Fall sports previews

Football

Head Coach: Eric Bellici

2009 Record: 4-3 EBAL, 5-6 overall

Key Returners: Kyle Alvarez, John Sarmenta, Drew Reil

Key Losses: Gio Javier, Reggie Davis, Trevor Morrison

Key Newcomers: Kevin Ezebuiro, Brian Krause, Guillermo Rivas

Black helmets aren’t the only thing that’s new about Cal High football this season.

With second year head coach Eric Bellici teaming up with senior quarterback Drew Reil to lead the Grizzlies, there is a sense of familiarity with the offense that has outscored their opponents the first three weeks of the season 125-37.

In 2009, Cal boasted a three-headed rushing attack between graduates Gio Javier and Reggie Davis (when healthy), and senior Kyle Alvarez.

This year, it looks more like a nine-headed attack.

Nine different Grizzles ran the ball in the most recent win against Castro Valley. Kyle looks to get most of the carries, but seniors Ryan Ceccarelli and DJ Spalliero, juniors Armani Washington, Brian Krause, Jerrell Dunn, Bryce Pang, and Drew all figure to get a significant amount of touches this season.

“They all do something different,” said Bellici. “One running back might excel at running outside, while another is great for those third-and short situations.”

Cal improved to 3-0 on Sept. 17 by beating Castro Valley 45-14. Drew threw two more TDs to bring his pre-league total to eight. The Grizzlies also beat NCS rival Washington 35-20 on Sept.4, and College Park 45-3 on Sept. 10.

Cal, ranked fifth by the Bay Area News Group, opened league play on Friday at home against rival Monte Vista. Results were not available before The Californian went to press.

– John Sexton

Men’s Water Polo

Coach: Tony Tovani

2009 Record: 12-12 overall

Key Returners: Jake Hoyt, Eric Hildreth, Jamison Shapland

Key Losses: Jeremy Lewis, Kyle Stelter, Dylan Heath

Key Newcomers: Charlie Perschau, Austin Thomas

The men’s water polo team already had a first place finish in its opening tournament, and the season has just begun.

The Grizzlies are 8-1 in the short 2010 season with their only loss to Irvington-Fremont on Sept. 15.

Last year, the squad advanced into the second round of the NCS playoffs. After steamrolling Heritage in the opener 17-1, Cal was knocked out of NCS by Campolindo, 10-7.

“We are really hoping to get to at least the third round NCS and go over 50 percent in wins for the season,” said junior co-captain Jake Hoyt.

– Luke Finkel

Women’s Water Polo

Coach: Jenna Casady

2009 Record: 5-9 EBAL

Key Returners: Hannah Dittman, Maithili Jalihal, Shannon Pinion

Key Losses: Natalie Meltzer, Maile Driggs, Nikki Stromberg

Key Newcomers: Dana Shell, Ellen Perfect, Zara Juskalian

The women’s water polo team has very high hopes for its new-look team this year after a below average 2009 season.

Last season, the Grizzlies were 5-9 in league and finished in fifth place in EBAL, missing the postseason.

Many players are very excited to be playing for a new coach this year and the potential the team has.

New coach Jenna Casady really wants to see improvement among the girls this year. She wants them to be competitive in each game while improving their skills.

“As long as the girls learn something from every game, and as long as we get better… Every game I want to see improvement,” said Jenna.

– Luke Finkel

Women’s Cross Country

Head Coaches: Dina Anderson, Steve Armstrong

Top Returners: Elaine McVay, Charlene Chew

Key Losses: Colleen Lillig

Key Newcomers: Amanda Stelter, Marisa Rodrigues

Outlook: Cal’s cross-country team looks very promising with the return of several key runners, including senior captain Elain McVay.

Elaine is ranked the top runner in the EBAL this year. She is predicted to win the championship this year after placing third last season as well as placing 22nd in the CIF State Meet with a time of 18:25.

The biggest question for the squad this year is who will be replacing three time NCS champion runner Colleen Lillig.  Elaine is the frontrunner for the number one runner position but newcomers are looking to step up and earn a varsity spot.

“People didn’t realize it, but Elaine was on her heels all of last year,” said head coach Dina Anderson.

Last year, Elaine took third at NCS, and is ready to be the top runner at Cal.  She has filled Colleen’s shoes 100 percent said Anderson.

Contrary to common belief, cross-country is really a team sport, according to coach Steve Armstrong.  The sixth and seventh runners are just as important as the top ones.  The problem for this team seems to be finding those last runners according to Anderson.

As long as the team continues to train hard and stay focused, they will do well, said sophomore Charlene Chew.

In order to be successful this season, the team must continue to train hard and the young runners on the team need to keep up their good efforts, Elaine said.

– Matt  Goodman

Men’s Cross Country

Head Coaches: Dina Anderson, Steve Armstrong

Top Returners: Sameer Patel, Cory Chew, Alex Radermacher, Ben Lillig, Brian Paniagua

Key Losses: Ryan Lonie, Erik Anderson

Key Newcomers: Kyle Kao

Outlook: The men’s team looks to have a strong season as Cal returns with a solid core of runners led by senior Cory Chew and junior Sameer Patel.

Senior Alex Radermacher has made huge improvements from last year, and could also be a top contender in EBAL as well as NCS, said head coach Dina Anderson as well as Sameer.

Cal hopes to finish among the top five at EBAL and among the top 10 at NCS.

“As long as the team continues to work hard, and stay motivated, they will do well,” Cory said.

A problem facing this team is that they have already started suffering some significant injuries.

“Pavement is terrible on these young runners’ legs,” said Anderson

The team lost two of its top runners from last year when Ryan Lonie and Erik Anderson graduated, but Cal was able to keep a number of returners such as junior Chris Jachowski and sophomores Brian Paniagua and Ben Lillig. They also add sophomore Kyle Kao.

Sameer is likely to finish in the top 15 at NCS and has a chance at the top 10 said Chris. With a lot of strong runners and potential standouts this season, Cal looks to have a very strong season as long as they can stay healthy.

– Matt Goodman

Women’s Tennis

Head Coaches: Laurie Radanovich, Kal Peters

2009 Record: 6-8 EBAL

Key Returners: Shannon Hung, Kellie Taylor

Key Losses: Jessica Forseth, Sharon Ng, Dorothy Lee

Key Newcomers: Jessica Ma, Kiana Kramer

With their high energy, team bonding, and pure determination, the women’s tennis team is back with a bang this season.

After placing fifth in league last season, the girls are hoping to move up to at least the third spot in EBAL in 2010, and are aiming to make NCS again.

Senior co-captain Kellie Taylor and junior co-captain Shannon Hung are hoping to improve upon a second place finish in NCS last year by winning the doubles championship.

“We have a really young team this year,” said Kellie. “We set up tough preseason matches, so I expect us to do well this season.”

– Ritika Iyer

Women’s Volleyball

Coach: Todd Baham

2009 Record: 17-16 overall, 7-7 EBAL

Top Returners: Michelle Watt, Lauren Beyerle, Lindsey Canfield

Key Losses: Alyssa Didio

Key Newcomers: Caitlyn Quindoy, Ali Good, Cassandra Montell

With an experienced starting lineup, the ladies are hoping to finish atop the EBAL and earn a high NCS seed.

Last season, the team missed the NCS playoffs by a slim margin.

“We want to make NCS,” said senior co-captain Michelle Watt. “Our goal is to win EBAL. As a team, our goal is to play consistently at a high level.”

Coach Todd Baham said the team’s long-term goals are to improve over the season and become NCS champions.

– Ritika Iyer

Women’s Golf

Head Coaches: Mike Pottinger, Brian Barr

2009 Record: 3-12 overall, 2-12 EBAL

Top Returners: Angela McElroy, Tara Burns, Madison Gerecke

Key Losses: Maridel Terciano, Kelly Tuner, Christina Henning

Key Newcomers: Madalyn Schenk, Samantha Cookson

After losing half of its varsity team, the ladies are rebuilding this season around three core returners: No. 1 player Angela McElroy and senior captains Tara Burns and Madision Gerecke.

All have posted career low scores so far this year and have provided good leadership for some promising newcomers.

The Grizzlies (2-7 overall, 0-7 EBAL) opened the season by beating Dublin twice, but they have struggled in league play.

– Oren Abrahams