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Most memorable moments Coaches, players comment on 2019-20 season highlights

Fall sports

CROSS COUNTRY

By Miles Morrow

COACH JOE HARTMAN: “I think we broke some new ground. We had six dedicated runners led by junior captain Olivia Chilelli. With a school such as Country Day, it’s not easy to get full teams, but we gained more runners and enjoyed each other’s company tremendously.

“What made the season fun was that at nearly every meet, one of the runners ran one of their most amazing races of the year, so the drive home was always filled with joy and optimism.

“Chilelli and (freshman) Grace Eberhart found the Haggin Oaks golf turf to their liking and ran tremendous races on a beautiful September morning. (Sophomore) Tina Huang showed us a glimpse of her solid athletic ability with a bust-out race at the Del Oro Invitational. (Freshman) Jonah David used the fresh air of Foresthill to run his fastest two-mile time of the year. And (freshman) Eric Lechpammer saved his best race for last, coming ever so close to a seven-minute pace over the two-mile course in Angels Camp.”

Freshman Eric Lechpammer (Photo retrieved from CavNet)

VOLLEYBALL

By Sicily Schroeder

COACH JASON KREPS: “What stands out to me from this last season is how everyone contributed to the team in huge ways. Players adapted to new roles and were constantly stepping up. What I remember the most is the joy on the team’s faces as they competed. They were a really fun group to coach!

“Game-wise, both Buckingham games (on Sept. 19 and Oct. 16) stick out to me. They both went to five sets, we won the first and they the second, and it was just a blast seeing the girls compete and have fun!”

Senior Savannah Rosenzweig (Photo by Shimin Zhang)

SOCCER

By Dylan Margolis

COACH MATT VARGO: “We started with nine or 10 underclassmen, and if I had to sum up the season in a few words, I would say growth and maturation.

“(In) the last league game, we were able to hold two-time undefeated section champion Cristo Rey scoreless in the first half (of a 2-0 loss).”

Sophomore Malek Owaidat (Photo by Hermione Xian)

Winter sports

SKI AND SNOWBOARD

By Arjin Claire

COACH JASON KREPS: "We had some new skiers, freshmen Callister Misquitta and Shivom Sharma, on the team, and it was exciting to watch them experience racing.

“The biggest, most memorable event this season was (sophomore) Hailey (Fesai) getting injured in her first race. It was heartbreaking to experience, but to see Hailey’s strength and courage — she’s been very positive. It was a significant injury (broken thigh bone) to go through and be a part of. I know she looks forward to racing again next season.”

Junior Bri Davies (left) and sophomore Hailey Fesai (Photo by Sergei Fesai)

GIRLS BASKETBALL

By Sanjana Anand

COACH LATONIA PITTS: “There were so many memorable moments throughout the season. (Freshman point guard Jada Grey) scored 31 points against Valley Christian (on Feb. 7), and (junior small forward Stephanie Ye) scored her first points ever in a game (on Feb. 13 against Western Sierra).

“Also, the girls constantly rallied together to motivate each other and to make each other better despite the outcomes of the games. They even stayed after practice or a game to ask what they could work on. They are a great group of ladies, and I’m excited for next season.”

Freshman Jada Grey (Photo by Emma Boersma)

BOYS BASKETBALL

By Arijit Trivedi

COACH DAVID ANCRUM: “The best part of the season was the improvement of the players and how they all handled themselves when we were pressured defensively. Specifically, the ballhandling of (freshman point guard) RJ Vargo and decision-making of (senior center) Aaron Graves improved the flow of our game.

“The point where we started improving was when the (team) started to meet for practice at 6 a.m. instead of the usual 7 a.m. It was an important decision that helped them improve right away.”

Senior Aaron Graves (Photo by Elise Sommerhaug)

Spring sports

The tennis team played only four matches, winning each, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The golf squad was limited to one tournament and the baseball team to two exhibition games. The swimming and diving team and the track and field squad were unable to compete.

BASEBALL

By Arijit Trivedi

JUNIOR HAYDEN BOERSMA, A CENTER FIELDER: “I was looking forward to trying to hit a home run this season. I’ve never hit one before, and I thought I had a good chance this season because I’m a little stronger than I was last year.

“I’ll miss the seniors. They were really fun to be around and play with. It’s a shame they didn’t get a season this year.”

Sophomore Miles Morrow (Photo by Hermione Xian)

GOLF

By Ethan Monasa

COACH MATT VARGO: “The highlight of the season was (senior) Jackson Crawford winning the first and only SMAL (Sacramento Metropolitan Athletic League) tournament (on March 9). Jackson worked really hard on his game, and it was nice to see him go out and play well.

“I also liked (freshmen) Samrath (Pannu) and Shivom (Sharma’s) effort at practice. They improved a lot in a short time.”

Freshman Samrath Pannu (Photo by Shimin Zhang)

TRACK AND FIELD

By Arjin Claire

COACH RICK FULLUM: “We had a lot of high expectations this season, and our team was looking good overall. We expected league champions in pole vault for both boys (senior Garrett Shonkwiler and sophomore Arijit Trivedi) and girls (senior Emma Boersma).

“Both the boys sprinters (senior Charles Thomas and sophomore Craig Bolman) and distance runners (freshman Eric Lechpammer and Trivedi) were looking good and had a chance at qualifying for sections. The girls (also) showed a lot of promise for the season. Overall, we had a solid team, and we are looking forward to the next full season.”

Sophomore Craig Bolman (Photo by Emma Boersma)

SWIMMING AND DIVING

By Arikta Trivedi

COACH BRIAN NABETA: “I was looking forward to seeing if we could three-peat as Division III women’s champions. The quarantine got in the way of our goals.

“I’m not sure if I’m going to coach next year, so I’m up in the air on expectations. My current job, coaching the DART swim team, may require more time commitment.”

Senior Rebecca Waterson (Photo courtesy of Waterson)

TENNIS

By Nihal Gulati

COACH JAMIE NELSON: “It was our third match, against Linden High School at home (on March 5). The last match to finish was girls doubles No. 1, (sophomore) Tina Huang and (freshman) Samhita Kumar. It was close all the way.

“The sun was setting, and the score was 9-9. At that point, the league rules called for a seven-point tiebreaker. It was getting dark, and the tiebreaker score ran to 5-5. The only fans left were the coaches.

“Tina and Samhita had no idea that the whole (team’s) victory or loss hung on the outcome of their match. They won the next two points to claim a 7-5 victory, and we eked out a 5-4 win.”

Sophomore Vanessa Escobar (Photo by Arikta Trivedi)