Cross Country, Football, and Water Polo and their post-season ventures

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As San Lorenzo Valley High School’s 2015 Fall Sports teams wrap up their seasons, it’s time to take a look back at some of this seasons highlights.  All of the teams have had both heartbreaks and victories, but overall had successful seasons.

The long standing tradition of strong Cross Country teams at San Lorenzo Valley High School lives on. Once again, both teams made it to the Division IV Cross-Country CIF State Championships.

After placing in fifth place last year, the girls moved up one place and finished fourth out of 23 teams. The boys, however, dropped four places this year, but could have placed higher had the start of the race gone differently. Three of our runners, after the first 150 yards, were tripped up and trampled, leaving cuts and gashes on their legs, arms, and even their faces. This incident cost them their positions in the race, but they fought their way back through the pack and ended up helping their team finish in 14th place (23 teams total).

The Girls team was lead by Junior Abby Meck. Meck finished in sixth place (out of 192 runners) and had her personal best time of 17:58 in the 3.1 mile race. The Boys team was led by Freshman Chris Anderson, who placed 22nd overall (out of 192 runners) with a time of 16:04 in a 3.1 mile race.  Both Meck and Anderson finished less than 1 minute behind their respective race winner.

Coach Rob Collins was very pleased with the team this year and has said that they all worked very hard for their successes this season. Rob says, “I felt great about the end of the season. We had a great year and did different things.” The team focused on packing and had good success with it.

The San Lorenzo Valley High School Football team also had a good 2015 season. The team worked hard, played strong and made it into the first round in Central Coast Sections (CCS) before losing to Half Moon Bay. This is the second year in a row they have made the CCS playoffs. The Cougars played a hard fought game but fell short of making it into the second round. Ultimately, their biggest goal was making it into CCS and they did just that.

Another of the team goals this year included beating Aptos High School. While the Cougars played an amazing game, they fell short and lost by 2 points. In fact, the Cougars lost three games (Santa Clara, Scotts Valley and Aptos) by only four points total, proving how strong they were. Coach Matt McMillan says, “I’m really proud of the boys this year. They pulled together, didn’t devour each other, and didn’t point any fingers.” The group was said to be positive and very fun to work with, the seniors on the team will be missed.

Coach McMillan stated that the end of the season was very abrupt, having finished in the first CCS game, and that he was looking forward to practice in the next week. He said, “I thought we were going to win, I felt like the rug was pulled from under them.” Stating also, “It was weird not having football practice the next morning.”

Next year, the Varsity team will have a lot of new faces. The team is losing 12 Seniors this year which will leave some big shoes to fill. After a successful Junior Varsity season (6-3, two losses by only only 1 point), the coaches are sure that the new class of players will be up to the challenge.

The San Lorenzo Valley High School’s Varsity girls and boys Water Polo teams both had very good seasons as well. In fact, the Girls Varsity Polo team went undefeated in league…a perfect 12-0! After an amazing regular season, the team advanced into the first round of the Central Coast Section tournament where they were taken down by another local powerhouse, Aptos High.

Although they didn’t make it past the first round in CCS, the girls still had a fantastic season. Junior Lexi Johnson said, “The team did very good. Our chemistry was strong and we played really well together.” She also said that the team’s best game was against Robert Louis Stevenson (RLS). The game was super intense and came down to the wire.  The Cougars beat the Stevenson Pirates by a score of 10-9. The whole team played with amazing energy and were rewarded with the victory.

Several players ended up with post-season awards. Senior, Sophie Northcott was named Monterey Bay League – Pacific Division co-MVP and Jenna Solomon was named Junior of the year.  Along with Northcott and Solomon, juniors Sara Schoepp, Kit Kelley and senior Carley Zilge were all named to the MBL-P First Team.

The boys team also had a very strong year, their chemistry was similar to the girls team, strong and very positive. Everyone on the boys team were all very good friends. Although the boys did not make CCS they still played a very good season, keeping up with their opponents and playing strong in their games. Post season honors went to Senior, Tommy Chestnut. He was honored with the Elgie Bellizio Sportsmanship Award and was also selected to the MBL-P First Team.

Congratulations to all of our San Lorenzo Valley HIgh School Cougar athletes that competed this fall.  They have represented our school well.

By Courtney Carter

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