What is it like to compete for your country? Page 26-28
homecoming special edition
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The Playbook Sections
—Meet the Head Fanatics —Support from the Sideline —Fall Sports Roundtable
8 Players —Wolverines in the Crowd —Q&A: Ben Weissenbach ’14
10 Inside Fall Sports Fall teams deal with adversity including player loss and construction.
Homecoming game previews
17 Game Previews
What to watch for in varsity football, field hockey and volleyball.
23 Homecoming Schedule 26-29 Summer Trips Wolverines travel the world to compete internationally
30-31 Mountain King Henry Elkus ’14 takes a leave of absence from school to pursue a skiing career.
Inside Fall Sports
big red staff Editor in Chief: David Gobel Staff: Michael Aronson, Charlton Azuoma, Eli Haims, Luke Holthouse, Chelsea Khakshouri, Austin Lee, Judd Liebman, David Lim, Robbie Loeb, Keane Muraoka-Robertson, Camille Shooshani, Lara Sokoloff, Micah Sperling, Saj Sri-Kumar, Chelsey Taylor-Vaughn Adviser: Kathleen Neumeyer Cover photo by Eli Haims
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Meet the Head Fanatics
Big Red is a publication of the Harvard-Westlake Chronicle. Harvard-Westlake School 3700 Coldwater Canyon Studio City, CA 91604 Letters can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
DETERMINATION: Jamias Jones ’12 stiff arms a Venice defender in the first game of the team’s season Sept. 2.
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Meet the Head Fanatics Alex Rand-Lewis ’12 pitches for the varsity baseball team. “From the moment I stepped onto campus to see my first football game in ninth grade, I saw the Head Fanatics and how hard they worked to pump up the crowd,” he said. “I knew right then and there that I wanted to be a figure that had the authority to challenge and excite the crowd at all sporting events.” He will serve as the middle man between the Fanatics and the administration.
Judd Liebman ’12 runs cross country and the 800m for the track team. “When I was in eighth grade, I went to the Loyola basketball game and joked around with the Loyola mascot,” he said. “He got upset and stole our water bottles. He then got kicked out and I couldn’t have been more proud of myself.” He knew he wanted to be a Fanatic. “It helps to have someone pump me up. I wanted to return the favor,” he said.
Kristen Lee ’12 plays varsity field hockey, varsity water polo, runs on the track team, and swims the 100m freestyle for the swim team. “I’m happy that I can be even more involved in the athletics program here without playing on the field,” said Lee. Lee, the first girl Head Fanatic, said that a big part of her job this year is keeping up game attendance even at away games that usually don’t draw a huge audience.
Wade Clement ’12 is the goalkeeper for varsity soccer and is the defensive/tight end on the varsity football team. “I have a really loud voice, love our school teams, and love being out there to support my friends and classmates with as many other students as possible.” Clement is responsible for organizing cheers and publicizing games. He is interested in expanding the Fanatics’ focus to performing arts events as well as athletic ones.
Jake Schapiro ’12 plays middle blocker for the varsity volleyball team. “I knew since my first HarvardWestlake game that I wanted to be a Fanatic,” he said. “What really did it for me was the first Loyola basketball game is Taper Gym. It was so loud in the gym and incredibly spirited…I was just like, ‘wow, I want to do that.’” Schapiro will manage aspects of design for the Fanatics, including this year’s tshirts.
Pop Culture Chart Head Fanatic
The NBA lockout is...
Favorite pump up song
Favorite movie candy
Favorite dance craze
Kristen Lee ’12 Field Hockey, Water Polo, Swimming, Track & Field
Outta Your Mind by Lil Jon
Jake Schapiro ’12 Volleyball
Stupid. Kobe makes enough money.
Cookie Dough Bites
Judd Liebman ’12 Cross Country, Track & Field
Anything by Chiddy Bang
Wolverines in the front...
Wade Clement ’12 Football, Soccer
Dumb. The owners have enough money.
Let the Bodies Hit the Floor by Drowning Pool
Alex Rand-Lewis ‘12 Baseball
Great. They should learn a new language.
Too Fake by Chiddy Bang and Big Sean
Watermelon Sour Patch
OVERHEARD “This [P.E. credit given to team managers] has been in place since the Mesozoic era. As long as I can remember, as long I’ve been around... it’s been around for a long time.” nathanson ’s/chronicle
—Audrius Barzdukas Head of Athletics
nobu tamura /palaeocritti.com
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Support from the sideline Students fulfill physical education requirements by taking statistics and videotaping games as team managers. By David Lim On the sidelines of practices and invisible to fans cheering at games, team managers work behind-the-scenes to keep teams vying for league and CIF championships. “When you look at an NBA bench and you see all those people sitting there—what do they all do?” Associate Head of School and Head of Athletics Audrius Barzdukas said. “They’re team managers.” Team managers fill a variety of administrative roles for teams such as taking player statistics and videotaping games, although their duties vary from team to team. The varsity football program in particular relies heavily on its managers, Athletic Director Terrence Barnum said. “The games are in the evening and there are lot of practices,” Barnum said. “So if you are in charge of that, there is a lot more to be responsible for.” Jose Alvarez ’12 has videoed every football game for the past two years as one of the team’s managers. “They’re going to use the video next year when they face the same teams to see how they play,” he said. “Some players meet with the coaches after school [to] go over the film to see what they were doing wrong and what to do better.” Alvarez regularly attends three practices a week and occasionally stays for late practices. He started his duties as team manager in 11th grade after Head Coach Vic Eumont told him he had to help film games to be considered for the team. In the end, Alvarez decided to not join the team and stayed on as manager. Fellow manager Angela Knight ’14 started working with the football team this year after three years of playing as the only girl on the middle school football team. “I stopped playing because the players were getting taller, and it didn’t seem like I would have been able to play very well,” Knight said. “I still wanted to be in the football program, and this seemed to be a great opportunity for me, and the football coaches were all for it.” Knight played her last year of football in ninth grade as a cornerback on the eighth grade team. Now, instead of chasing down receivers, she works off the field, taking statistics and filming the games every Friday. Her new position takes a lot less time than the practices that previously made up her daily routine, Knight said. Time was a also an major consideration for varsity field hockey manager Halsey Robertson’s ’13 decision to transition from being a player last year. “I knew that I would need more time for work in junior year, so I wouldn’t be able to fully commit to actually being a player, but I still wanted to be with the team, so I decided it would be good idea to be a team manager,” Robertson said. Robertson only has to attend home games where she keeps the clock and records player statistics. Compared with other sports such as football, field hockey is considerably less dependent on its managers, Program Head Erin Creznic said. Despite the reduced number of
THE MANAGEMENT: Field hockey manager Halsey Robertson ’13 takes statistics during a match against Westminster on Sept. 4. She has attended every home game this year. hours spent with the team, Creznic believes the work the managers do for the team justifies their PE credit. “It’s a well-deserved PE credit simply because we need the help, and it’s really nice to have them. Clearly they’ve all played sports in the past, and they’re still really helping out the team.” Barzdukas also supports the current team manager system and the awarding of PE credits which has been going on “since the Mesazoic era,” he said. “If you’re doing it strictly on time management basis, and just counting hours, P.E. is much less of a requirement,” Barzdukas said. If that’s just the way you’re going to count it on time. [Football managers] leave at 3, [they] are not getting back until 10:30, seven and a half hours. It’s a lot.” JV lacrosse manager Miranda Van Iderstine ’13 has a different take on the issue of PE credits. “I think it’s fair that I’m getting the credit, but I don’t think it’s fair that other people don’t get the credit for working harder. I’m acknowledging that crew people should get credit or people who fencing out of school,” she said. Alvarez considers the PE credit a “sidenote” to his experience as a manager. “The football players find it boring because they [video the games] when they’re injured,” he said. “I find it enjoyable because I’m next to the coaches and they’re going all crazy during the game and screaming.” Barnum considers managers to be as much as a part of the teams they work for as athletes in the spotlight. “Not everyone can be an athlete,” Barnum said. “But if you want to support an athletic team, you should get recognized for that. Just because you don’t have the athletic ability, as long as you are willing to put in the effort, you should be able to get all the rewards of being a part of the team.”
“When you look at an NBA bench and you see all those people sitting there—what do they all do? They’re team managers.”
—Audrius Barzdukas Head of Athletics
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Which team do you think has the potential for success in CIF playoffs this year?
Wolverine sports aficionados discuss details, game highlights and players of the the fall season.
How do you think the water polo team will fare with a new coach, the loss of a starter and no pool?
Holthouse: Obviously, I think cross country is going to Bible: Our boys’ water polo team has always had a great go far in CIF both for guys and girls. They both went far last year in the postseason with the boys’ team actually winning CIF, and they are returning most of their runners.
reputation and a history of dominance in the sport. I believe it will continue to be a force to be reckoned with.
that although the team faces great adversity, this is in no way a rebuilding year, and I definitely agree. I think that the boys’ team has fantastic and experienced leadership in the senior class, particularly in Alec Zwaneveld ’12, and the adversity has made and will make the team even more determined to prove everyone wrong and have a great season.
Although girls’ cross country is sure to go far, I also believe that football will go far into CIF playoffs. Their high-powered offense has been incredible in recent games. If the defense can continue to be strong, the team will go far.
Aronson: The girls’ cross country team is undoubtedly
the best it has been in years, and it has a solid shot at winning the state title. Cami Chapus ’12 and Amy Weissenbach ’12 have already established themselves as elite runners, and I am betting their senior seasons will be evidence of that.
Although we have a number of great fall teams, I would have to say our girls’ cross country team. The talent that we have in this group is truly extraordinary.
Lee: The new coach, Brian Flacks ’06, has repeatedly said
I think the team will be just fine. It has a strong core of talented seniors who will be able to overcome the difficulties of the season. Zwaneveld is tall, strong and an imposing force in the water that other teams will definitely have to plan for.
Flacks has established a strong relationship with his players and has proven he is worthy of the coaching job after starting the season with two wins. The team has an unbelievable freshman class with players like Morio Saito ’15, Anthony Ridgely ’15 and Johnny Hooper ’15 stepping up and valid senior leadership with Zwaneveld, Brian Graziano ’12 and Bradley Schine ’12 to keep the boys dominant.
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SENIORITY: Cami Chapus ’12 and Amy Weissenbach ’12 (not pictured) led the girls’ cross country team this season after dominant summers in the sport.
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Who will be the standout athlete of the fall season and why?
Jamias Jones ’12 has definitely been overlooked as one of the true stars of the football team. Coming back from a season-ending ankle injury is never easy, but he has definitely been playing at the standards he has set for himself. So far, it looks like other teams don’t have an answer for him.
In two recent games against Fairfax and Leuzinger, Chad Kanoff ’13 managed to put up 10 touchdowns without throwing a single intereception. Since this is only his first full season as a starter, he will only improve as he gains experience.
I would have to say Cami Chapus ’12. Her performances in cross country last year were remarkable, and I know this year will be an amazing year for her.
Lee: Chapus already has two state banners in the gym, for
cross country alone. Going into her senior year with all of the momentum from her very successful spring in track and field and experience with the USA youth team this summer, I think not only will she shine individually, but she will also be a great leader for the entire cross country team.
STEP-UP SEASON: Chad Kanoff ’13 throws a pass down the field against Venice Sept. 2/. Kanoff has thrown a total of 13 touchdowns in his first three games as a starter.
Alec “Choma” Zwaneveld ’12 for boys’ water polo is my choice. The UCLA-commit is not only one of the senior leaders on the team but also its best player in my opinion. As the starter at two meters, he should be a force in front of the goal on offense and motivate the rest of the team through a tough year with the new coach and pool construction.
What has been your favorite moment of the fall season?
Aronson: Chad Kanoff ’s ’13 deep pass to Clinton Hooks
’13 with time running out in the fourth quarter in the team’s first game against Venice was seriously impressive. He proved himself to the fans as a prominent starting quarterback who can handle pressure situations in big games.
Kristen Lee Head Fanatic, Da varsity field ho Ath rlene ckey leti B co-captain, wa c D ible ter polo irec player, swimm tor er, and track and field runner v
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My favorite moment was watching the Wolverines crush Fairfax after a really tough loss against Venice. It was nice to see the team lay a beating on Fairfax, who we tied last year. The team played well, including the defense, which scored more than the entire Fairfax team.
My favorite moment of the fall season would have to be the football win against Fairfax. We tied them last year and to beat them by as much as we did this year just shows how much progress the team has made. I think that was a big positive moment for our school.
The football win against Fairfax was a great game. The defense was rock-solid against the run, the no-huddle offense was clicking, and a lot of exciting young players are making contributions to the team. I’m looking forward to seeing the team take on El Camino Real at Homecoming. PHOTOS BY NATHANSON’S
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Wolverines in the crowd
A middle school field hockey player, a water polo player and a multisport athlete stand out as young players to watch.
Madeline Oswald ’15 Field Hockey
Despite having played field hockey for only three years, Madeline Oswald ’15 is one of two freshmen on the varsity field hockey team this fall. Oswald also plays school and club soccer. Playing on varsity is a challenge, Oswald said, because she “has to leave the Middle School really early some days and miss class.” “Being around older and more experienced players helps me with my own skills,” Oswald said. “I just want to play in high school and enjoy it and see where it takes me.” — Lucy Putnam
Duncan Froomer ’15 Water Polo
In his fourth year playing water polo, Duncan Froomer ’15 is one of the veterans of the middle school water polo program. Froomer began playing water polo when he was 10 years old. “I watched my brother [Langdon Froomer ’12] play against Long Beach Wilson and was really intrigued with the sport,” Froomer said. Froomer hopes to continue playing beyond Harvard-Westlake into college as well. “I love my coaches, my teammates and the physicality of the sport,” he said. — Grant Nussbaum
Benny Gonda ’16
Football, Basketball, Track & Field Benny Gonda ’16 plays right tackle and defensive end. Gonda also plays basketball in the winter and track and field in the spring for Harvard-Westlake teams, as well as rugby and soccer outside of school. Gonda said he will continue to play football as he moves into high school. “I hope to play running back in high school and possibly linebacker and corner,” Gonda said. Gonda has been playing tackle football for two years and his favorite part of football is “the adrenaline of the game.” — Sam Sachs
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Ben Weissenbach ’15 Ben Weissenbach ’15 enters his first season running cross country. He hopes to fill the running shoes of older sister Amy ’12 in his first year competing. By Michael Aronson
Has your older sister taught you anything about running cross country?
Q A Q A
What about being on the cross country team do you love and why?
What does it mean to you to be on a varsity team as a freshman, and do you feel any pressure to step up because of your age?
How have you fared so far? What was your time in your first meet?
What is the biggest meet you think you will be running in and why?
Amy has been one of my role models. I don’t really know much about the sport because this is my first year running. She was the one who encouraged me to try out for the team. I found it was a cool sport. I just started the racing circuit and I haven’t been in many races, but everyone else is teaching me.
My favorite part about being on the team is hanging out with the other runners. It is a really nice group of kids and it is a fun environment. What are your personal hopes for the season and how do you plan to achieve them? My goals are more team-oriented for this year. I don’t know too much about times and I am just hoping to gain experience. I don’t have any time goal in mind because I don’t know what my times really mean at this point in the season.
It is special to be a freshman on a varsity [team] and I don’t feel that much pressure because everyone on the team is really nice. If I just run and do the workouts, I will be fine when it comes to the races.
I finished third on the varsity team in the first league meet. David Manahan ’14 would normally beat me but he was injured that day. My time was 18:24 for a little over three miles that day but my best time so far is 16:05.
Some of the invitationals will be big, for example Woodbridge, which we had a few weekends ago. It depends how far we go, but if we get to state that will definitely be the biggest meet.
Ben Weissenbach ’15 runs in his first varsity cross country meet on Sept. 13. He ran five kilometers (3.1 mi) in 18:24, averaging about six minutes per mile.
PRINTED WITH PERMISSION OF JOHN WEISSENBACH
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Safety first Due to a new CIF rule, all field hockey players are required to wear goggles. Players don’t like them, but doctors say they could help prevent eye injuries. By Charlton Azuoma The stage, the place, the time, the team, the opponent. All that remains the same. The field hockey team will again play the Bonita Bearcats at this year’s homecoming, on Ted Slavin Field at 2:30 p.m. One thing has changed: they’ll be wearing goggles. Arm sleeves in basketball and wristbands in tennis are one thing, but goggles in field hockey have never been common. The goggles serve a more protective purpose than a fashion statement. Most of the players don’t want to wear them. However, the National Federation of State High School Associations now requires all high school field hockey players in the United States to wear protective eyewear during competition. “Very few field hockey players wore goggles before this rule,” program head Erin Creznic said. “When we used to play the goggles would fog up a lot which made it hard to play.” “The goggles are rounded so when you look down at the ground, it makes your vision all messed up and it affects your game,” varsity midfielder Glenne Carter ’14 said. Dr. David Aizuss, an optometrist at Opthamology Associates of the Valley says the goggles could prevent serious eye injuries. “The mildest thing that could occur is a contusion…basically a black eye,” Aizuss said. “The worst thing that could happen is a ruptured lobe which is when the eye is actually punctured. That’s a disaster.” “If there’s a significant risk of having an eye injury then having protective eyewear would prevent a lot of future problems.”
SAFETY FIRST: Maddie Oswald ’15 sports the newly mandated athletic goggles in a game against Westminster. The girls won the game 4-0. They face Bonita this Saturday. DANIEL KIM/CHRONICLE
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Dual threats By Luke Holthouse Jamias Jones ’12 is used to scoring touchdowns. Jones was the starting running back for the Wolverines last season and led the team in rushing touchdowns. But there was something unusual about Jones’ 50-yard score in the team’s win against Fairfax High School Sept. 9. It was as a defensive back. “[The receiver] tipped the ball,” Jones said. “I saw it up in the air, then I started bobbling and bobbling it. Then once I grabbed it, I had to take it to the house.” His interception return wrapped up the Wolverines’ 51-14 win over defending CIF Division II champion Fairfax. While it may be unusual to see a defensive touchdown, it isn’t unusual to see a football player playing multiple positions this year at Harvard-Westlake. In fact, it’s the new norm. Defensive linemen are playing offensive line. Tight ends are playing linebacker. Wide receivers are playing cornerback. Even quarterback Chad Kanoff ’13 is doubling as the the team’s starting punter. A high number of injuries on last year’s team led Head Coach Vic Eumont to teach players how to play different positions this year. Training players at multiple positions during the season prepares players in the event that a teammate gets injured. The team finished last season with a six-game losing streak, and was plagued with injuries. “It’s a result of seeing what happened last year,” Eumont said. “If we do have injuries this year, as opposed to last year, we’ve got guys that understand both sides of the ball so if they have to go in they’ll be better suited for that than last year.” Eumont added that a decrease in the number of players in the program this year factored into the decision to assign multiple positions to player. “Preferably, you’d want to have enough guys so that that doesn’t matter,” Eumont said. “As coaches, we have to do a good job
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of getting our personnel in there correctly and not getting a guy too tired. So guys have to be in shape first and then they have to be honest about whether or not they can play because you don’t want somebody loafing out on the field because they’re exhausted.” Eumont made sure that there weren’t any players “loafing out on the field” after intense fullfield sprints called “gasers” during summer practice. “Conditioning was tiring, way more so than last year,” lineman Thomas Oser ’13 said. “We ran gasers almost every day this summer. Even during two-a-days, we ran gasers after each practice.” Playing offense and defense in the same game can be exhausting for any player. But so far, the Wolverines have embraced the challenge. Wide receiver and defensive back Julian Shabahang ’14 said he is more comfortable on offense than on defense, even though this is his first year on offense. He doesn’t play much on defense, but he has made his impact on offense with two touchdowns in the first three games. New positions weren’t the only big adjustment the Wolverines made over the off-season. The team also added a fast-paced no-huddle offense, inspired by the University of Oregon. “It was different,” Jones said about the off-season changes. “It’s my first year of playing defense so I’m trying to get the new offense down in addition to understanding a new position. It was very challenging, but that’s what we use the summer for, to get in shape and learn these new offensive schemes and defensive schemes.” After losing its opener to Venice, the team showed it had adjusted to the new style of play by winning its next two games. “We have to work on our run game and blocking up front,” tight end Wade Clement ’12 said. “We’ve been doing that stuff well, but there’s always room for improvement. No matter what the score is there’s always stuff that we can correct.”
DOUBLE DUTY: Chris Sebastian ’13 earns yards after a catch as a wide receiver against Venice, top. Sebastian lines up with the opposing receiver as a cornerback before the snap, bottom. He is one of five players who start on offense and defense.
Sign language By Robbie Loeb What do Ashton Kutcher, Jason Segel ’97, Maggie Gyllenhaal ’95 and Jake Gyllenhaal ’98 have to do with football? No, “Coach Kutch” won’t be making a return performance on the sidelines anytime this season. At least not personally. Images of the three alums and former frosh football coach appear on one of the eight play cards – large posters with four images, mostly celebrities, which signal to the football team their next play. The card is held up on the sideline, along with first-year offensive coordinator Scot Ruggles giving extra signals that tell the offense more about the play. “The significance [of each card] is subject to change each week,” quarterback Chad Kanoff ’13 said. “But they can mean anything from a blocking protection to a specific play, from how fast we go to a snap count.” The cards communicate everything the offense needs to know for the next play in a way that’s fast and easy to understand, but not so easy for the opposing defense to crack. “I’m not going to tell you what they mean, but here’s an analogy,” Ruggles said. “If you go to McDonald’s, and you order a number two, then you know it’s a Big Mac and a soda, or whatever it is. So when we hold up a sign, it means that we don’t have to signal different things and it goes that much faster for our offense.” The intent of the cards is to streamline the offense to a point where the defense can’t keep up. “We dictate the pace that we want to play and it allows us to push the pace and limit the defense because they don’t really have a chance to get their plays in,” Ruggles said. “This offense is very rhythmic, and if you’re in a good pace then usually there are good results.” Against Venice, the offense ran 94 plays – seven more than the University
of Oklahoma, the fastest team in college football, averaged last season. Granted, the number of plays run doesn’t always equate to wins, as evidenced by the loss against Venice and the blowout wins against Fairfax and Leuzinger. In the wins, the offense ran 55 and 50 plays, respectively. The Wolverine defense accounted for 18 points in those wins combined, which kept the offense off the field for longer. “It all depends on the drive,” Ruggles said. “The last two games [against Fairfax and Leuzinger] we have scored quick and had short fields.” Ruggles believes the fast-paced offense will give any defense trouble. The fast pace of the offense forces opposing defenses to perform while they’re exhausted. “It’s tough for college kids, so high school kids will have a tough time ad-
First-year offensive coordinator Scot Ruggles introduced a fast, exciting offense this season. justing to that pace because most teams won’t be able to prepare for that pace,” Ruggles said. “They could prepare for the plays, but it’s tough to simulate the pace we play at.” The offense is called the spread option, and is designed to spread out the defense vertically and horizontally. It is a variation of the more common spread offense, but with a quarterback who can scramble effectively. It is the same system that the University of Oregon, which reached the BCS National Championship game last season, uses. Ruggles coached with Oregon head coach Chip Kelly while at the University of New Hampshire. The team even watched film of Oregon while they were learning the offense over the summer. “It’s exciting for the kids any time you do something different,” Ruggles said. “A lot of people run the spread offense, but a lot of people don’t do it with the pace and tempo that we do. I think it puts a lot on the kids to have to perform and play when they’re tired, and I think it’s exciting for the fans.” The players have adjusted well to the new offense, and generally say they prefer it to the old one. “This offense fits the type of team we have really well,” Jamias Jones ’12 said. “The new offense requires us to be in great shape because we are constantly moving.” The Wolverines have scored 127 points and Kanoff has thrown 13 touchdowns three games into the season. Last year, against the same opponents, they only scored 72 points and quarterback Max Heltzer ’11 had thrown nine touchdowns. “We worked hard in the summer,” Ruggles said “I got here in April and we put the offense in and each day you see it grow. We’re a very young football team. We’re doing some good things now and our goal is obviously to get better each game.” DANIEL KIM/CHRONICLE
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Inside: Volleyball/Cross Country
Safety starts at the core By Julius Pak
EASY UP: Libero Katie Price ’12 stretches for a dig against Marymount. Price is one of just three returning varsity players this season after 11 seniors graduated.
She can dig it By David Lim
The pressure is on team captain Katie Price ‘12 to get the volleyball team’s defense back on track after a three-match losing streak early in the season. As the libero, Price specializes in defense, diving all over the court for digs. “Typically, volleyball is a tall girl sport,” Price said. “[Libero] is a perfect position for me because I’m low to the ground, but I can still play the sport that I love.” Last year’s libero, Anne Cohen ’11, graduated along with 11 other players in June, giving Price and the four other team captains an additional challenge as they adapted to their new roles on the team. “I used to be what’s called a ‘defensive specialist’,” Price said. “I would get substituted in, similar to a libero, and from that position I was able to get a sense of what was needed to lead interaction on the court, and how I would do that next year as a senior,” Price said. As captain, Price is also responsible for leading the team’s pre-game rituals and helping the 11 first-time varsity players get ready for the higher level of play.
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“[Price] has taken on a role as a vocal leader keeping girls accountable, encouraging them and trying to keep them focused at practices,” said Program Head Adam Black. “She’s done a very good job taking on the libero position and taking on the role as one of our leaders.” Price figured out her future in volleyball after her last high school varsity season. After narrowing down her offers to Boston College and Bucknell University, Price ultimately decided to commit to Bucknell. Price’s former teammate, Amanda Hall ’11, plays volleyball at Bucknell. “Had I seen the school without anyone I knew going there, I still would have fallen in love with it,” Price said. “It’s beautiful, and it’s perfect for me.” Despite the rocky start to her final high school season, Price still has confidence in the team as they head into their homecoming match against Lakewood on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. “The trait I would use to describe us is tenacious,” Price said. “We’re determined and we have a goal in mind and I really think that we are going to do anything we can to start strong in the Mission League and go as far as we can.“
Last fall, Amy Weissenbach ’12 injured her hip. As a result, she sat out the rest of the season, including the state meet. In an effort to prevent further injuries and improve the overall strength and fitness of the team, Head Coach Tim Sharpe spearheaded a new strength and conditioning program this past summer. “We don’t want injuries by being stupid and not being prepared,” Sharpe said. “You want to be prepared for everything you can. That’s part of the reason we’re doing that strength and core program.” The program contains techniques derived from yoga and pilates. Sharpe studied the methods used by college programs and the U.S. national track and field team. “What I wanted to do was to put together a really succinct program that integrated the core and then combined it with a lot of different strength exercises that strengthen the joints in a lot of ways,” Sharpe said. “One of the main purposes is not just getting better, but injury prevention. If the core is stronger, then you get better training. The stronger the connective tissues, the less we get injured.” Core is the focus of the team’s new training regimen. “Running is sort of a very core-driven sport in a lot of ways,” Sharpe said. “Your extremities are swinging and pressing off the core. The stronger that core is, the greater leverage that can be put on it. If you stay relaxed and I push you, your body kind of gives. If you tighten your core and I push you again, then you see that you get leverage throughout your whole body.” While the focus remains on strengthening the core, Sharpe emphasizes the importance of good form with whatever the team does. “It’s really a theme you want to reinforce when you’re trying to learn any movement in general,” Sharpe said. “At any point in the system, if you’re in the habit of always trying to do good form in everything you do, hopefully that carries through to your running. Not only do we get stronger, but we prevent injury.”
Inside: Water Polo
PHOTOS BY DANIEL KIM
CLOSE CALL: The boys’ water polo team celebrates its quadruple overtime win against Cathedral during homecoming last year, above. Fans cheer on the team during the Cathedral game, bottom left. Alec Zwaneveld ’12 takes a shot, bottom right.
Boys’ water polo: no pool, no problem By Michael Aronson Fans in Zanuck Swimming Stadium erupted after Kayj Shannon ’11 scored a goal in sudden death, quadruple overtime sudden death in last year’s homecoming game against Cathedral. The cheers and applause from students, teachers and parents were earpiercing after the boys 12-11 nail-biting victory. Players on the team celebrated in the pool afterwards with triumph after winning in front of their home crowd on homecoming day. The team will not play a homecoming game this year on campus because of construction on the pool, which is expected to last through next summer. The team, however, will have an of-
ficial homecoming game this year, but it is scheduled the night before homecoming day at UCLA’s water polo stadium against Foothill High School. Varsity goalie Rye Newman ’13 is not particularly upset about not having the game on campus. “[Not having a homecoming game] is worth having a 50-meter pool next year,” Newman said. Alan Vucetic ’13 stepped up to varsity this year and agrees with Newman. “I am not upset about not having the game at school,” Vucetic said. “I am just glad that we have some type of homecoming game because in the preseason there was no game. It is just good to know that we have a homecoming game even if it is away.”
The team’s coach Brian Flacks ’06 is no stranger to the vibrant homecoming atmosphere at Zanuck Stadium. The new coach played water polo for four years for the Wolverines and is familiar with the hype generated from fans packing into the benches next to the pool to watch the boys play. Flacks will not have the opportunity to coach his first homecoming game at home but he and the team have found an upside to the ongoing construction. “We met as a team and talked about the issue at the beginning of the year. In a year we will have the best facility in the country,” Flacks said. “We are going to use this year to come together, support each other and not make excuses.”
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Inside: Girls’ Tennis/Golf
It takes two Although some say tennis is not a team sport, doubles partners rely heavily on each other to succeed on the court. By Camille Shooshani It takes five seconds for Kristina Park ’13 to deliver her serve. The small crowd is absolutely silent as they watch Park step up, wind her racquet, toss the ball and strike the ball. The ball races across the net. Her opponent dives and barely gets it over. Park is not able to return. Her partner, Sophie Gunter ’14 saves the rally and wins the point. It’s Park’s favorite part of the game — the moment you realize you can rely entirely on your teammate. In a doubles match, the dynamic between the players is vital, according to doubles teammates Samantha Maccabee ’13 and Nikki Volpert ’12. “If you don’t like each other, it never works,” Volpert said. “You start yelling at each other. You have to be comfortable with your teammate.” “For singles, you only have to rely on yourself, but for doubles you have to be able to communicate with your partner,” Maccabee said. During training, Maccabee and Volpert work together, building their bond and securing their relation-
ship, on and off the court. “We learn to teach each other what we don’t know,” Volpert said. In a singles match, the attention never strays from the player. The result is dependent completely on the single player. The individuality of the sport is never more obvious. Despite this, the team maintains tennis is a team sport. “You’re not playing for yourself,” team captain Kei Goldberg ’12 said. “The team relies on everyone.” “The tight matches is where it becomes a team thing,” Head Coach Chris Simpson said. “When it’s close then every point in every game counts.” Simpson said that the team relies on three basic strategies: depth, roll and rotation. “We’re not as deep this year,” Simpson said. With injuries plaguing the team, including Goldberg, the team must step it up for one another, Simpson said. “It’s the small things— we don’t have time for huge conversations,” Maccabee said. “Little encouragements when we switch sides help a lot.”
A TEAM EFFORT: Samantha Maccabee ’13 and Nikki Volpert ’12 high-five after winning a point during their doubles match against Palos Verdes, top. The team meets before the same match, bottom.
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PHOTOS BY CAMILLE SHOOSHANI/CHRONICLE
Game time: This Saturday, Oct. 1, the football team takes on El Camino Real hoping to avenge last yearâ€™s last-minute loss to Cathedral. Field hockey beat Bonita last year 2-0 at homecoming, and will face the Bearcats again this year. Volleyball is set to play the Lakewood Lancers, who eliminated the Wolverines from CIF playoffs last year. BIG RED Homecoming 2011 | 17
Remembering Homecoming 2010 Wolverine football lost 24-21 to cathedral, missing an 18-yard field goal attempt on the final play. field hockey beat bonita 2-0. volleyball beat dos pueblos 3-1. water polo beat cathedral 12-11 in quadruple overtime. Photos by Daniel Kim.
Chelsea Edwards ’11 fights the ball away from her opponent.
Julian Casillas ’11 keeps a challenger away from the ball.
Christina Higgins ’11 and Amanda Hall ’11 block a Dos Pueblos outside hitter.
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Kristen Lee ’12 controls the ball against a a Bonita defender.
The Wolverines prepare to defend their endzone against Cathedral.
Fans hold signs in support of number 28, Will Oliver ’11.
Let’s Go. Hug me, brother.
Lewis Dix ’11 embraces a teammate to celebrate after a play.
Cheerleaders Jazzi Marine ’13, Taylor Coooper ’13 and Marka Maberry-Gaulke ’12 perform a routine during halftime.
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Kicking it off
Quarterback Chad Kanoff ’13 headlines a Wolverine football team poised for a win over El Camino Real.
Charlie Porter ’12—Free Safety/Wide Receiver Porter, the defensive captain, is the biggest and hardest-hitting player in the defensive secondary, but look for him as a offensive target down the field.
10.5 3 Tackles per game
Pass deflections per game
Andrew Green ’12 — Defensive End/Offensive Lineman Green is the biggest and most experienced player on the defensive line. He has filled up rushing holes and put pressure on opposing quarterbacks at the varsity level for the last three years.
Tackles per game
Sacks per game
Cameron Komisar ’12— Wide Receiver/Punt Returner Komisar, the captain of the special teams unit, is a big-play threat on offense and on punt returns.
Receiving yards Touchdowns per game per game
Interceptions Touchdowns per game per game Chad Kanoff ’13— Quarterback/Punter Kanoff has made smart throws all year, even under pressure. He is the offensive focal point of the team, and takes on punting duties.
Correy King ’13— Runningback/Defensive Back King is a hard worker who provides a lot of the toughness and physicality that the team needs. He helps the Wolverine offense and is a defensive presence.
Rushing Yards per game
Receiving Yards per game PHOTOS BY ELI HAIMS
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Homecoming: Girls’ Volleyball
DIVING ON THE FLOOR: Madison McAndrews ’13 digs the ball during a match against Marymount. The team lost 25-21, 25-21, 26-24.
Setting it up Molly Harrower ’13— Middle blocker An imposing middle blocker for the Wolverines, her 6-foot-1-inch stature makes her a shield on defense and a threat on offense. This is Harrower’s first year playing on varsity. Previously, she helped the JV team to a undefeated Kills league record.
Arielle Winfield ‘13— Opposite/ Middle blocker Winfield’s leaping ability lets her see the opponent’s block as she hits. Although she is normally a dominant middle blocker for her club team, Sunshine, Head Coach Adam Black tried her at opposite for the Wolverines Kills this season.
Bea DyBuncio ’13 — Setter DyBuncio leads the deep ’13 class on this year’s team as the only junior who was called up from JV to varsity during last year’s CIF playoffs. Her consistent and accurate sets are the first steps in the Wolverines’ offense.
Jackie Beyer ’13 — Outside hitter/Opposite One of the few left-handed players on the team, Beyer uses her height and her versatility to block and hit from multiple positions on the court. This is her first year playing on varsity.
Statistics reflect only one game vs. Liberty Sept.17. BIG RED Homecoming 2011 | 21
Homecoming: Field Hockey
Sticking to the game plan
GOAL SCORED: Lucy Putnam ’13 scores a goal in the team’s 4-0 win at home against Westminster on Sept. 14.
Brigid Sofen ’12 —Forward/Midfielder Described as hard-working by her teammates, team co-captain Sofen has the ability to play both sides of the ball as a midfielder. Her speed and quickness make her a specialist at repossessing the ball from opponents.
Goals per game Taylor Lee ’13 — Forward This quick junior possesses good ball-handling skills. She and Sarah Markowitz ’12 work together to put in goals.
Goal per game
Goal per game
Assists per game
Kristen Lee ’12—Forward Co-captain Lee, a four-varsity sport athlete and Head Fanatic, will play field hockey for the University of California, Berkeley. 22 | BIG RED Homecoming 2011
Assists per game
Sarah Markowitz ’12 —Forward A speed demon up-front, Markowitz scores often for the Wolverines. She and co-captain Kristen Lee ’12 played field hockey in Spain during the summer.
Goals per game
Assists per game
2011 Homecoming Schedule
Field Hockey vs. Bonita At Ted Slavin Field 3 p.m. Previous Matchup: Wolverines defeated Bonita 2-0 at Homecoming last year.
DRIBBLER: Elana Meer ’13 avoids a Westminster defender during the Sept. 4 game.
2011 Overall Record: Wolverines: 3-1
2010 Overall Record:
Girls’ Volleyball vs. Lakewood In Taper Gym 5:30 p.m. Previous Matchup: The Wolverines defeated Lakewood 23-25, 25-15, 25-11, 25-21
KILLER: Varsity co-captain Lucy Tilton ’12 spikes the ball in a game against Marymount.
2011 Overall Records: Wolverines: 4-6 Lakewood: 3-2
Football vs. El Camino Real
At Ted Slavin Field 7:30 p.m.
2011 Overall Records: DOUBLETEAMED: Correy King ’13 takes on two Venice defenders during the Sept. 2 game.
Wolverines: 2-1 El Camino Real 3-0
State rank: PHOTOS BY DANIEL KIM
Wolverines: 152 El Camino Real: 295
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GO BIG RED: Cheerleaders Emily Persky ’13, Alexis McCarthy ’14, Camelia Somers ’14, Kelly Crosson ’14 and Sidney Moskowitz ’13 perform during half time at the Venice game on Sept. 2. There are 25 cheerleaders on the squad this year, and 17 are underclassmen.
Strength in numbers By Charlton Azuoma As they say, there is strength in numbers. If you apply that saying to this year’s cheerleading squad, it’s clear that the program has been hitting the weight room this summer. This year, there are 25 cheerleaders in total on the HW Spirit team. That’s more than in the past two years combined. And like any other sport, the reason behind the growth of the program is recruiting. “A lot of our girls from last year really enjoyed the program and decided it was something they wanted to share with their friends,” Head Coach Jessica Miller said. The news traveled by word of mouth to the Middle School, primarily to the girls in the dance program, that a lot of girls who had been new members of the 2010-2011 squad had enjoyed cheering. From there the seed was planted.
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“We knew that after they had spent a few days on the field with us theyd love cheer just as much as we do, and it worked.” co-captain Taylor Cooper ’13 said The team was finalized after tryouts in April. “All the leaders are really nice and friendly and sisterly. I love my new squad,” Rachel Persky ’15, little sister of squad cocaptain Emily Persky ’13, said. The new sophomore members believe that being on the same team with upperclassmen has helped their transition to the Upper School. Coach Miller was recruited from University of California, Riverside by the former cheerleading coach. Miller believes that the older girls on the team have played an instrumental role in mentoring some of the younger girls on and off the field. Many members acknowledge that the new girls bring a lot to the table,which can be beneficial to the team.
More girls joined HW Spirit, the cheerleading team, this year than in the past two years combined. “Since there’s so many of us, there’s more that we can do. A lot of the girls from dance are really strong so we can do a lot more stunts,” co-captain Marka Mayberry-Gaulke ’12 said. Another big bonus that comes with the addition of so many members is the team’s ability to perform outside of school. This year, HW Spirit will compete in cheerleading and dance contests. Ten dancers were chosen out of those who tried out to form a separate team that will perform in a category called poms, which is comprised of elements from cheerleading and dance but with no stunts. “The team’s been coming along well. We’re learning new things and doing new tricks and it’s been going great,” Emily Persky said. The new, larger squad has performed at all of the varsity football games so far. They will be on the field for the homecoming game Saturday on Ted Slavin Field.
PASS IT ON: The girlsâ€™ volleyball team is looking to defend their Mission League title. Outside hitter Madison McAndrews â€™13 is part of a group of juniors bent on helping the Wolverines make CIF.
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Most high school athletes never compete outside of their own states, but Wolverines are competing nationally and internationally. They break records, get recruited and win tournaments. What is it like to be a teenager traveling the globe representing your country?
By Michael Sugerman
fter running in the World Youth Track and Field Trials in Myrtle Beach, S.C. in late June, Cami Chapus ’12 and Amy Weissenbach ’12 qualified to compete in the championships, held in Lille, France. The next morning, Chapus, Weissenbach and the other qualifiers sat down for a meeting with their parents and national coaches. “The coaches basically said the athletes are ours from now until we get back from France,” Chapus said. Until Chapus and Weissenbach left for France just weeks later, their lives revolved around getting ready for the International Association of Athletics Federations World Youth Championships. The competitors trained together and by the time the U.S. team boarded a plane to fly together to France, the team members already knew each other somewhat well. “The vibe from the plane ride was really exciting,” Weissenbach said. “All the kids started a slow clap, and once we were up in the air everyone started whooping.” Chapus and Weissenbach could only see their parents, who came to Lille as spectators, after their races. Otherwise, they were not allowed to see their families until the competition ended. The coaches made this rule in hopes of maintaining team focus, Weissenbach said. There was an instance when her parents tried to bring snacks to the team at their hotel, but the manager would not let Weissenbach go get them. Instead, the manager retrieved the snacks. “It was kind of a weird situation,” Weissenbach said. “At the same time, we enjoyed a kind of independence. The team bonded more than we would have, and I think there would have been less focus on teamwork had we been allowed to see our families more.” The worst part of the competition, Chapus said, was waiting in a tent with her competitors prior to her race. “Overall, competing internationally is definitely a lot different,” Chapus said. “It really makes the experience
amazing. It’s so fun to be able to go places with your friends, and you meet a whole bunch of new people.” “I guess it’s just really been a jump from a year ago,” Chapus said. “A year or two ago I’d never really been to these places, and now I’m running all over the place.” Weissenbach and Chapus are not the only Wolverine globetrotters to represent themselves or their country in national and international competition.
CLA-bound pitchers Max Fried ’12 and Lucas Giolito ’12 flew to North Carolina to try out for the USA Baseball 18U National Team. Fried and Giolito flew with their fathers but were separated from them when they arrived, and were assigned to live with host families during the Tournament of Stars in North Carolina. Most of the families, Giolito said, live near Cary, N.C. and are veteran host families for the Tournament of Stars which has been held in that area for years. The families drove the athletes to games, then stayed as spectators. Giolito mentioned to his host father that he likes to eat a breakfast of french toast and sausage prior to each game he pitches. Although Giolito said he wasn’t superstitious and that it was “no biggie,” his host father had it ready for him anyway. After the Tournament of
COURTESY OF THOMAS PABST
GOLD MEDALIST: Arden Pabst ’13 plays third base for the U.S. 16U baseball team.
Stars, Fried and Giolito made the U.S. trial roster, which included 40 players from around the nation. The players split into two 20-person teams, and then the two teams competed to qualify for the national team. At this point, both players stopped rooming with their host families and stayed in a hotel with their teammates. Fried and Giolito, who were on different teams, said despite the fact that all of the athletes were competing to make the national team, there was no animosity between the two teams. In fact, members of opposite teams would become close friends. “It’s definitely a privilege,” Fried said. “Being able to play against the best in the country is really exciting and fun,” Fried said. “You’re able to develop new friendships and relationships.”
uring the summer, Arden Pabst ’12 won a gold medal for the USA Baseball 16U National Team in the International Baseball Federation 16U Tournament. Pabst, who recently committed to Georgia Tech, made the team after a trial in North Carolina. From North Carolina, the team flew to Mexico. “It was definitely exciting going to Mexico,” Pabst said. “I’ve never been there before. When we landed in Mexico, everyone started getting excited and anxious, and talking about how much they wanted to win a gold medal.” There was a police escort everywhere the team went. “We went to a town an hour and a half away, and we had an escort of two trucks, two motorcycles and two cars,” Pabst said. “It wasn’t really on my mind, but having an escort was really cool.” Throughout the tournament, the team-to-team relations were cordial, despite limited interaction, Pabst said. The teams all stayed in the same hotel in Lagos de Morano. “It was friendly,” he said. “It’s not like we were shunning anyone. It seemed like the U.S. and Mexico would be rivals, but they were good guys. Chinese Taipei and Australia were
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all really humble, and they were cool guys too.” In fact, Pabst still keeps in touch with the Australian team via Facebook. “Sometimes we hung out in my room, and just talked about the tournament,” he said. At the end of the championship game, U.S. players VICTOR YOON/CHRONICLE signed autographs for spectators, then traded gloves, FOREIGN EXCHANGE: hats and other memorabilia Arden Pabst ’13 traded with their competitors. gloves with players on other “After we won, we could international teams. talk to the other players and just mingle,” Pabst said. “It was just really fun.” Pabst obtained a jacket from the Mexico team, which he sometimes wears around school. He also traded gloves with members of the Chinese Taipei team. “Overall it was a really cool and great experience,” Pabst said. “It was an incredibly fun thing to do.”
he U.S. girls’ 16U water polo team selected Morgan Hallock ’13 to be the captain at the Pan American Games in Puerto Rico in July. “I was with my teammates all the time, and really my parents were there for support, and not to take care of me,” Hallock said. “A lot of parents didn’t come, so I was very fortunate that mine came to cheer me on during the games and catch up with me afterwards.” The international teams stayed at the same hotel.
“When we would travel back and forth from the Marriott to the San Juan Natatorium, we would take a big bus,” Hallock said. “The team we would be playing would be in the same bus as us, and most of the time it was tense.” Hallock said many of these tense rides involved police escorts back and forth from the pool to ensure timely arrivals and safety. “The fact that we had to have the escort was surreal to us at first, but throughout the trip, it became another factor to just how important this tournament was,” she said. “All year, we had competed against hundreds of athletes from around the country to earn a spot on the team, and the little things, like having a police escort, made the experience so much bigger than ourselves.” Though traveling with her opponents was often tense, “it was amazing to be in the same hotel with different athletes from around the Americas,” she said. “I still keep in touch with many of these people, and will definitely see them again at future international tournaments,” Hallock said. “One time, the Brazilian mens’ goalie serenaded a group of Brazil and USA girls, playing a guitar and covering ‘My Girl’ in the best english he could. We all became family. However, when game time came, we left everything we had in the pool and played competitively.” The selection process for the games started in September of last year, which included weekend training sessions various strength tests. By springtime, she was traveling to Santa Ana after school on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to train. “It was a really long commute, and I really had to balance my schoolwork,” she said. “Overall, playing in an international tournament was absolutely thrilling. Every single moment I met new people, learned new things and discovered how much it meant to represent the United States. It puts everything on a larger scale.”
SMOTHERING DEFENSE: Morgan Hallock ’13 plays defense at the Pan American Games in Puerto Rico. She led the U.S. team to a silver medal. PRINTED WITH PERMISSION OF TOM HALLOCK
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The rowing crew
Four juniors row crew six days a week. The girls do not receive PE credit for 17 hours of exercise a week.
By Sarah Novicoff
ROW, ROW, ROW YOUR BOAT: Ingrid Hung ’13, Ally White ’13, Martine Johannessen ’13 and Sydney Shannon ’14 row at the Marina Aquatic Center.
Seventeen hours a week of practice including one to two mile runs and gym training. The girls don’t even get PE credit. Ingrid Hung ’13, Ally White ’13, Martine Johannessen ’13 and Sydney Shannon ’14 row crew. The girls practice six days a week, from 4-7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 7-9 a.m. on Sundays at Marina Aquatics Center. Practice includes a one to two-mile warm up run and then an hour and a half of rowing. The team goes to regattas, the term for a race in crew, all over the state. “The training is certainly intense,” said Hung, who joined the team last year. “It’s very hard work, but it’s a sport where you get out as much as you put in. Some sports are a mix of natural talent and hard work, but crew is definitely a sport where hard work alone gets results.” “There’s so much to like,” White said. “It’s so time consuming that you get really close with these different people from different schools. You
get to meet people from places I’ve never even heard of. And you get to see visible improvement from your times, even if you lose.” White is currently attending School Year Abroad in Rennes, France, but will continue to row crew there on a French club team. Shannon began the sport two years ago to follow in her sister’s footsteps and has come to enjoy it. “It’s a big time commitment, but you get really close with the girls on the team,” Shannon said. “It’s an extremely rewarding experience and the races are really fun.” Harvard-Westlake has no crew team and the girls receive no physical education credit for their 17 hours of physical activity a week. “It’s the one downfall of the sport,” said Hung. She said that it wouldn’t be realistic for the school to have a team because no other schools have teams to compete against. The crew season began this September, and five new Harvard-Westlake students joined the team.
7th grade fencer ranks 1st in national age group By David Gisser Charlie Horowitz ’17 won his second Summer Nationals fencing championship in Reno, Nevada, making him the highest ranked American fencer in his age group. The Summer Nationals is the most important pre-collegiate fencing competition in America, Horowitz said. “I lost to my friend in Tampa Bay, Fla., and then I beat him in the finals this year, so it was important that I lost that one so that I could win this one,” Horowitz said. Horowitz won his first national championship at the 2009 Summer Nationals. Horowitz will join the
school team this year and compete in Scholastic League tournaments. He will also attend Harvard-Westlake team practices, rather than those of his club, the Los Angeles International Fencing Center. Fencing is the preferred activity for the Horowitz family. His sister Jenn, who goes to Archer, won the 2011 Summer Nationals in the girls’ under 14 age category. He says his sister was a major factor in his victory this year. “If my sister ever wins and I am fencing after her I feel like there is a lot of pressure on me to win and that’s what happened at summer
PRINTED WITH PERMISSION OF BARBARA HOROWITZ
EN GARDE: Charlie Horowitz ’17 fences at the Summer Nationals in Reno, Nev. Horowitz is ranked first nationally. nationals,” he said. Horowitz does not feel threatened by his sister’s success. “We don’t like fencing each other because we end up getting angry,” Horowitz said. Nonetheless, he said that “we coach each other sometimes.” Travel is common for
Horowitz, who has competed in Portland, Ore., Las Vegas and Reno, Nev., Dallas and Grapevine, Texas, and Miami. In mid-November, he plans on going to Austria for his first international fencing competition in the hopes of “get[ting] higher seeded in the Y14 point list,” Horowitz said.
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30 | BIG RED Homecoming 2011
King of the
By Keane Muraoka-Robertson
In fourth grade, Henry Elkus ’14 ran a 13-minute mile and avoided push-ups and sit-ups as much as he could, but when he strapped on his skis he was unstoppable. “The discovery that I could create the speed that I lacked with my feet through skiing was the reason that I worked hard at the sport from an early age,” Elkus said. While in fourth grade, he was recruited by the Park City Ski Team to make the move to Park City, Utah and train full time. “That was the day I became a ski racer, although I didn’t know it yet,” Elkus said. Despite his passion, Elkus did not relocate to Utah. Instead, at the start of fifth grade, he began flying to Utah every weekend to train. “It was the beginning of five years of the brutal schedule of two flights a week,” Elkus said. “I also learned that I had a disadvantage in the sport. The kids I was competing with, even at age 11, attended ski academies, allowing them to train six days a week, while I had a jetlag-infused two.” Balancing skiing with school has always been tough for Elkus. He decided to stay in Los Angeles so that he could attend the school of his choice. “As a freshman at Harvard-Westlake, I took off almost every Friday from school to further pursue racing,” Elkus said. “With the amount of time I spent in airports, catching up on sleep, and driving from state to state for racing, I was only able to study for three full nights a week. I found that to make up for that disadvantage, talking to my teachers and time planning were crucial to allow me to tackle HarvardWestlake’s tough curriculum.” Elkus left Harvard-Westlake this year to train in Park City. He is fulfilling his education through Stanford University’s Education Program for Gifted Youth, an international online high school program. Getting accepted
into EPGY played an important role in his decision to leave school. It allows him to dedicate himself to skiing fulltime while also continuing his education, he said. He takes 90 minute classes on Mondays and Thursdays. Headof Athletics Audrius Barzdukas supported Elkus’ decision to leave, Elkus said. “I’m beyond grateful for the relationship I’ve had with Mr. Barzdukas and how much he’s pushed me to achieve,” Elkus said. “His support was definitely a deciding factor for me. I am also indebted to the support of my teachers, [Head of Upper School] Harry Salamandra, [Head of School] Jeanne Huybrechts and [Athletic Director] Terry Barnum.” During the ski season in Utah, Elkus will train for four to seven hours every day. He is currently weight training in Santa Barbara. “Strength in ski racing, especially at higher speeds, is an advantage against many of my competitors that I want to harness,” Elkus said. Elkus recently competed in an international race in Chile. He trained with the Canadian national team and competed against people from all over the world. “I want to take racing as far as I can take it,” Elkus said. “Training in Chile, France, Canada, and the United States with several national teams showed me the amount of dedication and work ethic it takes to achieve at the highest levels.” Though Elkus had some doubts about leaving his life at school behind, he is confident that pursuing a career in skiing is the right choice for him. “Taking this absence from HarvardWestlake was definitely the toughest decision I’ve had to make in my life,” he said. “As a 16-year-old deciding the path you want to take that will affect the rest of your life, you have to be 100 percent committed to your sport. I feel like ski racing is what I want to become the centerpiece of my life for the next few years.”
“Taking this absence was definitely the toughest decision I’ve had to make.”
-Henry Elkus ’14
ROUNDING THE CORNER: Henry Elkus ’14 races down the mountain in Park City, Utah. JULIE SHIPMAN
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