their incredible work ethics in the offseason and during the season as well.

What is your favorite pregame meal?

Mueller: A turkey bacon spinach wrap and a chocolate chip cookie from Subway.

What scares you?

Mueller: I look forward to the future as far as continuing my academic and athletic career in college, but sometimes it does scare me a little because it is a big step in life and it is going to be quite upsetting leaving all my amazing teammates and coaches.

What is your favorite class?

Mueller: Human Anatomy and Physiology. It challenges me and I learn a lot about the medical field from that class, which is what I am planning to pursue in college.

Is there any significance to your uniform number?

Mueller: I consider No. 9 a family number. My father, grandfather and many more family members wore it growing up in multiple sports and it has stuck with me since.

What would be your dream job?

Mueller: Playing in the NFL, but more realistically either being an FBI agent or a family practitioner.

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