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Fall Coaches Weigh in on Excitement for Season

These Woodbridge coaches have some impressive plans as the fall sports’ season approaches

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Coach Tracy Roberts, Girls Golf:

What are you most excited for this season?

I am very excited about the girls’ season because we have a large returning squad from last year’s successful team that was league champions as well as CIF runner up. We are very excited to build on that growth

Are there any particularly good players this year?

We have two very successful seniors, Yuki Yoshihara and Azumi Arai, that have grown into extremely good players and we are expecting great things from them.

Are there any opposing teams who are going to be particularly challenging?

Our entire league is very competitive.

Have you altered your team’s routine to make it more intensive?

We continue to strive to improve each day as students, players and as individuals.

Photo by Emily Chin

Coach Rick Gibson, Boys Football:

What are you most excited for this season?

There’s a new league that we play in called…Pacific Coast League.  We added Portola High School and Corona Del Mar went to another League so it will be an all City of Irvine League with Beckman still in the City of Irvine but in a different district.

Are there any particularly good players this year?

I think all my football players are good.  Do I have any returning starters that helped us last year?  The answer is yes, I do. We have some seniors in Kyle Hurry, Jacob Nash, Elyjah Rush, Matt Ploff, Kyle Wray, Jared Ayvazian and I am maybe missing one or two there. 

Are there any teams that are going to be particularly challenging this year?

I think that our League is very challenging, I think all of the teams match up very closely together.  It will just be who competes the hardest and makes the least mistakes.

Have you alternated your teams’ routine in comparison to who you are playing this year?

So, we did schedule…a very difficult pre-season.  We have five teams that were CIF champions or very close to that…We are only in our third game right now but we have two more this week that are very difficult teams, when we then roll into our League.

Photo by Timothy Swanson

Matt Campbell, Boys Water Polo:

Are there any players that are particularly good this year?

Our returning seniors would be Grant Smith our goalie player who is an all league player from last year, JP Faza, Joseph Faza, Eric Yang and Aria Shahzad-Ghajar.  

How are you going to improve your team position from last year?

Last year we finished second place in league.  This year our focus is really to win league. If we can accomplish that, then that puts us in the playoffs.  We would really like to go further in the playoffs. Well, the group has been working really hard all summer.  And we come back and they are putting in a lot of time and effort and they are learning to play together very well.  I think through their hard work, we should be successful.

Are there any opposing teams that are going to be particularly challenging this year?

Our preseason schedule is very hard.  We play some very, very good teams so that will be challenging. And then League, I expect Beckman and Northwood to be the top challengers.

Have you altered your team’s routine to make it more intensive or more suitable to beat the opposing teams this year?

Our training and practices are pretty intensive.  Water polo is a very physically demanding sport. So, all of our players are in really  good shape by the time our season starts. We take one game at a time and each opponent one game at a time because the opponent has strengths and weaknesses and we try to match up with those strengths and weaknesses.

Mr. Campbell was excited to share that, in the pre season polls, the Woodbridge High School team is ranked eigth out of all the Orange County High School water polo teams.

Photo by Timothy Swanson

Alan Ho, Girls Volleyball:

What are you most excited for this season?

I [am] excited to see how the girls come together and compete as a team.  Every year is different since you have girls that have graduated and new girls coming in.

Are there any particularly good players this year?

Jenny Leitman is a senior that is one of our leaders and committed to play D1 volleyball next year.  We also have a couple of other solid contributors in Izzi Budetti, Beverly Braun, Amber Cheser and Madelaine Leitman.  I’m excited for our younger players that are coming through the program as well.

Are there any teams that are going to be particularly challenging this year?

Beckman is always tough, they [are] well coached and athletic.

Have you alternated your teams’ routine in comparison to who you are playing this year?

Our main focus this year is on mental toughness, being able to bounce back from bad plays or bad calls and not having them affect the next play.

Photo by Timothy Swanson

Linzi Gorzycki, Cheer:

What are you most excited for this season?

We have a lot of talent on our team this year and I think that our possibilities are endless.  We have a hardworking, dedicated group that’s ready for any challenge that may come.

Do you have any returning cheerleaders this year?

Yes we do, we actually have, on varsity there are 10 girls who are returning and eight of those 10 are seniors, we have nine seniors in total.

Are there any opposing teams who are going to be particularly challenging?

Yes, most likely Santa Monica High School is going to be our biggest rival.

Have you altered your team’s routine to make it more intensive?

Yes…we have increased their difficulty and speed and how fast they are doing parts of the routine.

Photo by Emily Chin

Ryan Sabado, Girls Varsity Tennis:

What are you most excited for this season?

I’m just excited about the amount of growth that we have  We are a pretty young team lead by two senior captains who have done an amazing job for our team.  I’m [not only] excited to see them grow as captains, but to see our young team become more successful in how we practice and play in our matches.

How are you going to improve your team’s standings in comparison to last year?

Last year we did not [go to CIF]  It’s always a goal for us…but we [are going to] challenge this year.  We have a pretty solid young team, we only have two seniors so our goal is to make it to CIF like it is every year.

Are there any opposing teams who are going to be particularly challenging?

Yeah, we play in one of the most difficult leagues for tennis in all of the country.  Last year we had the Division 1 champs in our league. We also have the Division 2 champs in our league…Corona Del Mar…and…Beckman  So in 16 weeks we have two division champs so it [is] pretty though, I expect it to be tough…In our league there [is] no easy day everyday [is] a test day against the schools so the girls are [going to] have to practice hard, play smart and play to their ability.      

Have you altered your team’s routine to make it more intensive?

Yeah, I think every year we [are] just trying to grow, to get better.  I think last year we just built on having fun in terms of being competitive with teams but I think this year we are making a push to be challenging for the title. We were just incredibly young last year, over half of our varsity team were either sophomores or freshmen so this year it [is] kind of that same thing but now we have more experience.  

Photo by Timothy Swanson

Bryan Pacheco, Cross Country:

What are you most excited for this season?

I coach cross country so I am pretty excited for my team and I think they are going to do really well.

Do you have any returning players this year?

The top five athletes are the scoring athletics.  We have five guys who are training really hard and running really well.  We are going into the season with a really solid team.

Are there any opposing teams who are going to be particularly challenging?

In league, on the girls’ side, there are two other schools that we will be fighting with to try to win league.  On the boys’ side, I honestly do [not] think they are going to have any challenges…I think they will win league again this year.  

Have you altered your team’s routine to make it more intensive?

A little.  Every year when you have your team, you [have] got to look at the athletes you have and where they are in their training.  Then you have to adjust for that. So every year we do adjust training some, based on that year teams and how talented and how much experience they have and stuff like that.  

Photo by Timothy Swanson

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Fall Coaches Weigh in on Excitement for Season