FALL SPORTS SPOTLIGHT

Graschelle Hipolito, Editor-in-Chief

After the success of the majority of Bear Creek’s athletic department due to last year’s SJAA league change, fall sports teams are hopeful at the prospect of bringing home league titles in several sports.

FOOTBALL:
The varsity football team, with the installment of a new synthetic turf field, hopes to improve its record this season and bring the long-awaited football banner to the gym.

“My predictions for this season is to go 7-3 or 6-4,” senior left offensive tackle Jacob Stewart said. “Win or lose, though, I know we’ll play a hard-fought season.”

Last season, the varsity team was named the stingiest defense in the SJAA. Following last season’s 4-6 record, varsity football captains, Stewart and seniors Adrian Chavez, Jonathan Bondoc and defensive back Darius Livingston, and lineman Tevita Esau, plan to take stronger initiative to lead the team to playoffs.

“Ways we can improve from last year is to not give out in the fourth quarter and play the same way we did in the first quarter, despite how exhausted we are,” Stewart said. “We have to play with heart and not be mentally weak.”

Coach Reggie Camp has not disclosed the varsity quarterback, but the first game is scheduled for August 28 at Lodi’s Grape Bowl against Lodi High. *results from game will be updated* The team will face last season’s SJAA league champions, Caesar Chavez High, at home on October 9; senior night will close the season on November 6 against school rival McNair High.

CROSS COUNTRY:
Cross country also follows a successful season; last year’s varsity girls finished with a 10-0 record, with varsity boys going 6-4 last season.

“I’m excited to work with the returning junior members of the team because they were successful with winning their league title last year,” senior Adam Brooks said. “I hope to give [the team] confidence, always run my hardest, and give it my all. I expect them to go above and beyond to go far this season.”

Lauren Fromm, former XC coach for Lodi High, has joined the team as a new coach, alongside returning coaches Jason Johnson and Stanley Wells.

“I expect full dedication to get that banner this year,” senior Rydell Donato, last season’s XC varsity boys captain, said. “I think our thirst for the league title will ultimately drive not only the top runners, but the entire varsity team, to take it to the next level.”

Last season, Donato suffered from tendonitis in the knee and was unable to compete in meets, but said he feels more mentally and physically disciplined to stay healthy for full participation this season.

Varsity boys said that Stagg, who took the league title over Bear Creek, is their most anticipated meet and fuels their hope for redemption from last season.

WATER POLO:
Both varsity boys and girls water polo teams set a 9-0 record and are determined to continue their triumphant streak as league champions.

“I predict that we will come first in the league this season, possibly make it past the first round of sections, and rank top three in most of the tournaments we are signed up for,” varsity water polo captain senior Mason Aguila said. “As a team captain, I hope to carry my team by acting as a more aggressive player and role model for younger or less experienced players.”

The boys varsity team has a new coach, Tom Downer, who has been an active assistant for Bear Creek’s aquatic programs for many years.

“A lot of new players have never played or have very little experience in even swimming, but we plan on working with them as a team to improve them as players to bring success to the team,” Aguila said.

As for varsity girls, many players have played travel polo over the summer to gain more experience and contribute a higher skill level to the team.

“I feel that we are going to be better conditioned this year in comparison to last year,” junior Jenna Collins said. “I hope to improve as a team by working together and being able to anticipate each other’s moves and motives in the game.”

VOLLEYBALL:
After setting a 10-0 record last season, the varsity volleyball team hopes to maintain its league championship title.

“We have a talented group of girls on the team ranging from sophomores to seniors, so it’s going to be fun seeing how we all mesh together,” middle blocker senior Delcie Coulter said. “I can only hope for our players to be on their A-game and to give it my all for my last season on the court.”

Players said that “can’t miss” games of the season will be the foundation game at Lodi High on August 31 *will update results before going to press* and the home game against Caesar Chavez High on October 15.

“The year, we plan on making it even further in playoffs and it’s very possible as long as we all want it, which we do,” senior Hailee Kirkwood said.

GOLF:
As another undefeated league champion, the majority of last year’s varsity girls golf team has returned to play this season.

“As a team, we [will] fight to defend our title as league champions,” junior Shelby Bartlett said. “I believe that our team will be prepared, more so than ever, to take that championship title once again.” *has yet to reply with her best score*

Bartlett said that a “can’t miss” match will be against Franklin on September 17 and again on October 6.

SOCCER:
With a league record of 0-10, varsity boys soccer has not experienced the same success as other sports teams. However, the team has high hopes for improvement.

Despite the loss of alumni offensive center/forward Shaun Sandhu and left defender Sam Park, the team has acquired new talent in defender Cresencio Cruz, defender Edgar Cardenas, and attacking center Charles Brewah.

“Most of our players have played with each other in past seasons, so our team chemistry is really strong,” forward and right outside midfielder senior Ryan Cordova said. “Our coaches [coaches Rodney Mocencio and Carlos Rivas] are the same as last year and have done an excellent job running the team as well.”

Cordova said that the team’s defense has strongly improved, especially with the addition of new talent.

“Our league for soccer is very tough so we have to play hard every game. Franklin, Chavez, and Stagg are probably the biggest threats,” Cordova said.

TENNIS:
Varsity girls tennis, with new head coach Gayle Litz, anticipate improvement and to make it to championships this season. *waiting on last season’s record from coach*

“I think Coach Litz is more organized and good-spirited, doesn’t single out players, tries to teach everyone the game, and we’ve seen a lot of improvements,” top singles player senior Iyanna Mayo said.

Players said that the team’s conditioning has been tougher, such as more running and jump roping, to improve their stamina in preparation for matches.

“I hope to carry our team by being upbeat, not discouraging one another, and being a good influence to the new players,” Mayo said. “Hopefully we have 2015 up on that banner this season.”