Winter Sports Spectacular

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Julian Morris (’20) and Jacob Witt (’22)

Denny Vohs (’22) and Jacob Witt (’22).

Soccer

So far, both varsity soccer teams are off to a great start this year with the boys winning their first season game on Nov. 10, and the girls’ team winning their first games of the season on Nov. 13 and 15. 

According to boys’ varsity captain Caleb Cohill, more winning games are sure to follow.  When asked about the team, Cohill said, “this year since we have 11 seniors, yeah we’ve kind of just come up freshman year, we have sort of like a tight all around good group.” Cohill explained that this is different from two of our rivals, Bishop Kenny and Episcopal. “Some places like Episcopal have two or three stand out players but they don’t really have a full team they can work with. Bishop Kenny is the same way, they have about three or four playmakers and that’s it.” 

Bishop Kenny is usually the girl’s team biggest rival as well. However, things are different this year. “They [Bishop Kenny] moved up a class so we won’t be competing against them. Out of district, there’s Saint Johns which is a challenge because they’re equally competitive. Then, there’s south Florida schools We have to worry about. […] It’s so new and everything is changing.”
In past years, the teams have had great success. The girls’ team won States in 2017 and 2018, and Candelino plans on the team winning again this year. The boys’ team also won States in 2017, but last year they didn’t have the same success. “Last  year getting knocked out of regional finals was a bit of a disappointment. So I think that just trying to come back this year, especially for us eleven seniors. Just trying to make the most out of last year is certainly a big goal for us,” Cohill said.

The boys’ team plans to reclaim their state title by maintaining a good work ethic throughout the season. Captains Tyler Park (12), Alonso Munoz (12), and Cohill are working hard to make sure the team stays focused during practice. As Cohill put it, “Practice first and winning comes naturally.”

Both teams have their own way of ensuring their players are working together to win. For the boys, this means their unique team bonding ritual of shaving “awkward” designs into their hair, as Cohill put it. For the girls, this means their pre-game meal together and their pre-game locker room dancing.

Wrestling

Wrestling season is finally beginning in November, and wrestler Dalton Posick (‘20) said that every wrestler’s personal goal this year is to get to States.
“We have a good shot at districts, we have at least a chance.” Posick stated.Over the summer, the wrestlers practiced in Fleming Island, with their practices running from 1 to 3 hours long, during which Posick worked with many of the boys on the team.  This year, Posick stated the wrestling team has some very promising upcoming members, such as Julian Morris (‘20) and Jacob Witt (‘22).
Posick claimed that “wrestling has the hardest practices of any sport,” because the practices take place in a sauna with stucco walls and “zero ventilation.” Wrestlers often lift weights before school and have Saturday practices. Practices for wrestling involve 15 minutes stretching. After that, it’s drills, then learning new moves and working on techniques, when finally, live wrestling to practice for the actual match.
“Wrestling isn’t like playing chess, it’s more like Pokemon cards. I know I have a fire or a water type Pokemon and I know I can use this card against this guy.” Posick explained, “Each wrestler has different kinds of moves that he has. It’s like chess in that you react to each other, but like Pokemon, (because) not everyone has the same moves.”
“It’s important not to cheat yourself out of wrestling.” Posick explained. There are 2 different ways to win wrestling: by the total number of points scored by the team, and each wrestler can win in his or her weight class. “We have holes in our line-up that can be hard to fill.” Posick stated, “If three guys weigh the same amount, we can only play one.”
As of present time, the wrestling team has filled 10 out of the 14 weight classes, but there is still time to join.
”No matter what your build, you can be good at wrestling.” Posick explained.

Basketball

The boys’ and girls’ basketball teams are off to a great start this season with the boys’ winning their first pre-season game and the girls’ winning their first two games of the season.Both teams intend to continue this great start throughout the season. The boys’ team captains hope to win district championships this year as they did last year, and to continue all the way to Regionals. One of the captains, sophomore Ben McGraw, stresses the importance of team chemistry in achieving this said, “our team chemistry has got to be really good this year just as it has been in the past.”

Team chemistry is also important to girls’ team captain, senior Shekinah Sander, who said in an interview,  “I’m so excited for this season with the girls because we work so well together.” The girl’ team  plans on taking their close-knit team to Districts, then Regionals, and all the way to the Final Four.

The captains take their roles seriously, and each of them have plans for how to better their teams. For Sanders, being captain means “to be a leader for the girls on and off the court. I’m open to talking to them about anything from plays on the court, to things going on in their personal life.”

For McGraw, captain means, “just being there for each other and making sure everyone is one page and cares about the team. We always make sure we are always together with everything.”