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Sports

February 13, 2019

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New boys volleyball team holds open-gym practices for all Staff Reporter For the first time in the history of Burlingame, boys volleyball is being offered as an official sport. While neighboring schools such as Hillsdale are entering the third year of having a boys volleyball team, the idea of offering boys volleyball at Burlingame was not proposed until late last year by sophomores Niall Finnegan and Zachary Ngai. “We’ve had 2 open gyms so far and a signup day,” Finnegan said. “On signup day we had about 50 people show up, and we usually have about 20 or 30 people show up to the open gyms.” Although boys volleyball is a new phenomenon at Burlingame, it has been offered as a club sport for many years. That said, school volleyball is open to both experienced and novice players, as this team this year won’t be competing for rank, but rather they will be testing their skills exclusively via scrimmages against other schools. However, next year the team plans to join the Peninsula Athletic League and compete at a higher

PHOTO BY VISHU PRATHIKANTI

BY DAVID MEHRAN

level. In preparation for the season, several open gyms have been held after school for medically cleared boys volleyball players. The sessions consist of mainly drills and modified scrimmages. Any Burlingame student is welcome to join these open gyms before the season begins, provided that they too are medically cleared. “A lot of guys have been asking us how it’s going as we were creating the team and a lot of basketball players wanted to play or just try the sport,” Ngai said. “Most guys just thought it was a girls sport but going to the open-gyms they saw that it was for guys too.” Boys volleyball tryouts are postponed until winter sports have finished. As of now, the plan is to “commence boys volleyball tryouts on Monday, Feb. 11 through Friday, Feb. 15 from 4 to 6 p.m., ” according to head coach Chris Chu. “I am eagerly looking forward to the season, I hope to improve both my volleyball skills, as well as productively contribute to the success of the team” junior Jimmy Woods said.

Sophomore Ned Sigler practices serving the ball. Practices are held Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Soccer prepares for postseason run BY MARK HABELT

Staff Reporter A year after reaching the Central Coast Section (CCS) postseason final against Saint Ignatius at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, the Panther soccer team looks poised to make another deep postseason run. After a promising NorCal run that ended with a tough 3-2 loss to Montgomery

(Santa Rosa), the Panthers set their sights on a NorCal title this year. Luckily, with new CIF playoff changes allowing for the NorCal Division 1 champion to play for a state title against the SoCal champion, the Panthers have a chance to not only win a NorCal title, but to be the first Burlingame team to hang a state title banner since the 1988 women’s basketball team. PHOTO BY MARK HABELT

BY HANNA SATO

Chief Photographer The Burlingame cheer squad’s season is coming to a close as the basketball teams begin to end their seasons as well. On Feb. 1, both the basketball and cheer teams held their annual senior night, a final chance to celebrate the senior athletes and their time as members of their teams. The cheer squad celebrated senior cheerleaders Gracy Burdick, Ella Escobar, Pia Esguerra, Sophia Agreda, Perla Abarca, Allison Ayong, Brianna Castro, Zulema Morales, Hanna Schweinberg and Caroline Icardi. Escobar and Esguerra were this

year’s cheer captains. Each member of the team walked down the court with their family, cheered on by the younger members of the team who will take over next season. Juniors Taylor Glatt and Isabella Villeggiante will be the new senior cheer captains. “Next year is really exciting since we will be seniors and there will be new captains and hopefully a bigger team,” junior Faye O’Connell said. Following the end of the cheer season, the team will begin to prepare and hold tryouts for next school year’s season. PHOTO BY HANNA SATO

Senior defender Aidan Burke (11) and junior defender Slater Bolstad collide as junior defender Liam Griffin (2) looks on.

The Panthers carry a 9-3-3 record (6-1-3 PAL) into their final 3 games—one against a beatable team in Half Moon Bay (Feb. 13) and two against tough competition in Menlo-Atherton (Feb. 8) and South San Francisco (Feb. 11). Coach Anthony Dimech’s squad currently controls its own destiny in the Peninsula Athletic League (PAL), as a three-game winning streak to end the season would guarantee back-to-back PAL titles. However, the Panthers have their work cut out for them, considering they lost 2-0 in their first match against Menlo-Atherton and played South San Francisco to a scoreless draw at home. Junior striker Ethan Kaufman expressed profound confidence in the team’s prospects, claiming that “we are on top of the league, and we will stay there.” A big question mark that hovers over the team will be the status of senior center defender Aidan Burke, who sprained his ankle during a practice on Jan. 31 and will likely be out one to two weeks. He will not likely be ready to face Menlo-Atherton, but he would provide a huge boost against South San Francisco, especially considering his stellar play in the scoreless draw that helped Burlingame keep within reach of South San Francisco in the standings.

Cheer celebrates end of the season and the graduation of their senior athletes

Burlingame swimming optimistic despite pool construction conflict

BY WESLEY CHEN

Staff Reporter The Burlingame swim team now conducts practices at Aragon’s pool due to the ongoing construction at the Burlingame pool. This has proven both difficult and demanding for many students, especially those who relied on having the team pool right next to Burlingame for ease of transportation. However, some members of the team remain optimistic and look at the positive aspects of pool construction. “I am excited for the relation-

ship between the varsity and J.V. teams,” varsity swimmer and senior Sylvia Berterretche said. “I expect that we will become much more of a singular unit this season as we are all practicing together at one time.” In previous years, varsity and junior varsity would practice at different times, resulting in less interaction between the two teams. Only at the weekly swim meets would the teams compete together. The original plan for pool construction was supposed to have

finished long before the swim season started. But at the rate pool construction is occurring, Berterretche is not sure whether the pool will be finished in time for next year’s season. “I don’t think the pool will be finished by next year, but hopefully the aquatic programs will be able to practice at other schools in the district,” Berterretche said. Despite this difficulty, Berterretche is confident the team will have a successful season.

The Burlingame cheer squad performed on Feb. 1 for senior night, the last home game of the basketball season.

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