Spring sports gearing up for new season

Swimming looks forward to more aquatic greatness

Varsity+baseball+player+Derek+Schwarze+rounds+up+to+practice+his+throw+on+the+field.+

Lindsey Zabell

Varsity baseball player Derek Schwarze rounds up to practice his throw on the field.

The boys’ and girls’ swim teams at Granite Bay High School have gotten championships of the Sierra Foothill League and the Sac-Joaquin Section and this year should be no exception.

The girls finished with the No. 18 in the United States last year, and the boys were 35th.

A number of swimmers are looking forward to making new and greater achievements since their last swim season. 

“I’m really hoping to get faster and improve my times in my events,” sophomore Chris Nihart said about his second season. “I’ve gotten a lot more confident with what I’m doing. I’m definitely most excited about being part of the team and trying to get better times and just hanging out with my friends.”

Sophomore Alissa Ansari, who also competed as a freshman, is hoping to qualify for the state championship meet  this year. 

“I think I have connected with my teammates more, and I’ve improved my strokes in general,” Ansari said. “I hope to bring a positive energy to my team.”

John Sherman, coach of the GBHS swim team, is glad to be turning the page after a climactic season.

“Last year’s season did have an inordinate amount of drama, and we spent too much time and energy dealing with that situation,” Sherman said. “I am really looking forward to this season.  We have a highly focused and motivated group this year that really wants to do what it takes to reach their goals.”

Sherman has a positive attitude toward new focuses for this season – he wants his swimmers to live in the moment. As for any advice for his athletes, Sherman wants everyone to stay present. 

“They don’t need to worry about the season, or month, or week, or even the day!” Sherman said. “Be great this practice, this set, this lap. Trust the process, and the rest takes care of itself.”

   

Track and Field

The Grizzlies are excited for a new season full of opportunities. 

Athletes participating in different events are looking forward to breaking records and making improvements of all sorts. 

“Personally, I would really like to be able to break the 400(-meter run)  varsity record for boys, and I’d like to make it to some high end meets – like Arcadia and the Stanford meets – if possible,” sophomore Brycen Mogensen said.

Mogensen specializes in the 400 but runs in relays as well. This will be his second season, and he is ready to continue enhancing his athletic ability since his last season.

“I think I have improved in my strength and speed, but above that, I feel like I’ve improved my cardio too, being able to run faster and longer,”  Mogensen said. “I got hurt last season and had to sit out for a little while, but this season I’ve taken the precautions, so hopefully I make it through the whole season with no issues.”

 

Mogensen suffered an injury to his hip, which produced some drawbacks during his first season. By the end, however, he recovered enough to run as a freshman in the league meet and at the varsity level for sections.

Junior Koby Sperandeo has been part of the team since his freshman year. Not only has Sperandeo been participating in track and field for the past three years, but he has also been running varsity since his first year.

Unfortunately, he experienced an athlete’s worst nightmare; he suffered from a broken leg at the end of his last track and field season. Since then, he has been participating in lots of physical therapy as well as cross training in order to get back up on his feet again.

“My strength has improved in a big way,” Sperandeo said. “My body has changed since then, and I feel that it gives me more power when I run. I’m hoping to be able to train as hard as I want so I can do the best I can.”

Even with the difficult times he has been facing, Sperandeo is excited for his first race, which will be both “very emotional but extremely happy at the same time,” he said. “(I’m ready) to bring a whole new mindset to the team… and inspire even just one underclassman to work extra hard so he or she can do the best they can.”

 

Girls’ Lacrosse

Following an impressive season in which the Grizzlies secured a league title, the girls’ lacrosse team is gearing up for another championship year.

Senior captain Kyra Kappos said she thinks the team needs to focus on its  defense, noting the team is “losing our goalie who’s been with us for all four years.” 

Despite this, Kappos still has high expectations for this season. 

“You can expect another championship, (and) we’re hoping to get into (the North Coast Section championships) and … win,” she said.

 

Boys’ Lacrosse

After one of the best seasons in school history, the pressure is on for the class of 2020. 

Senior Cameron Hall said he recognizes the task he and his fellow seniors are being faced with – leading a team that can surpass the success of last year’s. 

“Last year’s team was definitely one of GB’s best teams ever, (so) we’ve had to adjust,” he said. 

According to Hall, the team is ready. Motivated by a close playoff loss last year, the team has had “a lot of preseason training and practice” going into this season.

 

Stunt

Stunt, a counterpart to traditional sideline cheer, features two teams competing in a four-quarter match that includes jumps, tosses and much more.

The team had a good season last year, but the squad has more participants this year, “so it won’t be as much pressure on each athlete,” senior Savanna Cuthbert said. 

 

Baseball

After a rough year, the varsity baseball team is ready to get back in action. 

Senior leadership is something the team lacked last year, according to current senior Ty Peterson, who is looking to change that this season. 

“We’re very senior heavy with a lot of experience, (and) we’re fired up to prove the doubters wrong,” Peterson said.

With a few scholarship athletes leading the charge, the team is primed for an exciting 2020 season. 

 

Softball

With the new season approaching, the Grizzlies team is looking to get back on track after losing key pieces this offseason. 

The team lost its head coach, pitcher and catcher according to senior Lauren Gaughan.

“Frankly,” she said, “I don’t know where it’s going to lead us.” 

Despite the challenges, the team is expecting “a lot more girls … than last year,” Gaughan said, along with a new head coach. 

Ultimately, however, Gaughan is optimistic – “we definitely have the potential,” she said, “to have a better season than in the past.”

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