The grueling 162 game, 182 day season has come to a close. It’s postseason baseball, time for nail biting 9th inning at-bats, time for bat flips, Gatorade showers and ninth inning punch outs. Time for the best of the best to go head to head. It’s time for the World Series.
The crowd is screaming, fan are crying for joy. Excitement is roaring through the stadium, then one player takes a knee during our National Anthem. The crowds respond in confusion and a murmur spreads through the stadium. Like wildfire the tweets and images flood social media channels. And like wildfire, in subsequent sporting events, more players join in the silent kneeling protest during the playing of our National Anthem.
Winter sports have commenced. Basketball and soccer tryouts provide the coaches the opportunity to see the talent and skill that Samueli athletes possess, and to begin to formulate their teams.
Basketball tryouts start with completing a form, where prospective players provide their name, grade, and age. Then all the athletes are asked to line up and run drills. The drills allow the coaches to assess the players’ skill level individually. After all the students finish their drill, the coaches create teams to review the players during a scrimmage. The same activities happen on the second day of tryouts. After a couple of days of tryouts the coaches have a good idea of the players’ skill level.
Some people are ready for tryouts and are up for the challenge. “I know the tryouts might be a challenge, but I’ll be up to it,” states Alex Rodriguez. Many other students who are trying out agree with Alex. While others are anxious, especially waited for the results to see who made junior varsity or varsity.
Finally, the list is published. “The tryouts were hard and I knew there were some people who didn’t have much experience,” said Alex Rodriguez, “I’m still looking forward to the season, since making the team was a great feeling for me.”
Soccer tryouts are a similar process. Many students practice with other students to increase their stamina and prepare for the intensity of the tryouts. Some students struggle when participating in tryouts if they haven’t been conditioning before the tryouts.
Trying out for any sport can push an athlete to his or her limit, but most feel it is worth it for a chance to make the team.
“I would like to go to your school, but the sports program is not as great as I hoped for and they do not have my type of sport.” ~Moses, a student outside of Samueli.
Each year student athletes are making the choice to not apply to attend Samueli Academy. The reason they say is that the sports programs are not as developed as the academic programs. In just five years of existence, Samueli is known to have one of the best academic programs in Orange County. In April of this year Samueli Academy was awarded California Gold Ribbon School, an award only 275 middle school or high schools are privileged to receive.
Since it is a young school, its athletic program is not as strong as other Orange County high schools. So, is a strong academic program alone enough to entice students to Samueli Academy?
Moses Aburto, a junior at La Quinta wanted to enroll at Samueli, but because the specific sport that he is interested in playing is not offered at Samueli, he elected to not pursue applying for enrollment. Moses’ sport is swimming, which is not a sport offered at our site. However, in the academics aspect he was really impressed and thought the school was for “geniuses.”
While some students will apply because of our reputation and performance in academics, even academically motivated students have a desire for sports in their lives. “I like sports. It is something I am passionate about,” said Paola Robles, a freshman student. Some positive aspects that sports brings to the high school experience are that it’s fun, it gets your adrenaline up and as Mr. Sheppard, the Sports Administrator, says, “I want to represent my school at another school.” Many athletes enjoy the school spirit that comes from teamwork.
According to Florida National University, participating in sports makes you healthier and can even boost performance on tests. If you want to take advantages of these health tips, some of the sports offered in Samueli are Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Track, Volleyball, and Cheerleading.
First and foremost, Samueli Academy is a place of learning, but as you can see from the list of athletic programs supported at Samueli, we also know that a healthy high school experience is more than academics alone.
There are over 24 million people that play soccer in America, and according to Top End Sport soccer is the most watched sport with 3.5 billion fans tuning in.
Where does this passion for soccer come from? For many their love from the game came from their parents, that was the case for Angel Cuellar, a senior at Samueli Academy says, “I was inspired by my dad because he always watches (soccer) and when I was younger I watched him play,”
Angel played for our team last year, “When I am playing soccer, I feel adrenaline in my body and it is the best feeling. I also enjoy the teamwork with the people that I play with. Soccer is great exercise and a stress reliever.”
Angel shares that his mother gets nervous when he plays soccer. His dad loves it , because he plays too. Some people might have different opinions when it comes to pursuing soccer as a career. Angel’s opinion on the matter is that “If you are really into it and think about it as a career and if you have a passion for it, then yes, pursue it.”
Every famous soccer player has a unique story and reason why they became a professional. Cristiano Ronaldo is currently playing for Real Madrid, "All I wanted to do as a boy was play football.” Ronaldo’s godfather, Fernao Sousa emphasizes Cristiano’s passion, "He loved the game so much he'd miss meals or escape out of his bedroom window with a ball when he was supposed to be doing his homework."
Alex Morgan is currently playing in the U.S. Women’s National Team. “I was 7 or 8 years old, I remember writing a note to my mom that when I grow up I want to become a professional soccer player. That was my dream and I stuck to it.” Alex goes on to share, “when I was 9, the Women’s World Cup was going on. … Kristine Lilly is a big reason I wear No. 13 today.”
Soccer has grown increasingly popular throughout time and it is one of the sports that has a diversity of people playing as well as its fan base. It is not a sport where there is only one race or culture that is dominating. Even though people might think that it is a violent sport, they also think it is a great sport to play and to watch. Soccer is a sport where both men and women athletes are celebrated. Some soccer clubs encourage competition where female and males play soccer together.
Cross country runners have to endure hard training and practice when training for their sport. What makes them keep moving forward when running long distances? How do they improve their so they won't crash during a race?
Most students assume that cross country runners improve simply by repeatedly running long distances. There’s more to their training than just increasing their miles. According to one of Samueli Academy’s freshman cross country runners, Tyler, “Cross country training includes regular, consistent workouts that focus on pace, speed, and stamina.”
Runners become excellent by trying their hardest. Just like in any sport, nobody begins at the top. Practice and feedback are critical to success. “Be willing to accept criticism, giving 110%, not missing practice, and have the desire to win,” shares Coach Kalbhenn.
Practice and improvement in increments is essential for cross runners to reduce their race time. In an article from Livestrong ,”Run for Life states that a 10-minute mile rate is good for beginners; the goal is to complete 3 miles in 30 minutes.” Coach Kalbhenn reinforces the article’s findings, “You should be able to run 10 miles at 80% of your speed and be willing to practice 5 days a week.” The more miles, the merrier for distance runners.
When you are training in cross country, working on speed is as or perhaps more important than distance workouts. When running speed, you train your body to perform at a faster pace.
At times, when training, you may feel like giving up, that cross country is just too hard. A recommendation to push beyond giving up is to find a pace that works well for you. Then once you get used to a distance at that pace, add distance gradually. In an article from Livestrong, “All cross country runners must build up endurance and stamina, and elite runners are used to rough training” said Lee Simmons. Even the best distance runners started with that first step.
by Rayne Marshall
Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon.
Women have been in sports for decades. But it wasn’t always a mainstream thing. It used to be almost absurd for women to be in sports. In fact, it was highly encouraged that women do not run because doctors warned that if they did their uterus would fall out.
Editor Board, 2017-2018
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