Taking the Field One Last Time: Spring Sports

Karah Bengs, Staff Writer

Here we go again. Another season, another list of sporting events to attend. With finals right around the corner and all the seniors anxiously awaiting graduation, could there possibly be time for anything else? Yes, there is: spring sports! During these last few months of school, many of your fellow classmates are and have been working hard to win the last of the SCL titles this year.

For the last issue of the newspaper, I wanted to go out with a bang, so I decided instead of just covering one, I would cover all of the spring sports (except for golf; unfortunately, I was unable to speak with the coach). I first sat down with Mr. Ellwood, our athletic director, to find out what it was like organizing all these sporting events.

Q: What is the spring sports season like for you as the athletic director?
A: With this being the wettest winter and spring in recent memory, getting baseball, softball, boys’ golf, boys’ tennis and track events in has been, to say the least, an interesting adventure. Many people don’t realize how many other components there are to athletic events than just the contest itself. Each event has transportation, officials, support staff, and facility prep. In many cases, we are making decisions on playing or postponing the events at the last minute. As you can imagine, this creates a bit of a whirlwind of activity in the afternoons when the weather is less than optimal. With that said, our coaches, athletes and support staff are all taking it in stride and doing everything they can to get our games in.

Q: How important do you think after-school sports are for high schoolers?
A: High school athletics are the heartbeat of any school in that it allows students from many different backgrounds to come together for a common goal. It teaches lessons that complement those taught in the classroom. Our student-athletes as a whole have a significantly higher GPA than the student body that does not participate in athletics.

Q: Do these sports open the doors to playing for college? Do we have any people getting signed this year?
A: Although less than one percent of all athletes get scholarships to attend college, we have many alumni that are now playing in college at some level. As you would imagine, a large number of this group is participating at SRJC right now. I love picking up the paper and seeing the names of former Analy student-athletes succeeding at our local junior college. We have several athletes that have committed to colleges this year. Marie Alameida is headed to Boston University for swimming and Bailey Hunter to Pacific Union College for basketball.

Q: How do you think the sports at Analy bring the community together?
A: All anyone has to do is attend a Friday night football game or a basketball game in the winter to see the importance our community places on high school athletics. Having a relatively large school in a small town makes our events a priority to many community members. There are numerous community organizations that have made it a priority to support our high school’s athletic programs. The Analy High School Athletic Boosters, Analy Alumni Association, and the Rotary Club have all shown great interest and provided support to all of our 600+ student athletes each year. Our athletic program could not function without their support.

From here, I contacted coaches and student athletes from each sport. I hope they may inspire new athletes and fans or merely a renewed sense of school spirit.

Track and Field
Responses by senior Kimberly Juarez Rico
Q: How would you describe the season?
A: I would describe this season as full of energy. We have a lot of new members on the team who are very eager to train and improve in their events.Many freshman are even competing at the varsity level.
Q: How big is the team this season?
A: The girls’ team is very big this season, and we are able to fill up almost every track event and field event. The boys’ team is on the small side, but their strengths make up for the lack of numbers.

Q: Will you be pursuing the sport in college?
A: I will not be pursuing track and field in college, because I am planning to focus on my academics at Stanford University. However, I will still run recreationally with the running club.
Q: What is the atmosphere like during track meets?
A: Track meets are always filled with people running around trying to get to their events on separate sides of the field, but they always find time to cheer on their teammates as they run by.
Q: What has your senior year been like?
A: It’s a bit emotional. I have been on this team all four years of high school through all the times we had to run on the bike bath or around the library, when the track was being remodeled, and through all the wins as well. I am definitely going to miss competing and running around the track with my favorite people.
Q: What would you say to kids who are interested but didn’t play this year?
A: I encourage everyone who wants to try track to join the team next year. Coach Mark Grismer sounds like he is mean because he makes us do a lot, but he is actually the nicest person in the world and only makes us do a lot because he loves us. Even if you do not want to run, track and field is one of those sports that has something for everyone. You can run long distance, sprint, jump for distance, jump for height, pole vault, or even throw things.

Responses by senior Aidan Toner-Rodgers.
Q: How would you describe the season?
A: I think this has been an especially interesting season mostly because we have players at so many skill levels. Over half the team is just beginning to learn tennis so it’s been a different kind of season for me and the team.
Q: How big is the team this season?
A: I think we have about 15 players. Ten play in each match and then the rest are exhibition.
Q: Will you pursue tennis in college?
A: I’m playing basketball in college for sure, but I’m also hoping to talk to the tennis coach when I’m there.
Q: What’s your senior year been like?

A: I’m happy to be back this year after being hurt last year and I’ve had a good time so far. I’m looking forward to the SCL tournament. I should win it; I haven’t so far in high school.
Q: What would you say to kids who are interested but didn’t play this year?
A: To kids who didn’t play tennis this year, I would say that it’s the perfect sport to pick up without a lot of experience. There’s room in tennis to learn the game, which isn’t there in many other high school sports. Also, we have food at matches.

Brought to you by senior Shivani Kumar
Q: How would you describe the season?
A: For me, this season has been great. I have improved so much in the past four years and this year is showing that improvement. It has also been really fun bonding with the new freshmen and meeting new people. It’s cool to have something besides school to put work into.
Q: How big is the team this season?
A: We have about 16 girls and about 25 boys. We have the biggest team in our league and I think that’s an advantage because our players are always getting better and the ladder keeps changing, which is cool to see.
Q: Will you pursue badminton in college?
A: I’d love to try to play badminton for fun in college, because this is the one sport in which I’ve actually had fun and improved substantially.
Q: What is the atmosphere like during games?
A: During games, the atmosphere is serious but fun. All players are respectful of all the games going on, so it’s not super loud. We all watch our teammates play and learn from them.
Q: What has your senior year been like?
A: As my fourth year on the team, it’s bittersweet! It’s cool to have finally reached my goal at being in the top four, but it’s also sad because I won’t be able to play with these students or coaches after this season.
Q: What would you say to kids who are interested but didn’t play this year?
A: Everyone improves within just a few months, and we have lots of first and second years who are already on varsity. Even if you are low on the ladder, you still get to play exhibition games against the other schools. No matter where you are, it’s super fun to be a part of the team and get to be a part of the games.

Responses by senior Grant Schwall
Q: How would you describe the season?
A: Cold but fun.
Q: How big is the team this season?
A: About 25 people.
Q: Will you pursue swimming in college?
A: Personally, I will not. As far as I know, only Jack Murphy is going to swim in college.
Q: What is the atmosphere like during meets?
A: The meets are pretty lowkey, unless it’s a close meet, then it gets crazy.
Q: What would you say to kids who are interested but didn’t play this year?
A: Swim is a lot of fun. It’s as challenging as you make it. It’s a great way to get a tan while getting PE credits.

Responses by senior Emily Dreyer
Q: How big is the team this season?
A: This season we have 18 players.
Q: Will you pursue softball in college?
A: I am planning on walking onto the Humboldt State softball team, which means I will be trying out for their team next fall.
Q: What’s your senior year like?
A: It’s very bittersweet. I’m glad to move on to another team but there are so many memories on our field with my teammates and it’s sad to think that it’s coming to an end soon.
Q: What would you say to kids who are interested but didn’t play this year?
A: I would say do what you feel is right. Play if you want to play. But you only have so long to play softball, so you might as well take advantage of it!

Responses by Coach Ogston
Q: How is the season going for you thus far? What are you hoping to get out of it?
A: Our program has been pretty successful over the last 5 years. We have played in the NCS championship game twice during that time period, and are currently 12-4 this season. We are hoping to win the SCL again, and hopefully play for an NCS championship.
Q: How many players do you have?
A: We have 19 players, 11 seniors and 8 juniors.
Q: Any other comments?
A: As the season comes to an end, and the weather gets better, come out and support our teams. We are getting ready to make our playoff run, and having the home field support is always helpful!
Thank you to the students who play proudly wearing an Analy jersey. I hope that one of you up-and-coming writers will take the journalism torch and run with it!