The Hawk's Eye

Tuffy Day: January 2014

Tuffy Day was a huge success. Men's Varsity defeated CPS 50-40, and Women's Varsity lost a tight contest with a final score of 46-49. The spirit was better than ever before. Congratulations to our Jayhawks!

Katie Despain
Spirit fingers in the crowd.

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Filed under Showcase, Sports

Winter Teams Practice Over Thanksgiving

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As the students and faculty of the School had a week off for Thanksgiving, some families traveled outside of the city, and some traveled out of state. There were a few however, that stayed here and practiced for upcoming sports. As basketball season started only a couple of weeks ago, basketball players need to practice more and get their game on as they face strong opponents such as Bentley. “Yeah I did practice,” said Junior Jimmy Almgren Bell, “We usually have practice or games on Saturdays. Thanksgiving weekend we have a tournament so we are sleeping over on Friday and playing the next day. We had practices on Monday, had a game on Tuesday, and had Wednesday through Thursday off which was really nice.” Although it seems that they have not practiced much, they were practicing for nearly three and a half hours with almost no breaks in between. Additionally, one of their main star players, Senior Joey Chipman, is currently injured and will not be returning to the team. This is a big loss but the team is trying hard everyday to improve their skills. It seems that with Chipman out for the season, the team is struggling a little bit and perhaps, worried. Sophomore Reid Gibbs said, “because Joey is a key contributor to the team this year, to make up for that the team must work harder. I did not practice by myself since baseball is my main sport.” Almgren-Bell stated, “Yeah everyone gets more minutes but it would be better if we had more people. We currently have 13 people not including Joey. We have to work harder if we want to win our games.” Additionally, there were certain athletes such as students who took a trip to the beautiful country, Peru who were not able to participate in this hard practice and were not able to even practice by themselves. Gibbs said, “No, I was not able to practice with the team since I went to Peru with other teammates including me, Elias, and Eian. I do not know how the team played, but I feel like they did not play as well as they had intended to.” As they will enter for a High School Basketball Tournament, it seems that the team will need to wake up and get back on track since they were filling their stomachs up with turkey, potatoes, and even pie from Thanksgiving.

Christopher Boranian’s All-State Adventure

C-Bo+and+A-Tush%2C+who+both+ran+more+than+a+half+marathon%21
C-Bo and A-Tush, who both ran more than a half marathon!

C-Bo and A-Tush, who both ran more than a half marathon!

Alejandro Lara

Alejandro Lara

C-Bo and A-Tush, who both ran more than a half marathon!

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This last Saturday, November 11, the Junior Christopher Boranian ran in the State championships for Division Five Cross-Country.  He placed eleventh in the North Coast Sectional meet for division five with a time 16:03.  Competition was steep, at the top three runners came in with record times for the course.  Despite the records, the Boranian’s time was good enough to qualify him for the State Championship meet.

The State meet this year was held at Woodyard Park in Fresno California.  Boranian competed with almost 200 other Division Five runners.  In the biggest race of his life so far, the Junior ran a time of 17:06, good enough to place 41st.  Despite the impressive performance, Boranian was not satisfied, stating, “I definitely feel I could have done better.  I started off too fast, and when I saw that I was ahead of Athenian runner Tanner Shaw, who I have not been ahead of all year, I knew I was going to crash before the end.  Obviously I am happy I went to State, but you can always do better.”  Of course Boranian should be proud of his accomplishments, as he is the School’s first male cross-country runner to go to the State meet since 2008, when the School’s entire men’s team qualified.  Nevertheless he is not satisfied, saying, “I know I can improve by next year and place higher, which not only benefits me personally but also improves the team.  Hopefully the entire team can qualify next year, as that is the ultimate goal.”

 

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Fall Sports Update

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Women’s Tennis

 

With the regular season coming to the end, some members of the women’s tennis look to continue their success in the annual NCS tournament.  The players must earn their spots in the tournament by making the finals in the BCL East tournament.  With players on the team such as junior Meaghan Baus finishing in the semifinals, it was quite disheartening to be so close; however, the team was able to send some players to the NCS tournament.  The freshman phenom Lauren McCormack will be the only member of the team representing the School for the singles tournament.  As for doubles, the senior tandem of Christine Esserman and Samantha Farrell await their competition in their bracket.

 

Women’s Volleyball

 

For the volleyball team, the BCL East tournament is commencing this Friday with the team matching up against Valley Christian.  By achieving a 11-1 record in league play, the team is looking forward to a rematch with CPS in the final to determine the best in the league.  With the teams splitting their two matchups in the regular season, the stakes are high for both teams.  The winner of this matchup will be ensured sole possession of the BCL East title and acheive a higher NCS seed, which should give this team an easier road to the NCS Championship game.

 

Men’s Soccer

 

After a disappointing loss to league rival Athenian in the final of the BCL East tournament, the team hopes to repeat last season’s success in NCS tournament.  Much like last season, the team lost to Athenian in the same situation, yet despite a low NCS seed, they were able to make the semifinals.  Despite achieving a higher NCS seed this year, the Jayhawks were unable to come up with a victory against Roseland University Prep, losing a close game by the score of 2-1 in the first round.  With the season now over, the team is now looking forward to next year’s season.

 

Cross Country

 

The cross country looks to continue to “run good” in their upcoming BCL East tournament. Both boys and girls teams are in prime position to capitalize their seasons on top of the league’s standings.  Currently both squads are in third place; a great meet for the Jayhawks, however, could definitely shake up the standings.  Key performers for the men’s team include captains Stu Suplick and Julian Early, as well as junior Chris Boranian, and freshman Zack Mintz.  With superb showings the previous meets, they have set the bar even higher for this final league meet.  On the girl’s team, senior Aida Julien, juniors Jade and Jasmine Hardy, and sophomore Georgia Scherer will also try to continue their success this season.

 Physical Education

Golden State Warriors: Marching into the New Season

http://blog.betdsi.com/golden-state-warriors-are-in-a-golden-situation/

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With the NBA season set to start, the Golden State  Warriors should be fun to watch as they are looking to make push towards the NBA Finals.  This past year, the Warriors finished their season losing an action packed second round playoff matchup against the San Antonio Spurs.  The Finals are were well within reach last year, and may be even closer this year. The Warriors made some major changes by trading for superstar Andre Iguodala who will hopefully bolster their overall depth and add stronger defense to a team full of three point shooters.

Despite this sparkling addition, fans around the School remain uncertain about the team’s success with a plethora of quality teams in West Coast.  Junior Cris Woroch stated, “The Warriors definitely got better this past offseason; however, they don’t have have a superstar like [Oklahoma City Thunder’s] Kevin Durant or [Los Angeles Clippers’] Blake Griffin and Chris Paul.  Those teams also have outstanding supporting casts that have been consistently dominant for a couple years.  I don’t know if the Warriors are at that level yet, but we’ll see”.

In addition to Woroch’s opinion, there are many questions surrounding the the team despite their new acquisition.  How well can they coexist?  Will they remain healthy?  Can they repeat last season’s magic?  With the Warriors currently looking great in preseason, fans can only hope for the same success during this upcoming season.

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Athletes vs. Non-athletes: Does the Work Load Really Differ?

Varsity+Volleyball
Varsity Volleyball

Varsity Volleyball

Lex Nunno

Lex Nunno

Varsity Volleyball

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Throughout the Upper School, student athletes are faced with the challenge of balancing the rigorous school work and playing their respective sports.  As an athlete myself, I must manage my time wisely in order to stay on top of my  work and still remain competitive in my sport. It’s definitely a challenge. I love playing sports, however, and I could not imagine life without them.  Sports are my time to take a break from school and to take the time to really enjoy myself.  Although it definitely takes time away from homework, I know that I must give my full focus during homework and not squander time on social media.  Junior Jimmy Almgren-Bell, a varsity basketball player,  agrees that full focus on homework as an athlete in the School is essential.  As a sophomore last year, Almgren-Bell was faced with the challenge of preparing for AP BC Calculus and AP Chem exams and still contributing to the  basketball team.  This year, he is taking advanced college-level math, AP Bio, AP Physics, and AP Spanish.  With such challenging courses, even a student who was not athlete would feel extreme pressure and have a  rigorous workload.  Almgren-Bell stated, “Even though basketball is coming up in the winter I think that if I continue to maintain focus during my homework,  I should be fine.”

As for non student-athletes, it is a common misconception to say that they have more time to work on school work than athletes.  Just because these students do not play sports does not mean they go home right after school and do their homework.  Through further investigation, many of these students are just as busy as student athletes are since there are other extracurricular activities.  For instance, Junior Bonnie Ko is not an athlete; however, she participates in activities such as the debate team, Colla Voce, and the Drama department.  Like a student-athlete, she must also manage her time wisely and efficiently in order to complete her daily homework and do her extracurriculars.   Like Almgren-Bell, Ko is also taking challenging courses such as AP Bio and AP Chinese and she too stressed that focus is completely necessary.  As for differences between student-athletes and nonstudent athletes, the two are much closer than they seem at first.  Just because a student is not participating in a sport does not mean that they do not have other activities competing for their attention.

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What are your P.E. Options?

Lex Nunno

Lex Nunno

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The School’s Physical Education program was designed for the students’ ease.  “There are a number of ways that students can receive credit for the year for grades 10-12,” said Director of Athletics Brendan Blakely, “[The P.E. options include] walking, biking, jogging, playing on an outside [sports] team, dance, martial arts, [and] riding horses.”  Any activity that gets you moving around for at least two hours a week will count as a valid P.E. option.

Ninth graders, however, attend a mandatory class that covers both exercise and health.  Students fulfill the exercise requirements and learn CPR, as well as covering other health-related topics.

In addition, 10th to 12th graders can get P.E. credit in school.  Playing on a sports team for one season will count for half of the year’s credit, so two seasons will cover the entire school year.  One can also dance in FADE, participate in the biannual Spring Musical, or work in the School’s garden for a year to earn his or her credit.  Other options include the courses the School offers, such as the Conditioning class and working out in the Fitness Room.

While there is a wide selection of choices, some P.E. options are more popular than others.  “Working out, going to the gym, [is the most common],” Blakely said.  Playing on a sports team, in or out of the School, is also a widely utilized option.  “I play soccer outside of Head-Royce pretty much year round.  I also play soccer for Head-Royce,” stated Junior Haley Richards.

Some students find more creative off-campus options.  “I walk my dog,” said senior Yurie Murayama, “It counts, because I do it for more than two hours a week.”  As Murayama proved, meeting the physical education requirements doesn’t have to be an inconvenience.

It is common for students to exceed the minimum physical education requirements.  “I fulfill P.E. credit through Head-Royce classes,” said senior Asher Wolf, “[with] a dance class, or [off-campus activities] which include martial arts.  I’m also on a[n] official school sports team, the Head-Royce Roadkill, whose name is soon to be changed to the Razzledazzlers or [maybe something else].”

Fall Sports Update

Lex Nunno

Lex Nunno

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As the first month of school is comes to a close, the School’s fall varsity sports teams have achieved very impressive starts.  To start out, the Women’s Tennis Team achieved a 4-1 record, with a very impressive win against Bishop O’Dowd and a very close loss to a much bigger Castro Valley team.  With league play coming up, the tennis squad looks forward to facing their rivals after a challenging preleague schedule.

Much like the tennis team, both the Mens and Womens Cross Country teams have had great seasons thus far.  At the very first league meet, the women finished in third while the men earned a second place finish.  With more experienced runners, the team looks to carry their momentum throughout league meets.

Despite the loss of ten seniors, the Men’s Varsity Soccer Team scores nearly four goals a game.  It looks like the team picked up right where they left off last season and looks forward to replicating last season’s success.

Last but not least, the Women’s Varsity Volleyball Team, a team that has also lost many players due to graduation, managed a respectable 6-6 record after facing teams with much more experienced players such as St. Joseph Notre Dame and Branson.  Despite the early losses, the team is optimistic to compete for a league title as they have won their first three league games.

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Are Head-Royce Coach’s Expectations Too Much?

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The School is known for its excellence in academics, as well as its extracurriculars. Although there are other extracurriculars like dance, acting, and debate, sports is the main extracurricular. Many public schools and some private schools like St. Ignatius and O’Dowd put an emphasis on sports. Where does our School lie? After interviewing a few students and Coach Talps, I came to the conclusion that coaches are aware of the academic pressures and they do not expect sports to be a priority, and neither should other schools.

Here at the School, sports are not considered a priority over academics. When I talked to sophomore Georgia Scherer, a runner, she said, “No! I do not think sports should be a priority because your future is more dependent on your academics, rather than your athletics.” She also stated that athletics help you get into college and are still important, but not on the same level as academics. Unless your future involves sports, coaches should not have you prioritize it. Abby Judge, a sophomore who plays soccer, had a slightly different viewpoint on this topic. She thinks that teachers should also be expected to realize how important sports are in the lives of children when coaches realize academics are also part of their lives. Brooklyn Copeland, an avid sports player, stated that there are times in which sports is a priority. She has been in the School’s gym for six hours on a Saturday.  Brooklyn feels that you have “to be in check” to play at all. It is not only pressure from the coaches, but your teammates also. To wrap this discussion up, I talked to Coach Talps. Coach Talps stated that the coaches are well aware of the rigors of this school and they keep in mind the student part of student athlete.

In high school, it is common to juggle sports and rigorous academics. The challenge is choosing whether to prioritize sports or school. At our school, coaches do not pressurize us to choose between sports and academics. The question arises whether all schools should follow our example of no intense pressure.

Ultimate Frisbee Team

The 2013 Head-Royce Ultimate team.

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As the Ultimate Frisbee team enters its second year as a sport at the School, the team looks forward to the new challenges that await them. In its first year as a sport at the School, the team practiced continuously throughout the winter and spring, familiarizing themselves with the game and different aspects to it. By the end of the year the team had placed 5th at Spaghetti Westerns, one of the biggest tournaments held each year in California. This coming season, the team is looking to expand on their initial success and catapult themselves into bigger tournaments. Max Duesberg, Co-Captain of the team said, “I expect us to challenge the top teams in the Bay Area. I believe our team can consistently place at least top three in all tournaments. My ultimate goal for this team would be to make the finals in State.” The team consists of primarily seniors, who are looking to make the best of there last year at the School, but are welcome to any and all other grade levels who want to come out and join the team.

Photo Credit: Lex Nunno

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Students Move On to Play Sports in College

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Sammy Greenwall
The class of 2013 has a huge number of athletes, but when the college process began many decided to back away from potentially playing at the collegiate level. While many of the Class of 2013’s athletes were capable of playing at the college level, only a handful decided to pursue college sports. There are numerous reasons as to why some students decided to continue on to that level.
The school is composed of roughly three hundred students, and yet it produces some of the top athletes around California. For example, Senior pitcher Stephen Farinaro was named a pre-season All-American and Senior basketball captain Ryan Diew was selected as an all-state honoree and first team all Norcal. The school is known to be an athletic powerhouse as the baseball team in ranked second in the state and the basketball team was only two games away from the state championship.
Although the school has a great athletic program, many of the students do not pursue an athletic career because they prioritize academics or chose schools they can not play sports at. For example, Senior Nico Dorado was easily capable of playing basketball at the division-3 level, but chose to attend USC because he wanted to go to a bigger school. Similarly, Senior Ryan Diew chose to attend Colgate University and will attempt to walk on this coming fall instead of pursuing basketball at a division 2 or 3 level. Other athletes such as Tynan Challender and Michael Greenfield had opportunities to play division 3 baseball, but chose to attend larger universities as well. The main reasons Seniors selected to not play college sports is because they wanted to attend larger schools.
Another huge reason Seniors chose to not play college sports is because if they wanted to be guaranteed a spot at the college they were applying to (to play a sport at) they would have to make an early binding decision to the school at the beginning of the year. As Greenfield stated, “I just wasn’t positive the college [Middlebury] was the right fit, and I wanted to explore my options”. If he had applied early-decision this would mean that Greenfield would be forced to go to the school with no exception. Many Seniors simply could not make up their mind as to whether they really wanted to attend the college that was recruiting them. However, several Seniors did chose to make the early decision. Basketball player Scott Miller committed early to Oberlin College, tennis player Alexander Luckmann committed to Vassar College, and soccer star Rory Chipman also committed to Vassar during the early decision period. This is a huge and ever-lasting conflict amongst rising Seniors that is yet to be solved. A Senior must choose whether he wants to attend a specific college in the fall if he wants to be guaranteed admissions. During the regular decision period the Senior will be given almost no priority over regular applicants, and will not be guaranteed a spot into the school. Some will chose to commit to one school early while others will pursue other options, and possibly stay away from college sports all together.

Seniors playing college sports:
Scott Miller (basketball)- Oberlin College
Stephen Farinaro (baseball scholarship)-UCLA
Rory Chipman (soccer)- Vassar College
Alexander Luckman (tennis)- Vassar College
Lauren Noga (crew)- UCLA
Alex Sommer (soccer)- Cornell University
Travis Pillon(soccer)- University of Pennsylvania
Grace Wong (lacrosse)- Lehigh University
Aminah Luqman (soccer)- Pitzer College

Photo Credit: http://images.berecruited.com/photos/athletes/large/56628724.jpg

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Sports Injuries at the School

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Ben Rewis

After the gruesome display of Kevin Ware’s fractured leg a few weeks ago, the nation’s attention has turned toward the frequency of sport-related injuries.

Parents, doctors, teachers, and anyone who has dealt with children or athletes will agree that many, if not most injuries treated are caused by sports and games. In fact, more than one million sports-related injuries occurred during the year 1998. In 2006, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) reported that there were nearly half a million basketball-related injuries alone. Evidently, these numbers are rising.

Injuries at the School, however, are far less prevalent than in the outside world. It’s not that easy to spot someone with a serious impairment.

Although rare, serious injuries definitely happen at the School. Director of Athletics Brendan Blakely remarked, “We do have our fair share of athletes that have been banged up over the years.” Blakely also noted that the sports involving a lot of physical contact with other players, soccer and basketball, are really the ones with the most injuries.

It could be argued that since the School lacks more dangerous sports such as football, lacrosse, rugby or hockey, we can keep our athletes more safe. Blakely commented, “I think there are certain injuries that you’re more prone to get in certain sports.” Joining a football team brings the inevitable risk of tearing a muscle or ligament, breaking a bone, getting a concusion, or even more serious injuries.

But just because the School doesn’t have these sports like football doesn’t mean that injuries don’t affect us. Blakely remarks, “In the 2003 season we had one of our top [basketball] players tear his knee up three-quarters of the way through the year… He came back in his senior year and tore the other knee as well!”

The School, however, realizes the serious risks of contact and even non-contact sports. Blakely later mentioned that the school is trying to hire an on-campus trainer that will be medically trained and able to deal with any injuries and also to talk with athletes about ways to avoid impairments.

Blakely’s final advice to all aspiring athletes at the School is a simple three step plan: eat and drink enough to fuel your body, get enough rest, and don’t push your muscles too hard.

Also, I would recommend avoiding snapping your leg in two; it’s not worth the press.

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