Titans blast through winter season with high CCS hopes

Written by: Lawrence Chen, Alex Man and Alvin Wang

Girls’ Soccer:

The girls’ soccer team has an overall record of 1-8-3 and 0-6-1 in the De Anza League. Head coach Juan Mayora sees much improvement that can be made for the team. “The season is not going as smooth as I had hoped,” Mayora said. “Lack of teamwork by the team is hurting our season. But the girls are working hard and will find a way to get it done.”

Seeing how the girls are doing, Mayora has set realistic resolutions for the remainder of their year. “Our goals for the season are to] continue to work on teamwork and consistency and win enough games to stay in the division,” Mayora said. “We are working on fitness, skill and understanding how to play together.”

Mayora encourages students to come out and support the team in their next home game against Palo Alto on Jan. 30 at 5 p.m.

 

Boys’ Basketball:

The boys’ basketball team had a disappointing start to the new year and currently has a 4-12 record overall and a 1-4 record in the El Camino League. “It hasn’t gone as we expected, and we are learning from the results of each game,” head coach Mike Ferolino said. “As long as we are improving, we are heading in the right direction.”

According to junior shooting guard Patrick Skelly, the team has gone up against competitive teams at their tournaments. “It’s been tough, and we’ve had plenty of heartbreakers,” Skelly said. “We lost by a total of six points in those games, even though we tied going into the fourth quarter for all of those games.”

Despite the difficult beginning, junior point guard Michael Hwang feels that the team has good chemistry. “Our team loves playing with each other, and the wins will come on their own,” he said.

The loss of senior center Max Girod has become a setback as well. “Without his height, it’s easy for the other team to get buckets inside,” Skelly said.

The boys’ next game will take place at home on Jan. 29 against Los Altos High School.

Girls’ Basketball:

With a promising overall record of 10-5, the girls’ basketball team is likely on its way to Central Coast Section (CCS) like last year.

Despite the loss of four seniors, the team has stayed as one solid unit in the ongoing season, and head coach Sarah Stapp has high hopes of winning CCS. “The girls are playing really hard,” Stapp said. “I’m pretty fortunate, as they’ve had good relationships on and off court.”

After winning the first two league games by a large margin, the team is expecting to face better competition later. “We still have a lot to go,” Stapp said. “Those were probably the two easiest teams.”

Senior forward Sarah Klem feels the same about the season and thinks that getting past setbacks is a goal too. “The season is going pretty well, though there are definite obstacles we will need to overcome to be successful,” Klem said. “Even though we lost some great players, we gained players who moved up and also current players who have really stepped up from last year.”

 

Boys’ Soccer:

The boys’ soccer team has a solid 2-3-2 record in the De Anza League.

However, team captain senior Ben Sampson believes there is much more to improve on as the team is still relatively young. “We are looking to get better at working together and being consistent,” he said.

One of the team’s major setbacks is the injuries players have sustained throughout the season. “We’ve been hit with a plethora of injuries so we need to fill some gaps quickly,” Sampson said.

Looking optimistically into the season, Sampson has high goals set for the team. “Our first goal is to make it to Central Coast Section,” Sampson said. “The Gunn team hasn’t been there since before any of us were at this school, so we’re all itching to get there.”

The team’s next home game is against Los Gatos on Feb. 1 at 3:30 p.m.

Wrestling: 

The wrestling team continues the season with an overall record of 1-0 in league and 3-1 overall. Although the team has lost crucial seniors, new freshmen have already filled in the vacant spots.

“We have a lot of good freshmen this year,” head coach Christopher Horpel said. “Freshmen and other first-year wrestlers who look good so far include [senior] Dino Soto, and [freshmen] Tanner Kerrins and Larry Li.”

The team has been training intensely in order to prepare itself against tough opponents. Horpel set up a rigid training routine to ready his wrestlers physically and mentally.

“Practices are always a combination of drilling techniques we know, learning some new things, and wrestling live,” Horpel said. “As the season progresses, we cut down on the new things we learn and do more live wrestling.  Conditioning is also part of practice every day.”

Each wrestler has a unique goal set in mind that he or she has been training hard to achieve.

“I wanted to have an undefeated dual record and a better overall tournament record than last year,” junior Cadence Lee said. “I took first place in the Lynn Dyche tournament. Unfortunately after, I had my first loss in the San Ramon tournament which I took third place in.”

Meanwhile, senior Darrion Yang is primarily focused on his game mentality. “My main goal this season is to improve my mental toughness so I would be able to deal with exhaustion and fatigue better during my matches,” he said. “I hope to place in SCVALs and then qualify to wrestle in CCS.”

While some may try to achieve the glory of winning, Horpel simply wants his wrestlers to have fun. “My goals are the same every year: get better and enjoy the process,” Horpel said.  “If we do this every day, winning a lot will be a natural by-product.”

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