Winter Sports Prep for Title Runs

Rachel Jin, Staff Writer

With 2 victories, including a home win over Northgate, the girls’ soccer season is already off to a strong start. The squad was difficult to make this year with a surplus of returning players in addition to many newcomers. Sophomore center midfielder Kaylee Johns practiced extensively in preparation for tryouts. “I would practice literally every single day of the summer for tryouts for varsity,” she said.

Boys’ varsity soccer beat Mission San Jose 2-0. Unlike the girls’ team, the boys squad has lost many players to club programs as well as graduation. “Last year we had a very good team, very strong, very bold. We lost 16 seniors and 4 juniors to Academy [a soccer club] and other schools,” said junior outside-backer Shea Danforth.

“This is really a building year,” said Danforth. “I think the players pushed each other to get better, knowing that we’re going to have to work harder to win games this season.” One highlight is the addition of Spanish exchange student Isidoro Gamero.

The girls’  basketball season is off to an auspicious start as well. Player Jessica O’Reilly, 1 of 5 freshmen on varsity, said that pre-season activities were extensive. “We trained all summer doing open gyms and conditioning,” she said.

O’Reilly hopes that the grade range on the team will be an asset. “Since there’s such a big age gap between seniors and freshman, I think there should be a lot of communication,” she said.

The boys’ varsity basketball team opened their season with a 67-45 victory over Redwood. The team is awaiting the return of a few players still involved with fall sports. Junior forward Sterling Strothers said, “I have not done anything with the basketball team during football season.”

“Football helps basketball just from a physical standpoint. Most basketball guys aren’t accustomed to the physicality that you see in football, so if you can bring that to the basketball court, then that helps your game,” Strothers said.

Wrestlers were also working before the start of the official winter season.  “I went to a couple of camps,” sophomore Avery Novick said. “One in San Diego and one at Stanford [University], every Sunday and Wednesday after school.”

In addition to collegiate camps, the team offered its own preseason conditioning sessions. “We had open gyms Monday through Thursday, and sometimes I would go to 24 hour fitness and work out,” said Novick.

In addition to league and section titles, some players have more specific statistical goals. “I want to go to as many games as a defensive unit without allowing a goal,” said Danforth.

Other goals are rooted in camaraderie. Jessica O’Reilly wants to get to know everyone on her team.