Winter sports raise temperature with hot starts

by Eric Yee, online editor

Men’s Soccer

Key Losses: Gianni Pagliuca, Guillermo Rivas, Diego Mejia

Key Returners: Matt Goodman, Nathan Grixti

Key Newcomers: AJ Jureki

2010 Record: 17-0-5

Coach: Chris Faidley

This years men’s team is picking up where they left off last year.

Loaded with returning players, Cal has opened the season with  a 7-0-1 record.  Expectations will remain high when the Grizzlies enter EBAL play today at San Ramon Valley.

The team wants to work hard at every opportunity and hopefully be playing their best soccer at the end of  regular season and in the playoffs. It’s clear the talent is all here for this year’s team.

The team began the season with a 3-1 win over Liberty High on Nov. 17.

Senior Eric Asari scored two goals and senior teammate Cameron Townsend added another score.

The Grizzlies repeated as champions of the Winter Classic tournament on Nov. 28 with a 4-0 win over Granada. Junior Nate Grixti had two goals in the win.

“We want to win the NCS and make the playoffs three years in a row,” senior defender Matt Goodman said of one of Cal’s goals.

Last year, the team rolled to the second round after defeating Castro Valley 3-1 in the first round. But No. 8 seed De La Salle upset Cal in the second round after a 1-1 tie and 5-4 penalty shootout.

More impressively, last year’s team was the first in Cal history to go undefeated in the regular season and win league

Returning all-league players Grixti and senior Duke Driggs  boast some of the best talent the league has to offer.

“We want to be playing our best soccer at the end of the season,” said coach Chris Faidley. “We’d like to strive to get better every day, each practice, each game.”

Women’s Soccer

Key Losses: Tasha Bach, Tracy Hong, Darby Broeker

Key Returners: Alyssa Holsworth, Shannon Wyne, Rachel Feldman, Rachel Hamilton, Lauren Holden,

Key Newcomer: Lauren Coll

2010 Record: 14-3-6

Coach: Lee Munson

Coming off a great playoff run, the women look solid and should have another shot at competing for an NCS title.

Held together by a strong work ethic, practices are used to work on plays.

After making the playoffs for two years in a row, this year’s squad seems to have the best shot of going deep in to the playoffs.

Last year’s playoffs ended in the second round when Monte Vista upset the No. 4 seeded Grizzllies 3-1.

Cal defeated Alameda 3-0 in the opening round.

“Our goal is to make the NCS (playoffs) and win it,” said junior Alyssa Holsworth. “We are looking forward to playing Monte Vista.”

Coach Lee Munson expects to see improvements from last year’s team.

He wants everyone to put all their effort in every game.

Teams to look out for include Carondelet, San Ramon Valley, and especially Monte Vista, as Cal looks to get revenge for last year’s losses.

The Grizzlies are currently 2-0 this season.

– Eric Yee

Men’s Basketball

Key Losses: Lenny Nieto, Jack Linberg

Key Returners: Noel Frazier, Ryan Hryn, David Eplin

Key Newcomers: Blake Guardino, Josh Ip

2010 record: 13-13

Head Coach: Bob Donovan

This year, Cal looks to see a different outcome after finishing last year with a .500 record and just missing the playoffs.

Head coach Bob Donovan is pushing his team to prepare for the rough schedule ahead of them because he know it will take a team effort if the Grizzlies want to finish with a winning season this year.

Cal must stop powerhouse teams like De La Salle and San Ramon Valley.

“Our defense is our biggest weapon,” said senior Ryan Hyrn. “If we work hard and maintain our defense we should have no problem being successful this year.”

Junior Shane Haley and senior Noel Frazier are already setting the example for other teammates with their great work ethic and dedication to the sport.

The team most recently lost to Dougherty Valley on Dec. 6.  No other results from 2011.

– Cliff Carpenello

Women’s Basketball

Key Losses: Maddie Moore, Amber Delange

Key returners: Jessica Catson, Tori Edwards, Shannon Villanueva

Key Newcomers: Kat Hupkea, Madison Ricks

2010 Record: 10-16

Head Coach: Eghosa Obaiza

It’s the start of a new year and the Cal High women’s basketball team is on the prowl for a winning season.

After a losing record of 10-16 last year, head coach Eghosa Obaiza looks ahead to the new season and a new team.

With a tough schedule ahead of them, the team is going to have to defeat teams like Foothill and main rival Carondelet if it wants to move up in the EBAL standings.

There are a few key returners this year, including junior Jessica Catson and senior Shannon Villanueva.

Both look to lead this year’s women’s basketball team, to a winning season but they know it’s going to take a team effort to help achieve their goals.

“Our mental game really needs to change,” said Catson. “We need to stay positive in order to see any improvement from last year.”

It is clear to the team what it is they are going to have to have a winning season.

But actions speak louder then words and they’re going to have to prove that this year’s team is a different.

– Cliff Carpenello

Wrestling

Key Losses: Cole Pricco, Rich Garwood

Key Returners: Shaun Lin, John Pricco

Key Newcomers: Ryan Mai, Jared Toth

2010 record: 1-6

Head Coach: Kevin Lopez

Despite the wrestling team’s rough season last year, the team looks forward to this new season as a fresh start for everyone.

The new season means two things: a farewell to a few key wrestlers and the return of both some returning and new grapplers

With the loss of Cole Pricco and Rich Garwood, the team looks to key returners senior Shaun Lin and junior John Pricco.

The team is led by head coach Kevin Lopez, who looks to bounce back from last year’s season.

Lopez makes it clear to the team that he is ecstatic for the new season and will do everything in his power to prepare them for the season ahead.

Lopez has also decided that the team will have six practices a week instead of five.

This new schedule has made the team stronger mentally and physically, forcing them work harder to achieve their goals of a winning season.

“It’s going to take dedication and players who are serious about wrestling if we’re going to see a winning season,” said junior Daniel Barker.

Barker and Cole Pricco were the only two wrestlers to advance to NCS. The team hopes to send more wrestlers to represent Cal this season.

– Cliff Carpenello