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Meet Your 2021 Fall Sports Captains

Boys’ Water Polo

Cole Serrano (12)

What made you want to participate in water polo?

“The people I met freshman year from the team made me want to join. They had good energy, and that environment was something I wanted to surround myself with.”

Who inspires you to compete?

“My teammates, specifically the other seniors, inspire me to compete. I do not want to disappoint them.”

What about being captain do you value most?

“I value the responsibility of teaching new players.”

Apple juice or orange juice?

“Apple juice!”

What is your favorite color, and why?

“My favorite color is purple because it is underused and bold.”

Photo by: Jacob Ramos

Slade Mendoza (12)

Is there a specific athlete you look up to?

“An athlete I look up to is Kobe Bryant because I [admire] his work ethic.”

Where do you find the motivation to work hard?

“I find the motivation to work hard in my teammates and our determination to win games.”

As a captain, how do you motivate your team?

“As a captain, I motivate the team by encouraging them to do better.”

Cats or dogs?

“I love both, but I enjoy dogs more because they are more playful.”

What is your favorite non-water polo sport?

“Basketball because I enjoy online betting when it is in season.”

Cheer 

Photo by: Jacob Ramos

Lyndsey Wong (12)

As the sole captain of your team, how do you manage the responsibilities of being both a cheerleader and captain?

“There are times where I do feel overwhelmed, but support from my teammates and coaches along with motivation from myself keeps me on track.”

What aspects of cheerleading do you feel are overlooked?

“People often do not know how much stamina you need for cheer. There is a lot of endurance needed for things like stunting.”

What has been your favorite moment of the past three years?

“Stunting. Flying is really fun. I like how it builds trust with my team and is just enjoyable overall.”

Peanut butter and jelly or ham and cheese?

“Ham and cheese! It is so good for no reason.”

What is your favorite academic subject?

“My favorite subject is math because I love problem-solving.”

Girls’ Golf

*not pictured*

Beatrice Sun (10)

What is the best feeling possible to get on the golf course?

“On the golf course, it is most satisfying to get a putt or chip from a far distance to get a birdie.”

How do you balance school, golf and other responsibilities?

“I do my best to manage [all my responsibilities], but I always put my academics first.”

How would you describe yourself as a leader?

“As a leader, I try to be welcoming to new members and encourage everyone on the course.”

Math or English? 

“Definitely math, I prefer it overwriting essays.”

If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

“I would enjoy eating sushi for the rest of my life, it’s delicious and there is a lot of variety.”

Volleyball

Photo by: Jacob Ramos

Imani Lee (12)

Volleyball games have some of the biggest crowds of any school sport. How does the crowd’s energy help the team?

“The crowd’s energy helps our team so much because we just feed off of the noise and the energy. We get so hyped when we get a good kill or cool dig, and all the energy makes us want to keep doing great things so that we have something to celebrate. Momentum is extremely important, and I definitely think that energy plays a big role in our overall performance.”

What does being a captain mean to you?

“Being a captain means a lot to me because it gives me a sense of purpose on the court. Not only do I have to play for myself to make sure all the hard work I put in pays off, but I also have to lead by example and demonstrate how our presence on the court is not only dictated by skill but also by our energy, effort and positivity.”

How has club volleyball helped you improve for the school team?

“Club volleyball was an opportunity for me to get more experience and become more comfortable on the court, and I was able to improve my skills while the school off-season was underway. Club has allowed me to really dial in on my fundamentals so that once the school season comes around, I will be cool and composed on the court.”

Would you rather watch the movie or read the book first?

“I would rather watch the movie first.”

Where is your dream vacation?

“My dream vacation would be Hawaii.”

Photo by: Jacob Ramos

Savannah Aguiar (12)

What made you want to be elected captain?

“I wanted to be a captain this season because I love to help the players grow confidence in themselves and as a team through my encouragement and energy.”

When have you faced adversity as a team, and how did you overcome it?

“From a setter’s perspective, one of the most important components of a game is making sure the connection is consistent and strong within the team. When we face adversity, we overcome it by reminding ourselves we have a strong bond made up of incredible individual and group skills. When we focus on implementing that bond and connecting, we often find ourselves putting out better results.”

What are some goals the team set at the beginning of the season?

“One goal our team set before the season was to play to our fullest potential every single point. We wanted to make sure that no point would be lost because we did not give our all.”

What is your favorite drink?

“My favorite drink is Broguiere’s chocolate milk!”

What is your favorite book?

“My favorite book is The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons.”

Football 

Photo by: Jacob Ramos

Elijah Limon (12)

Do you have a favorite athlete?

“My favorite athlete would have to be Tutu Atwell. He is a small guy, and in the NFL, so he is someone I look up to.”

How have you learned from past captains?

“I learned to take control of the team since it is my last year. I also learned to be a role model for the people below me.”

What are some aspects of football you find people don’t know enough about?

“A lot of people do not know how much the game actually means to me. I am willing to do whatever [it takes] to reach my goals.”

What is your dream college?

“My dream college is the University of Colorado Boulder. I want to play football there and live up to the expectations my family set for me.”

PC gaming or console gaming?

“PC gaming. 120 frames per second is so much better than 60 frames per second.”

Photo by: Jacob Ramos

Joshua Beltran (12)

When did you know you wanted to be a captain?

“Ever since freshman year, I have been looking up to the seniors playing big roles as senior football captains. It gave me the motivation to work hard, so now I get to be in that same position to do that for the underclassmen.”

Where do you find inspiration as a player?

“I find my aspiration as a player from Coach Morales, who always teaches us to be people of high character in any situation, good or bad. He inspires me to always push through any circumstance with my head up.”

How do you keep your team motivated?

“I tell my team, along with the other captains, to shake it off and keep going no matter what hits us. I try to motivate them to go 100% all the time.”

What is your favorite post-game meal?

“My favorite post-game meal is a box combo from Raising Canes.”

What is your favorite movie?

“My favorite movie is Dazed & Confused.”

Girls’ Tennis

Photo by: Jacob Ramos

Natalie Wu (12)

How long have you played tennis, and how did you start?

“When I was around ten years old, my mom enrolled me into a tennis class so that I could experience a sport and see if I wanted to continue it in the future.”

How do you manage adversity in matches?

“I manage adversity during my matches by using my mistakes as a teaching lesson to help me improve for the upcoming point. I tend to give myself a quick pep talk to get prepared to win the next match.”

What do you feel is most rewarding about tennis?

“What I feel like is the most rewarding thing about tennis is gaining mental strength because it helps me perform my best under pressure.”

Summer or winter?

“Winter!”

Do you have a favorite video game?

“I like Minecraft.”

Photo by: Jacob Ramos

Monze Meraz-Lerma (12)

What is something you have learned during your time as captain?

“As a captain, I have learned how much more responsibility I have to take as opposed to being any other player on the team. I have to focus on each of my actions and my attitude inside and outside of practice because I want to be a good role model for the rest of my team.”

What is a goal your team set in the preseason?

“Our goal for our tennis team is always to come out of our league season undefeated. In previous years, Rowland [High School] was our biggest challenge, but now that we are in a harder league, this goal is much [tougher] to live up to.”

How do you balance school work with athletics?

“Coming back from virtual school, I am really prioritizing my athletics, especially since it’s my last year in high school. As much as I value my grades and academics, I know that spending extra time at practice or games with my teammates will be more memorable in the future.”

What is your favorite academic subject?

“My favorite academic subject is English because I’ve always felt a lot of freedom with writing and expressing myself.”

If you were an animal, what would it be?

“I would be a bird so I could fly above everybody and live in a tree.”

Boys’ Cross Country

Photo by: Jacob Ramos

Aldrich Gwynne (12)

What were your ambitions going into this season?

“After my sophomore year, the goal for the cross country team has always been to qualify for state finals, and nothing changed this time around. For myself, my individual goal is to break 15 minutes in the 3 miles.”

If you were to give advice to a new runner, what would it be?

“Running is going to suck. No matter how in shape you are, running never gets easy. Cross country is a sport where you push yourself to your physical limits, so anticipate that. However, the payoff of this hard work is euphoric, so just keep staying focused and persevere.”

If you could meet any runner or athlete in the world, who would it be?

“I want to meet Eliud Kipchoge, who is the best marathon runner of all time. I have always respected not only his great physical ability but also his humility on and off the field. He just seems like a really nice guy, and I would love the opportunity to pick his brain.”

Would you rather go on a beach or city vacation?

“I would rather go on a city vacation. The beach is cool, but it loses its warranty a bit fast, in my opinion. There’s always something to do and people to meet in the city.”

Who is your favorite musical artist?

“My favorite musical artist is Mac Miller. I have always respected his vulnerability in his music; it helps that it sounds good too.”

Photo by: Jacob Ramos

Gio Gudiel (12)

How has your life been impacted by running?

“Running is a type of therapy for me and is also one of my greatest passions. It has allowed me to experience things in life that I could never have dreamed of, like competing in state with my best friends.”

Describe your team in one word.

“Adaptable.”

When did you begin running competitively?

“I began running competitively in 4th grade and have continued ever since.”

Do you have a game-day tradition?

“I do. A game-day tradition I have is I take a second right before I get to the starting line to remind myself of each and every person I run for, which includes everyone in my incredible team. I couldn’t have done any of the things I’ve accomplished this season without them.”

What do you do to pass time when you are bored?

“When I’m bored, I like to watch movies and draw as much as I can.”

Girls’ Cross Country

Photo by: Jacob Ramos

Leticia Soloman (12)

Why did you join cross country?

“Initially, I was on the fence about joining cross country in high school because of the mileage that they would run. But, my brother was on the team, and every time I would go to pick him up, I would see a strong bond between the whole team, and I just really wanted to be a part of it and experience it for myself.”

Who is your biggest inspiration?

“My biggest inspiration would be a former teammate of mine named Lily, but I have been constantly inspired by other teammates [both current and former] with all the hard work that they have put in.”

What has been your favorite moment of cross-country to this point?

“It is really hard to choose just one moment out of 4 years as my favorite, but one of my most memorable moments will always be our league championships at Bonelli, where the team ended up pouring the gallons of water we brought on both Coach Gomez and Coach Fess.”

What is your go-to comfort food?

“I’m not a cook at all, but my go-to would have to be veggie dumplings. Sadly they end up [disappointing].”

If you could live anywhere for the rest of your life, where would it be?

“I would want to live in the countryside with no mosquitos for the rest of my life.”

*not pictured*

Isabella Carranza (12)

What pushes you to work hard?

“Reminding myself of my goals pushes me to work hard at practice every day.”

How do you balance academics and athletics?

“I balance athletics and academics by not procrastinating and staying organized.”

What have you learned as captain?

“Being captain has taught me the importance of having a leader on a team. Having a leader gives your team structure so that you have a better chance of achieving your goals.”

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

“If I had one superpower, it would be teleportation so that I’m never late to anything.”

Is the earth flat?

“The earth is definitely not flat.”

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