Volume 31



Fall teams fill rosters

7th through 9th graders join girls’ volleyball, girls’ tennis, cross country, swimming, football, boys’ water polo, cheerleading, field hockey teams
Darlene Bible/Athletics
The girls’ tennis team preps for a match against Valencia High School at home on Sept. 22. The Wolverines defeated the Vikings 11-7.

“To put it simply, Harvard-Westlake is renowned for excellence in both academics and athletics. I believe that most of HW’s most impressive athletes started participating in HW sports as early as possible: in middle school,” Mia Morgan ’25 said.
Morgan is a JV tennis player who takes interest in recalling the origins of legendary Harvard-Westlake (HW) athletes’ careers.
“Many members of the HW community value the athletic programs that the middle school has to offer,” Natalie Ro ’25 said.
Ro, a dedicated HW volleyball player, recognizes students’ and families’ interest in HW middle school sports.
Middle school sports include girls’ volleyball, girls’ tennis, cross country, swimming, football, boys’ water polo, cheerleading and field hockey. Tryouts for fall sports in grades seven through nine ranged from starting in the middle of August to the middle of September. Coaches sought to establish their teams as soon as possible so that each player could receive guidance to reach their full potential in terms of physical performance and mental readiness.
Seventh and eighth graders practice at the middle school campus while most of the ninth graders practice at the upper school campus located in Studio City, California. Seventh and eighth grade athletic games or meets typically take place at the middle school campus as well. Ninth grade athletic games or meets are often held at the upper school campus.
“Ninth grade is when HW sports become less recreational and more competitive,” said Addison Carson ’25. Carson is a member of the Frosh volleyball team at HW and shares her personal experiences with the change in intensity of HW sports in ninth grade.
“Going into it, I thought that volleyball tryouts were going to be one of the scariest things because all the girls were so much older and so good,” Sophia Jun ’25 said. “When I actually got there and started doing the tryout, it was super nice because all the girls were super welcoming.” Jun, a freshman varsity volleyball player, believes that encouragement from teammates from the start helps create an optimistic team dynamic to win games and tournaments.
As the seasons progressed, HW athletes experienced great success, triumph and accomplishments but have also faced great challenges, adversity and defeat. Through the highs and lows of the seasons, HW athletes persevered in the face of hardship, built friendships as pillars of support and remained loyal to their teammates and coaches.
“The highlight of my season was my first water polo game, which we won,” Connor Kim ‘25 said. “It was a new experience for me. I was able to bond with my new teammates, especially the older ones who brought me in under their wing.” As a varsity water polo player, Kim remembers one of the brightest moments in his continuous season. Similar to Jun, Kim said that the team’s atmosphere is inclusive and cordial, which has clearly had early benefits to the program’s function and competitive outcomes.
Middle school sports tryouts and seasons are the foundation for young athletes to develop their skills in a competitive environment and establish avenues for athletic excellence, community morale and leadership roles as they shape their athletic careers at HW.

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