The girls’ soccer team is very young this year: it even has a freshman co-captain, Natalie Brown.
Brown said coach George Champayne made her co-captain because of her experience in competitive soccer outside of school and her leadership skills.
The girls had their first scrimmage on March 10, which they lost 1-3, and another on March 13, which they tied 2-2. Their first season game is on March 18.
Champayne said the team has strong players, such as sophomore goalies Julia Owaidat and Emily Berke, and he thinks the team could finish first or second.
“It’s exciting to see that we’ve had a little more talent than in years before,” he said.
Fourteen girls showed up to the March 10 scrimmage, with three on the bench. The others had conflicting obligations that prevented them from being able to attend.
“If we had all our team members, we could have been the victor,” Champayne said.
Sophomore Madison Judd agrees that the players got tired.
“If we learn to conserve our energy a little bit more, I think we’ll do fine,” she said.
Junior co-captain Melissa Vazquez and Brown agreed that the team ran out of energy due to their lack of substitutes.
Despite the team’s talent, Champayne has not yet assigned positions to all of the players.
“Coach George has a (general) idea for what the lineup is, but hasn’t decided exactly,” Vasquez said. “We haven’t had people working specifically for positions because of that.”
Brown said the practices have been relaxed due to the low attendance.
“We’ve been working on individual skills, so George has been helping each person with their ‘struggles,’” she said.
The swim team placed last at their first meet at Jesuit High School, March 6.
“It’s not that we did badly—it’s just that we only have two swimmers,” junior Lauren Larrabee said.
Junior Claire Pinson explained that she and Larrabee most likely won’t place as a team but they can individually qualify for the finals.
Both Pinson and Larrabee also swim on more competitive U.S.A. teams.
Pinson swims for DART (Davis-Arden Hills Rac- ing Team), practicing every morning for two hours.
Pinson said she swims at a much higher level than normal high-school students.
“If they competed with our team, it would be like an elementary school kid coming to high school,” she said.
After taking a year off, Larrabee has just started swim- ming again for STAS (Spare Time Aquatics Sacramento).
“I did swimming for 11 years, and I did it for so long that I got burned out,” she said. “I realized when I visited colleges that I wanted to swim again.”
Despite the break, Larrabee got some of her best times at the first meet, improving her 50m freestyle by one second.
“Maybe it was good taking a break,” she said.
Both Larrabee and Pinson said that the high-school meets are mainly for extra practice.
Balls bouncing, shoes squeaking on the court, racquets swishing—the air is filled with the sounds of tennis at Rio del Oro Racquet Club.
Even though the team has lost its two matches, with last year’s singles’ champions returning on both the men’s and women’s sides (junior Caroline Mehta and sophomore Johann Dias), they are poised to have an improved season.
Standing in their way is a lack of practice—only a few people have showed up to the 7 a.m. practices, according to coach Haitham Batarseh.
Mehta lost her first singles match of the sea- son against the Forest Lake Falcons, March 11, and attributed it to her lack of practice.
However, she won her singles match against Highlands on March 13, 6-4, 6-1.
And Dias defeated his Falcons’ opponent with little exertion, 6-0, 6-2.
“The entire league is pretty easy for me,” said Dias, who practices daily for 4-5 hours. “But if I get to the last few rounds of playoffs, the competition will definitely become more challenging.”
Other members are working to get better now.
Junior Emma Williams and freshman Elena Lipman won their first doubles match but lost 1-10 on March 14 against Highlands.
“A lot of our mistakes happen when either we are both going for the ball at the same time or we both think the other person is going to get it,” Williams said.
The Cavaliers will return to action in their next match on Thursday, March 20, against Golden Sierra.
Track and Field
Track and field had its first meet of the season, March 9. Only a handful of students competed: sophomore Adam Ketchum and seniors Abi Pantoja, Ryan Ho and Charlie Johnson. Others had conflicts with drama and music.
Despite coming in last in the 100-meter, Ho beat his personal record by a little over a tenth of a second. Pantoja also finished last, but as this was her first competition, she has room to improve.
Of 49 boys competing in the 400-meter, Ketchum and Johnson finished second-to-last and fifth-to-last respectively.
They may not be in it to win, however.
“I don’t really have any large aspirations, aside from just improving,” Johnson said. “I really just joined because I enjoy physical activity.
“Running is a bit of a love/hate thing. I enjoy running, but the pain that sometimes accompanies it isn’t always too enjoyable.”
Pantoja agrees with Johnson’s aspirations.