Titan spirit blazes as season comes to close

Girls’ Basketball:

The girls’ varsity basketball team has had a fairly successful season so far, with a current overall record of 14-5 and league record of 8-2. According to senior Cat Perez, co-captain of the team, the girls have done an admirable job at keeping the scoreboard close in all of their games. They are currently ranked third in their division.

The team recently played Milpitas High School on Feb. 7 and came out victorious, winning by 37 points with a final score of 54-17. The team started the season off strong and is working on combining individual efforts to win their games, according to head Coach Sarah Stapp. “Everyone out [on the court] has to play a role; one thing I can do is stress teamwork,” Stapp said.

According to Perez, the players have acquired much more experience this season and have delivered many wins with their formidable defensive plays. “Our defense is our strong point, and it differs depending on the opponent and what defense they are playing,” Perez said.

For the remainder of the season, Stapp is working on more aggressive offense-minded plays with her team for the rest of the season. “I want our players to be more aggressive [out on the court],” Stapp said.

Boys’ Basketball:
The boys’ basketball team is working hard in preparation for the League Championships and are looking to improve off of last season’s plays. With a record of 7-13 overall and 2-7 in league, the team is still working on mastering its new offensive plays for the rest of the season. They will continue to rely on the expertise of a new coach, Michael Ferolino, who coached at Jane Lanthrop Stanford Middle School and was last year’s JV girls’ basketball coach.

Though the boys are defense-oriented, according to senior Malik Gill, Ferolino emphasized the need to improve field goal percentage, decreases in turnovers and positive assist-turnover ratios.  In addition, senior Nick Kao says the team needs to work on communicating and executing their plays.

According to Ferolino, senior Keenan Venuti, junior Max Girod and sophomore Patrick Skelly have gone above and beyond his expectations this season. With many skillful players like them, the boys’ team has qualified for league championships and will continue to train and aspire to achieve their goals in order to come through with a successful season. “Our goal every year will be to compete for league championships and advance to CCS,” Ferolino said.

—Compiled by Wonhee Park

Girls’ Soccer:

With a current record of 5-9-1, the girls’ soccer team hopes to keep up its steady pace and finish in the top four of the Santa Clara Valley Athletics League (SCVAL) De Anza Division.         The team has been continuously gaining momentum since the start of the season. “We have a good balance between youth and seniority, a quick attack, and an every-improving back line,” head coach Damian Cohen wrote in an email. “Most importantly, we have two captains who are willing to give the team everything and a no-quit attitude as a whole.”

Cohen stresses how teamwork has improved the players’ abilities, and cites it as one of the team’s most effective skills. “When we act as a team, support one another, and give our opponent hell, we have a reason to smile,” he wrote.

Other objectives for the remainder of the season include finishing with more wins than losses and scoring more points in total than their opposing teams. “We’re working on having greater composure on the ball and speeding up our overall game play,” Cohen said.

Their next match will be an away game on Feb. 25 against Mountain View.

Boys’ Soccer:

After a 2-0 win over the Palo Alto Vikings, the boys’ soccer team is on track to complete yet another strong season in the SCVAL De Anza division.
With a 5-4-1 record in the De Anza Division and 8-6-3 overall, the team is adapting well to their new coach, Jill Naylor. “Varsity is a completely different team compared to last year,” senior Andriy Khrustalyov said. “We only have a couple veterans on the team, a new coach, a new mentality and a new practice schedule. Pretty much everything is different.”

Despite the new start, the team has bonded well and players enjoy friendly rivalries among each other. “We have a lot of good players for many positions so the competition is always high,” Khrustalyov said. “This motivates us to compete for our positions as nothing is ever promised on the field.”
The team’s newfound formidability may be attributed to their athletic improvement as well as their recent additions. “Our fitness levels are up, and our one-two touch is getting really strong,” Naylor said.

The team has set lofty goals for itself for the remainder of the season. “During a whiteboarding session, we came up with a big list, and we essentially agreed that we wanted to make it to CCS,” Naylor said. “In terms of our team mentality, we want to continue our confidence, improve our focus, and have true grit.”
Their next match will be a home game against Mountain View on Wednesday, Feb. 15.

Wrestling:

During an impressive showing at the Mid-Cal Invitational at Gilroy High School on Jan. 21, the wrestling team placed sixth out of a total of 64 schools, earned five individual medals and stands poised for yet another remarkable season. The team has a current overall record of 4-1 and a league record of 2-1.
With several promising underclassmen, the team has high hopes for the rest of the winter season. “I was actually very impressed with the new varsity team members,” junior Blaze Lee said. “There are a bunch of freshmen and sophomores who [have] started on varsity this year [and have] got off to a strong start since the beginning of the season.”

However, the team’s greatest strength is the coaches’ emphasis on endurance. “We have great coaches, and they push us to not give up when we’re tired,” Lee said. “As a result, we’ve won a lot of points by outlasting our opponents.

Currently, the team’s goals are to finish high in the De Anza division standings and perform well at the SCVAL Finals. “We have the potential to place first in SCVALs in our league this year,” Lee said. “We’re doing even better than we were last year, and we just need to keep up our strong performance.”

The team aspires to fulfill their three basic aims during every day of practice. “Our general goals are to have fun, improve every day and get in better shape,” coach Chris Horpel wrote in an email. “I would say that we are doing all three almost daily.”

On Feb. 2, the team beat the Fremont Cardinals by thirty-two points with a final score of 50-18. Their next meet will be the Central Coast Sectionals Preliminary Round at Independence High School on Tuesday, Feb. 24.

—Compiled by Rani Shiao

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