Girls golf is back at it

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Team captain Josie Baker tees off.

By Maxine Zuriff ’22

The varsity girls golf team started off the year by winning many victories. Head coach Marge Chamberlain is focusing all her time on the varsity team, which consists of eight girls. The team began training during the summer and has been working hard to keep up the wins. During the spring, middle school golf will start. The middle school golf team consists of seventh and eighth graders. Although golf is an individual sport, the girls work together to make themselves better players and support each other no matter what.

During the varsity team’s first match on Sept. 7 against Chaminade, they won by a score of 187 to 272. Team captain Josie Baker ‘18 shot an even par of 36, and Daisy Wan ‘20 shot one under par and made three birdies during the match. The team’s second match was against Louisville High School. The girls won 188 to 286. Baker scored one under par with two birdies.

The girls played their first mission league match on Sept. 19 and took the win. Wan took the lead carding three under 33 with two birdies and one eagle.  Katie Kennedy ‘21 had her best round of the season so far with a 37.

Yet another victory from the varsity girls on Sept. 26, winning their fourth match against Notre Dame, 187-205. Wan was the top player at the end of the match, achieving her top score during the season so far.  Skylar Graham ’20 and Baker both scored an even par 34 while Kimberly Wan ’21 fired off a 39.

The varsity team competes in division games, a mid-season tournament, a final tournament and the CIF championship. Since 2015, the team has not lost a single divisional match.

“Playing varsity golf is so much fun. The upperclassman are so nice and supportive and fun to be around. Being on varsity golf has made me an all-around better golfer and has been a great experience so far,” Kennedy said.

The JV team consists of five girls. So far their season has started out slow, coming in sixth place during the Mission League match. They have been practicing a lot to achieve a better outcome.

Despite having such a small team, the girls work hard and always have a good time. Chamberlain has been helping the girls improve their golf game.

“I love playing on team with five members because so far it has made us closer. Everyone is so supportive to one another,” Natalie Phillips ‘21 said.

 

 

Field Hockey Teams Train Hard

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Field hockey player, Erin Lee ’18 lunges in to get the ball.

By Lucas Lee ’21

The varsity field hockey team is undefeated with a 8-0 record.  They are undefeated and haven’t given up any points this season.  The team has had numerous shutout games but are still trying to make improvements.

The Wolverines play in the Sunset League in which they play league teams twice and non-league teams once.  After a successful six games in non-league, they are preparing for league.

“We are undefeated because we work really hard, we care about improving every game and we don’t care about individual stats,” Goalie Caitlyn Dovel ‘21 said.

The junior varsity team is 3-3-1.  They are happy with their performance but want to do better.

When it came to making improvements midseason.  “We are practicing to do better and I feel like [the team is] motivated to do better,” Forward Penny Juarez ‘21 said.

Practices involve drills on passing and cardio.  They are working on ball movement because it is key to their offense and scoring.  “The most difficult part of practice is running,” Mid Sarah Maniscalco ‘21 said.

Despite the arduous practices, she said, “I have fun learning from older people on the team and learning their skills…. We are focused and really care about each other.  We have fun nicknames like T-sway, Twilight and Nicolee-Olee-Olee” Mid Maniscalco said.

“The team is very upbeat, bright, and extremely, energetic.  Most of the team is very big on dancing and blasting loud music wherever we go, and there is always a good atmosphere around us.  I’d also say that we are one of the closest teams on and off the field; we’re all pretty good friends, so we work really well together on the field,” Defense Iris Huang ‘21 said.

The freshman team is 0-2.  Despite the rough start they are working on improvements.  The young team is growing and gaining experience.  The atmosphere is different than the middle school setting, but they are adjusting to it.

“I really enjoy the team.  I feel like I thrive in the team atmosphere.  The coaches are also really caring and are there for me.  In all, it is very supportive and I love the facilities.” said Midfielder Scarlett Heyes ‘21

 

Cross Country Kicks off With a Great Start

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Coaches instruct athletes before the competition begins.

By Eugean Choi ’21

The varsity cross country team has started off strong with the boys earning a second place win and the girls earning a first place win at Griffith Park on Sept. 26.

“We are very pleased with what we have done so far. Our early season has been excellent and definetely on path to where we want to go this year,” Cross Country and Track Program Head Jonas Koolsbergen ’83 said.

The boys varsity team consists of 11 runners, and the girls varsity team is comprised of seven runners. Varsity teams meet almost every day of the week and are always training for their next meet. With such a small team, the team members agree that their teamwork is excellent. Team members have said that they help and care for one another.

“Our team’s atmosphere and our team’s closeness is excellent; the athletes and runners care about each other deeply. Our team vibe is excellent,” Koolsbergen said.

In the JV team’s 2016 season, the boys won second place while the girls won third. There are around 30 runners on the JV squad. The JV boys cross country team has repeatedly won second place against Loyola. Beating Loyola and winning first place would mean that they would be able to go to the state tournament.

“I think that we are pretty good. I wish that we would make it to state this year. If we are able to beat Loyola, we can compete in State,” JV runner Isaac Dienstag ’21 said.

The middle school team consists of seventh and eighth graders, and many of them are experiencing competitive running for the first time. The girls have won first place in both of the meets that they have attended, while the boys have placed fourth at both. Their first competition was at Pierce College, and their second competition on Sept. 28 was at Rancho Park. Their most recent competition was on Tuesday at Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, but results were unavailable as of press time.

Coaches have said that they are proud and happy for their team.

“I just want to see the kids grow.  Some of them are running for the first time, so I just hope that they can learn as much as they can,” ninth grade dean and Assistant Coach Colby Plath said.

 

 

Boys Water Polo Starts Strong

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Varsity water polo players players huddle for a strategy discussion before their game.

By Jadiev Pant ’21

The varsity boys water polo team started off the season with a 8-5 record. The team recently came off a third place finish in the S & R Elite 8 Tournament, which was from Sept. 14 to Sept. 17. They are preparing for the big Loyola homecoming game, which is on Saturday Oct. 7. The JV team has started the season off with a 6-7 record.

Even though the Wolverines have taken early losses in the season, they have the talent to make a deep run in the CIF playoffs. The team has a very difficult schedule, as many of their opponents are ranked nationally. The boys water polo team is a top five team in the nation, which means they will always be CIF title contenders. This year they are led by goalie Sam Krutonog ’18, attacker Jacob Cohn ‘18, attacker Gabe Kaplan ‘18 and attacker Keller Maloney ‘18. This year the team is younger, as many sophomores and juniors are receiving key playing time, which means that the future looks bright for the boys varsity team. The team has set very high goals for themselves this year, and they know they can accomplish them.

“ Our goal, as it is every year, is to be the best team w`e can possibly be. More tangibly, our goal is always to win a mission league championship, and a CIF D1 championship,” Maloney said.

The JV team is made up of freshmen, sophomores and upperclassmen. Many of the players are on both varsity and JV squads. The team is very young and have shown signs of improvement. Their improvement can be credited to the fact that they practice with the varsity team. They have had success this year, as they were second place in the Agoura JV tournament. The JV team wants to win all their league games this year, and that goal may be true as they defeated Notre Dame 21-2 on Sept. 27.

“Our coaching staff is pushing us really hard and we are having a lot of practices and just hoping to get better and win some games,”JV attacker Shay Gillearn ‘21 said.

 

VARSITY PROFILES: John Cahill ’20, Namlhun Jachung ’20, Henry Sanderson ’20, Mason Hooks ’20

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JOHN CAHILL ’20

Varsity Wrestling

What is your favorite part about wrestling?

“My favorite thing about wrestling is beating the other team and working hard everyday to improve myself at my sport.”

Who do you admire as a wrestler and why? 

“The person I look up to the most as a wrestler is probably Jordan Burroughs. He is a wrestler that went to the Olympics for team U.S.A., and he’s really good.”

 

NAMLHUN JACHUNG ’20

Varsity Girl’s Waterpolo

When did you start playing water polo and why?

“I actually started this year because it looked really interesting, and I wanted to try something new and play a team sport.”

What is it like playing with upper school students?

“All the girls on the water polo team are really fun, but they also know when to be serious. They’re really good role models for balancing their athletic life and their school life, and they guide us [freshmen] a lot.”

 

HENRY SANDERSON ’20

Varsity Boy’s Soccer

When did you start playing soccer and why?

“I began playing when I was two or three because my dad had me start, and I have played ever since.”

Has being on a varsity team helped you in other aspects of life, if so why?

“Being on varsity helped me with other aspects of life because our coach likes to relate to stuff to the real world too. He said ‘two plus two does not equal four because you can make your world however you want it to be,’ so I have taken that upon myself. If there is anything I want to achieve, I can strive for it.”

 

MASON HOOKS ’20

Varsity Boy’s Basketball

What is your favorite aspect of basketball?

“Basketball is really great because there are so many different ways that you can succeed. One can be a post player play inside and get rebounds, but one can also be someone that can shoot from the outside. You don’t need that much natural ability to be really good; you can just learn a lot.”

What advice would you give to younger players?

“Just keep working as hard as possible, and that is how you are going to make it. That is how you get better.”

 

Compiled and Photographed by Leila Dall’Olmo ’20 and William Seymour ’20

 

Girls’ basketball has varied results

By Luke Casola ’20

Girls’ basketball teams have demonstrated hard work and dedication throughout the season and have received the results that they desired.  The program competes on four levels: varsity, JV, eighth grade and seventh grade. The Wolverine mindset is focused on intensity and effort. They prove that “together with purpose” is a fitting motto to show the program’s commitment and unification.

This year, varsity has been the role model for the younger teams, finishing with a record of 22-3 (6-2 in league).  Not only did they have a winning record, but they also competed in the toughest division in the state, the Mission League, playing against other teams like Chaminade and Alemany.  The squad is coached by program head Melissa Hearlihy and assistant coaches Bridgette Jenkins and Ronald Sampson.  This year’s varsity squad consisted of nine players, three of them being seniors.  As the seniors, Justine Barraza ‘17, Sydney Tsutsui ‘17 and Dani Mirell ‘17 have acted as the leaders, teaching the lower classmen about varsity basketball.  Overall, this team consists of young players and should be able continue their success in future seasons.  Varsity is competing in the Open Division, which is the most challenging division during the CIF Playoffs.  The squad won their first CIF playoff game against Mater Dei on Feb. 18.  The squad played Lakeside on Wednesday but results were unavailable as of press time. With a win, the team will move on to play on Saturday.

“It’s amazing to play with teams that are competitive enough to be in the Open Division. It creates an exciting challenge and we’re looking forward to meeting it. I also know that we must be focused every time we step on the court to prove that we are worthy of an Open Division title,” guard Genesis Aire ‘19 said.

The junior varsity squad adds to the girls’ basketball team’s success and depth as a program.  The JV team competes in the Mission League and finished the season with a record of 13-7 (4-4 in league).  Similar to varsity, this team is composed of underclassmen, including two freshmen, Rileigh Repovich ‘20 and Mirabella Wong ‘20.  The squad is coached by Millie Junio and Allen Foster.  The JV squad tries to mimic the varsity team’s intensity and effort during practice, so that the hard work will show on the court in games.  Although there are not any playoffs for JV, the team was still proud its season.

“I think that this season we worked really hard, but we didn’t get the results that we desired. Although our team may not have gotten the results we wanted, we all stuck together no matter what. And, we still grew as a whole team,” Repovich, who plays forward said.

The middle school consists of two teams; red and black.  Both teams had a season to gain experience and to improve on their game.  The black team finished with an even record of 3-3.  Hearlihy oversees the middle school teams, incorporating the varsity offense and defense into their game plan.  Many black team players said that they feel positive about their season.

“I thought that as a team, we all improved individually and as a team. Although we did not make playoffs, I’m extremely proud of how hard my team fought throughout the season.  We did a great job overall, win or lose, everyone played hard until the last second of each game,” forward Naomi Attal ‘21 said.

The red team finished with an overall record of 1-4.  The squad lost to Campbell Hall on Jan. 31 in their last regular season game. Red team forward Quincey Dern ‘22 and forward Amelia Scharff ‘22 said that they both enjoyed playing on the team this season. Despite a losing record, the players look to come back next year with more dedication to win more games and improve as a unit.

“I think that our team played really well. At the beginning of the season, we could barely do anything, and we weren’t doing well, but we all worked really hard and came together as a team, and because of that, we started doing so much better,” Scharff said.

Boys’ basketball finishes strongly

By Emma Shapiro ’20

All of the boys’ basketball teams had a strong season with many wins. Each squad trained and practiced in hopes of being successful. All in all, each team demonstrated hard work and experienced camaraderie with their squad.

The varsity team looks forward to a strong end to its season. The squad maintained an overall record of 15-10 and league record of 7-3. According to Mason Hooks ’20, the team was able to have a successful season due to their commitment to the sport and the intense training in practice. Their last league game against Notre Dame High School resulted in a close victory of 78-69 on Feb 1. The squad was able to finish their season, second in the Mission League.  The team still has to compete in the CIF Playoffs, and is hopeful for winning the title. The squad defeated Martin Luther King HS on Tuesday in the quarterfinals of the D-1A CIF Playoffs.  The team will play Loyola on Friday in the semifinals of the playoffs.

“We have stepped up our level of play, going to national tournaments and playing tough non-league games. So considering our pre-playoff ranking (top 4 seed in polls) and that we will finish no lower than second in league, I think the season has been a success,” program head and varsity coach David Rebibo said in an email.

The JV team is primarily composed of sophomore players along with three freshmen. With an overall record of 24-1 and league record of 9-1, the squad finished their season strongly. The team practiced six days a week and was coached by Steve Moore and Julian Benarouche. According to guard Brase Dottin ‘20, the practices consisted of lots of competition that lead to the strong record.  Dottin said that he enjoys playing high school basketball.

“I get to meet a whole bunch of new people. I get to play with people that I have never seen before, with different talents, different skills.  It is really fun,” Dottin said.

The freshman squad also had a strong season finishing with an overall record of 16-10 and league record of 5-7. However, the team lost its final game to Chaminade on Feb. 10. Coaches Dagem Asfaw and Lewis Dix assisted the team with their record by running drills to strengthen the team. The squad practiced six days a week with the JV team.  According to Dylan Ross ‘20, his favorite part about the season were the games.

“[The games] were the most exciting and competitive parts of the season, and were the most enjoyable.  My favorite game was our game against Notre Dame at Notre Dame, because the environment was awesome,” Ross said.

The eighth grade team had a challenging season with an overall record of 4-5 and league record of 4-5. They were unable to claim the Delphic League Championship title but they did qualify for playoffs initially. Rebibo uses the plays from the high school teams to prepare the players for the next level of play. According to Coach Pierson Williams, the team’s goal was to improve every day.

The seventh grade team had to focus on teamwork since most players had not played together before. However, they pulled through and had a strong season maintaining an overall record of 7-2.  The squad lost its final game to Chaminade on Jan. 31. The squad lost in the semifinals of the playoffs on Feb. 7.  Forward Oliver Wyman ‘22 talked about what he enjoyed during the season.

“Being on the basketball team has introduced me to a lot of people with a shared interest. I have had a lot of fun meeting new people and getting to play with them.  I am new to the school and just met many new friends,” Wyman said.]

Girls’ soccer shoots for the title

By Gautam Natarajan ’20

The girls soccer program consists of four teams; red, black, junior varsity and varsity. Varsity is led by program head Richard Simms and the JV team is led by head coach Gabe Robinson.

The varsity team steamrolled through the season with a 7-1 record, and they are a young squad that should continue their dominance and hopefully win some championships. The team ended their season at home against Marlborough with a 6-1 win to clinch their sixth consecutive league title. Varsity’s hopes for a late playoff run were cut short after losing in the first round to Huntington Beach 3-0 on Feb. 16.

Simms said he was very proud of the team’s accomplishments and looks ahead to the future.

“The varsity team had an outstanding regular season, only losing three games and repeating as Mission League champions for the sixth consecutive time,” Simms said.

Center back Carter Beardmore ‘19 said that the team has bonded over the long season and is a tightly knit squad.

“I cannot even imagine how different my experience at Harvard-Westlake would be if I was not on the soccer team. Many of my best friends have been made on the team. Our team is like a family, and I feel so close to each and every one of my teammates—no matter if they are a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior. My favorite part of being on the team is the sense of community and sisterhood that it provides,” Beardmore said.

The JV squad is another young team made up of mostly freshmen, and is looking to send talent to compete with varsity next year. The JV team is adding depth and success that their team already has, with a record of 4-2-2, finishing second place in the Mission League. The JV girls are hoping they can add to the quality of the varsity squad. They ended their season at home against Marlborough in a 1-1 draw on Feb. 6.

Midfielder Carly Wallace ‘20 talked about her season as a freshman playing JV and how she can improve for varsity and hopefully get a spot on the team next season.

“I think we all really improved as the season progressed.  It was a shame that we were not able to win our last game against Marlborough, but overall I believe we played really well.  We recently had our Senior Night, and we had a program dinner which was just one of the opportunities we had to meet the older players.  I also had the opportunity to play with the varsity team for one game, which was really cool and let me get a deeper understanding for the game of soccer, the values our program has and what it is like to be a varsity athlete in the girls’ soccer program,” Wallace said.

The middle school black squad was very successful during the regular season with an undefeated record of 5-0-1, with their only tie against the red team. Their best result was against Sierra Canyon in a 9-2 victory.  They beat Oak Christian in the semifinals of the Delphic League playoffs and won in the Delphic League finals 7-1 against Marlborough to win the league championship.

“This past season was a great introduction to the Harvard-Westlake soccer program. It got me really excited for the next six years of playing HW soccer with my teammates,” black team right back Tessa Augsberger ‘22 said.

The red team is made up of 16 players and finished the season with a record of 5-0-3. For the first time ever, both middle school teams made playoffs.  However, the red squad lost their semifinal game in penalty kicks to Marlborough on Feb. 7.

Simms spoke about the program and this achievement.

“The program has had a fantastic season at all levels.  For the first time ever, the middle teams placed in the ‘A’ Division and they have both reached the semi-finals. This is an incredible achievement,” Simms said.

Girls’ water polo looks to future

By Keila McCabe’20
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Girls celebrate as a team in the pool after league victory. Printed with the permission of Namlhun Jachung ’20

The girls’ water polo team finished their league season undefeated with a final 21-3 win against Alemany on Feb 9. The group started with many new players and an eagerness to win and grow. The team had been in division two but this year was dropped down to division three. However, this did not tarnish any of their hopes for playing this season. They started playoffs with a 13-6 win against Los Altos on Feb. 15.

They faced Righetti HS in their second playoff game and sadly lost 10-6. Although they ended their season with a loss instead of a CIF ring, girls said they look forward to next year and getting even better.

Field player Caroline Sturgeon ‘20 spoke about their long run but unfortunate loss in the second round of playoffs.

“We had been doing really well for a long time, and it was disappointing that we lost, but we were playing three or four games a week, practicing every day, lifting and we put in a lot of hard work. We just got tired by the end,”  Sturgeon said.

The team began its season strong with some big wins against tough teams and continued on to dominate their league until the end. Prior to playoffs the squad finished with a 5-0 undefeated league. Some of their wins included matches against Marlborough, where they won 18-7 and Marymount, 14-2. However, the team had a couple of losses in tournament play and other games that were not in league.

New bonds and strong relationships formed between the girls and their coaches and their teamwork was evident in the pool during games. According to field player Namlhun Jachung ‘20, the upperclassmen, who guided them through the season, felt like older sisters. The great friendships formed in the squad were just one of the factors that contributed to their success.

Starter and center defender, Meera Burghart ‘20 talked about the team and more importantly the team’s mentality about competition.

“One of our team goals was to keep the culture of the game. When we lose, we try not to think about what we have lost. We think about what we could have done better. That way we aren’t constantly basing our judgement on the results of whether we won or lost,” Burghart said.

With the focus of improvement on the players’ minds the team said they were excited to compete in playoffs and hopefully bring home a CIF ring. On their momentous winning streak the girls headed into playoffs on Feb. 15.

“We ended the season with a great little run, a tournament, and we won the championship 21-3. We are hoping to continue to play better and put ourselves in a position to win a CIF championship,” program head and head coach Brian Flacks said.

Although they didn’t achieve their CIF goals, this season was filled with wins and provides the lowerclassmen hope for the future. Players said they have gotten a sense of how they work together and they are excited for the next year.

Wrestling fights to the end

By Tammer Bagdasarian ’20
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Wrestlers get in their positions as they prepare to fight. Credit: Tammer Bagdasarian ’20/SPECTRUM

The varsity and junior varsity wrestling teams ended their seasons with six CIF qualifiers and a combined 1-3 record. Both squads ended division play on Jan. 28, placing fourth out of five teams in the Mission League finals. They also competed in CIF championships on Feb. 17, where they had multiple victories, but did not win the championship. Program Head Patrick Cartmill said   that although the team did not perform as well as he had hoped at the beginning of the season, he was very happy with how the program did in the second half of the season and is looking to improve going forward.

“Our guys worked as hard as anybody around. The transformation that we made coming back from winter break until now has been pretty special. The kids deserve credit for putting everything they could into their work, and I am really proud of how they ended the season,” Cartmill said.

The varsity and JV teams competed together for many of the division meets and tournaments. The squad placed in several tournaments, and also won its first duel in over three years. Cartmill said that the team achieved many of the goals that he set for them and that the program will continue to improve.

“We qualified six guys for CIF, and that was one of the main goals I had for the team. Winning a duel was also a big deal, because the last time we did that was in 2015. We want to keep climbing, and I think we can set even higher goals next season,” Cartmill said.

The team plans to recruit more wrestlers every year in the Middle School so that they can later compete at the varsity level. JV wrestler John Cahill ‘20 has been wrestling since seventh grade, and said that he was proud of how the team performed this season.

“We did everything we could to win as much as possible this season. We put in the work, and I think it showed up in our performances. I think the team will keep improving, and I look forward to seeing how we will do next year,” Cahill said.

The middle school team competed in several Delphic League matches this season and qualified for Delphic League finals on Feb. 4, where they placed second. The squad also finished with an overall record of 75 – 25 in Delphic League individual matches. The squad’s 75 wins were the most that they have had in several years. Middle school coach Dan Peiffer said that he is proud of how hard the wrestlers worked during practices and matches.

“The guys are smart, talented and hard-working. That is really all we needed, and I know that we will continue to improve if our guys persevere,” Peiffer said.

Peiffer also said that the key to performing well is recruiting more wrestlers. This year, the squad recruited the most wrestlers in the past few years. Gabe Glassman ‘22 wrestled for the first time this year and said that he enjoyed the new experience.

“I think the wrestling season went well. We had many practices, and the hard work paid off. I hope we can expand the team and the weight classes for next year,” Glassman said.