Athletes consider next season as this year ends

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Every year sports teams at Granite Bay High School have to adjust to loss of many seniors who graduated from the previous year.

With this can cause many challenges preparing underclassmen to help take the spots of the seniors.

Junior Chloe Miller, GBHS varsity swimmer, said that she thinks it will take a lot of work to prepare for next year because of the large amount of talented seniors that will be leaving.

Being undefeated for 15 years, Miller said she thinks the team will have to maintain a strong focus if they want to continue their winning streak next year.

“I think a lot of our underclassmen have the potential to really step up,” Miller said. “I think if everyone focuses on a common goal and works together in a positive atmosphere everyone’s training will get better.”

In addition to training during the season, many teams also practice and compete during the offseason to prepare.

“(Coach) Sherman always has the swimmers start swim in the winter which sounds crazy but it’s just part of the Granite Bay swim atmosphere,” Miller said. “It’s pretty cool to think everyone is that dedicated.”

In addition to off-season training with the GBHS team, many swimmers also play water polo, participate in recreational swim leagues or are part of year round competitive swim teams which helps them keep their swimming skills up when they aren’t swimming for GBHS.

According to freshman Matthew Handy, varsity boys tennis player, a huge component in preparing to compete during the season is individual training.

Handy said that while the GBHS boys tennis team doesn’t do much organized off-season training together, the majority of the athletes on the team train with their individual, private coaches to help them prepare. Because the boys tennis team is very competitive, Handy said that the players who want a senior’s spot will need to be very disciplined in their off-season training.

“I think they will need to play a lot and just grind out all their shots until they become pretty solid,” Handy said. “We have a pretty competitive top 12 who all have solid shots. They will also need to play matches against each other.”

Freshman Lindsay Poulos agreed that while the girls softball team trains hard together during the season, a lot of the off-season preparation is with other teams.

“Right now we are all in conditioning during athletic PE,” Poulos said. “Most of our girls play on travel teams so they will continue playing throughout the summer.”

Because the girls softball team only has one senior this year, they won’t have as much of an adjustment next year as some of the other sports teams at GBHS.

“I think the team will improve because we all have really great talent,” Poulos said. “By next season all of our skills should be really refined and hopefully we can make it to playoffs.”

According to sophomore Alyssa Sewell, one of the biggest things that her and the rest of the GBHS girls tennis team focuses on during the offseason is mastering the basics of the sport.

“(The biggest thing) we need to do in the offseason is practice, practice, practice,” Sewell said. “We really need to form that muscle memory.”

With losing seniors can also come many challenges with the energy and camaraderie of the team.

“I love this team so much,” Sewell said. “We are all one big family and we work very well together. I love how we have bonded together and made the best of every match and practice this season.”

Sewell’s teammate, sophomore Amanda Bone agreed that the real challenge in losing seniors is having to lose them as teammates and adjust to not having them there for support the next season.

“I think the hardest part about losing our seniors is not the fact that they were some of our best players but because they are some of my closest friends,” Amanda Bone, sophomore on the varsity girls tennis team said. “They each brought something special to the team and it will be hard to not have them around anymore,” Bone said.

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