Mooney was a standout athlete for three years at Camas High School. As a junior, she was a key contributor to the girls soccer team that won the 4A state championship.
But the basketball season did not go so well for Mooney, who was home-schooled her sophomore and junior years while playing sports at Camas. Those facts led to her move to Seton for her senior year.
“I was just ready for something new,” Mooney said. “Camas was just not a good fit for me.”
The transition was made easier because she already knew her future teammates.
“I grew up playing soccer with Keira Williams, and she’s here at Seton,” Mooney said. “I got to reconnect with her and play with her again. And Hannah Hammerstrom, I went to kindergarten with her. So there were a bunch of these reconnections I was able to make this year.”
Those connections led to success in sports.
In soccer last fall, Seton Catholic finished second to La Center in the Trico League. Then the Cougars beat La Center in the district playoffs to clinch the school’s second state tournament berth.
“When we beat La Center in soccer to go to state, I just remember running up and hugging the goalie Hailey Hammerstrom,” Mooney said. “That was something the girls at Seton hadn’t experienced before, so it was great to experience that with them.”
In basketball, Mooney was the Trico League player of the year, leading the Cougars to a league co-championship, then helping the team clinch the first state tournament berth in school history.
Mooney said after a sub-par season in basketball her junior year that she had decided not to play sports in college.
But her experience at Seton changed that.
“This year, I just had such a good experience … I kind of fell in love with basketball again,” she said. “So I wanted to continue with that because I didn’t want it to be over.”
Mooney plans to study sports marketing and play basketball at College of Idaho.
With the encouragement of her friends, she took up track and field in the spring for the first time since sixth grade, competing in the long jump and placing sixth at the district meet.
“It was like learning something completely new, which was kind of nice,” Mooney said. “I’ve been used just playing soccer and basketball my whole life. That’s what I know. … But I wish I had done track before because I had a super good experience with it.”
In a way, a year at Seton changed her life.
“It was a great life lesson for me to learn at a young age that sometimes life will take you a different way, a way that I hadn’t planned,” she said.