Wolverines sweep Homecoming games

Field hockey, boys’ water polo, football and girls’ volleyball win all JV, varsity contests on Oct. 2

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Nathan Wang '25

On Saturday, Oct. 2nd, varsity and JV teams won all five Homecoming games on Ted Slavin Field, Taper Gym and Copses Family Pool.

On Saturday, Oct. 2nd, Harvard-Westlake (HW) varsity and JV teams won all five Homecoming games on Ted Slavin Field, Taper Gym and Copses Family Pool.

HW teams defeated Marina High School in field hockey, Newport Harbor in water polo, Mary Star in football, Bishop Diego and Providence High School in volleyball in front of massive crowds.

In a poll sent out to HW students a week before Homecoming, 11.8% of respondents said they planned on going to the field hockey game. 22.6% of respondents were planning to go to the water polo game. 32.3% of respondents planned on going to the volleyball game, and 89.2% of respondents anticipated going to the football game. As expected, the Homecoming games experienced thousands of enthusiastic students and families.

“[The Homecoming water polo game] is an awesome opportunity for us to play in front … of friends and family,” Boys’ Water Polo Program Head Brian Flacks ’06 said. “It is an opportunity to … represent our school.”

Athletes are given the ability to show off their hard work and talent that they practice year-round.

“The Homecoming games are really important for the unity of the school to be able to show what these student-athletes work on day in and day out,” Girls’ Volleyball Program Head Natalie Morgan said.

The athletic teams are usually not given the acknowledgment they deserve for all their training.

“I think Homecoming is really important for the field hockey program because the players work really hard, and they rarely get the recognition or fan support they deserve,” Field Hockey Program Head Erin Creznic said. “Plus, it’s just a really fun and happy day for all that attend.”

“[The Homecoming football game] is a great way to show off all our hard work. It is really important for everyone to see that we are a successful program and that we’re really proud of who we are,” Football Program Head Aaron Huerta said.

The Homecoming games only happen once a year, making them attract large crowds.

“The games are a yearly tradition for the school,” JV water polo player Ryan You ’25 said.

The day of festivities began with the varsity field hockey game against Marina High School. HW had profound success and shutout the Marina High School Vikings. At halftime, HW was leading five to zero. The Wolverines finished the game nine zero, bringing the team’s overall record to 10 to two.

“I was very happy with the outcome,” Creznic said. “We’ve been lucky so far and haven’t lost a game at Homecoming, so I was glad we kept up that streak.”

The HW field hockey team puts in a lot of hard work to be one of the best teams in California. Their enduring success revolves around the team’s heavy devotion to the sport.

“We also have a lot of players that put in extra time year-round to improve their skills, which makes a huge difference,” Creznic said.

Similar to the field hockey team, the varsity water polo team bested Newport Harbor in a competitive game. The score went back and forth, but HW came out on top with a score of eight to seven.

“The team played really well. I think we were all a little nervous going into the game having just lost to Newport a few weeks before, but I think having all of the people there supporting us really helped,” varsity water polo player Jaxson Tierney ’23 said.

Even after a successful win against Newport, the HW water polo team is always looking for improvement.

“We had a good performance in our game but we can always do better,” varsity water polo player Jack Burghardt ’23 said.” [Still], I am proud of how we played, it was a lot of fun.”

The night continued with the girls’ varsity volleyball team beating Bishop Diego and Providence High School. The varsity team beat both Bishop Diego and Providence three to zero. The JV team secured another win against Bishop Diego with a final score of two to zero. Ultimately, HW won all three of their volleyball games.

“The biggest thing for me was watching [the team] come together,” Morgan said. “There were some things in practice we were working on that week that were translating into the game.”

“The team played well that day, but I think there’s definitely another level of play that we could’ve achieved on that day,” varsity volleyball player Kelsey Kim ’24 said. “Throughout the whole season though, I’m incredibly proud of our performance and grit.”

“I am so happy with how many fans turned up, the entire gym was packed and that energy carried through the night,” varsity volleyball player Kennedy Hill ’22 said.

Homecoming night came to an end with the varsity football game. HW beat Mary Star of the Sea High School 27-10 with hundreds of people watching from the bleachers and running track.

“I am very proud of my team and our performance. [We] really played [our] hearts out and I couldn’t ask for anything more,” varsity football player Alex Rho ’25 said.

Younger players on the varsity team outperformed many expectations and played with tremendous effort to win the game.

“A couple of guys were injured so a lot of our young guys stepped up,” Huerta said.

“I was lucky to have been able to join my team during homecoming,” Rho said. “One of our players got injured so I went in on defense as an outside linebacker.”

Like the other Homecoming games, the fan turnout was another highlight of the night.

“It was really good to see so many kids in the stands … cheering on their classmates,” Huerta said.