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• Playbook • Big Red Staff: POP CULTURE Wolverine Atheletes give their take on off-the-field topics.

Big Red Staff: PICTURES


A glance at Wolverine teams during games.

Claudia Wong:


The athletic community bids farewell to longtime weight training coach Michael Tromello.

Joe Levin: FAMOUS JAMESON New freshman quarterback Jameson Wang steps into his new role.

Carina Marx: FANATICS Should the Fanatics get more slack?

Aaron Park: JOSIE BAKER Josie Baker strives for athletic excellence in golf.

Rian Ratnavale: NATIONAL ANTHEM One staff member shares his take on the national anthem debate.

Big Red Staff:


Meet the 2016 cheerleaders.

Dario Madyoon: Q&A WITH ZAC HARLESTON Harleston gets real with Editor-in-Chief Dario Madyoon.

3 4 10 12 18 20 22 24 26

theStaff Editors-in-Chief Joe Levin, Dario Madyoon

Executive Editors Jake Liker, Rian Ratnavale

Assistant Editors Ellis Becker, Claudia Wong, Aaron Park, Elly Choi, Oliver Akhtarzad, Micah Maccoby

Managing Editors Connor Reese, Bryant Wu

Presentations Editors Juliana Berger, Carina Marx

Adviser Jim Burns

2 • BIG RED FALL 2016

BIG RED is a publication of the Harvard-Westlake Chronicle, the upper school newspaper at HarvardWestlake School, 3700 Coldwater Canyon, Studio City, CA 91604, produced as a part of Advanced Journalism classes. The school has 1,500 students in grades 9-12. For any questions, or to purchase a subscription or to advertise, please contact us at or at (818)487-6512. Copies of BIG RED are distributed free on campus to students and faculty and are mailed to friends and family by subscription at $15 per year. Letters to the editor can be sent to editor-in-chief Bennett Gross, at BIG RED is a general interest magazine about athletics, including teams and individual athletic pursuits of Harvard-Westlake students and faculty, as well as health and fitness topics. For seasonal coverage of Wolverine teams, see The Chronicle or

Cover image by Aaron Park

PUMP FAKE Luke Henriksson ’17 prepares to pass the ball during a match against Miramonte. The squad defeated the Matadors 7-5. AARON PARK/BIG RED

popCULTURE Wolverine athlete

Wesley Chang Swimming

Mila Dalton

Cross Country

Jimmy Kanoff Football

Emma Kateman Golf

Halloween costume?

Favorite meme?

Best off campus eats?

If I saw a clown I would...

Best concert?



Five Guys

Run after it




Tender Greens

Run away




Hugo’s Tacos

Tackle it


Kim Possible

Pepe the frog

Joan’s on Third


Kanye BIG RED FALL 2016 • 3



PUTT PUTT Top: Josie Baker ’18 attempts a putt in the midseason tournament. The squad achieved first place.

TAKING POINTERS Right: James Kanoff ‘17 points toward the sideline. The football team’s record currently stands at 3-3.

SERVE IT UP Left: Pearl Accord ’17 serves the ball during a Wolverines’ match in Taper Gym.


SKYWALKER Right: Jenna Moustafa ’17 rallies with her opponent at a preseason practice.



Forward Mia Reilly ’18 looks to pass the ball in a match against Glendora High School. The Wolverines won 6-0.



SLAPSTICK Left: Alyse Tran ’19 dribbles the ball on Ted Slavin field against Edison High School on Sept. 30. The Wolverines won the game 1-0.

THE RETURN Top: Jennifer Gadalov ’19 prepares to return a ball in a match against Notre Dame High School.



Bottom: Sam Krutonog ’18 looks to pass the ball in a water polo match. The team’s record stands at 12-0, undefeated in league play (1-0).


fter eight years of working as a strength and conditioning coach at HarvardWestlake, Mike Tromello is ready to close the door. Tromello completed his final day as Strength and Conditioning Coach on Sept. 30. He decided to leave Harvard-Westlake to invest more time in the crossfit gym he owns outside school, called Precision Crossfit. In the past in five years, Precision Crossfit has grown to one of the top 30 leading gyms in the world. The gym has coached over 15 crossfit games athletes and 15 national team athletes, and it sent one national weight lifter to Olympic trials in May. “Because I was at HarvardWestlake, I was only in there like three times a week, and because of that it was getting really hard on my athletes and on a lot of my staff because I was pretty much absentee owning a very successful gym,” Tromello said. “It was between this place or that place and I had to choose,” Tromello said. Now that he has more time to focus specifically on his gym, Tromello plans to expand his program, even adding a second location. The main focus of his gym is training every day people to be fit, Tromello said. However, because of his previous successes with other athletes, he has gotten the chance to focus on taking athletes to the next level. He hopes to continue to have that opportunity in the future. Tromello started weightlifting at the age of 15. He played football at Occidental College and upon graduation, played professional football in Sweden.

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BY CLAUDIA WONG He then returned to Occidental as a graduate assistant football coach. He spent six total years at Occidental, becoming a strength and conditioning coach, before coming to Harvard-Westlake in 2008. Although he was hired as a football strength coach, Tromello ended up training other sports instead. When he came to HarvardWestlake, he knew nothing about aquatics training, Tromello said. He had never seen a water polo game before and knew nothing about the sport. He had to teach himself everything, Tromello said. However, he took over water polo in his second year and has been with them for the seven years since. “It’s funny because I was a football strength coach, but I haven’t touched football in any way shape or form since my last season at Occidental,” Tromello said. “So I’ve become an aquatics strength coach.” Tromello said he most enjoyed working with water polo. The program has been very successful, and lifting is a large piece of that, Tromello said “The culture that Coach Tromello created in and out of the pool for the weight lifting program and the approach that our program created in all facets of fitness was incredible,” Head of Aquatics Brian Flacks said. “When I first started with Mike about six years ago, we struggled getting five or six players in [the weight room], and now we’re up to about 20 or 30 players on a consistent basis in the mornings.” While he has been at Harvard-Westlake, aside from de-

veloping the aquatics program, place,” Tromello said. “The kids Tromello has also been building I’ve worked with have been inhis strength coaching certifica- credible. And I think that one of tions. When he came to Har- things that I really feel like I’ve vard-Westlake, he had two certi- done is I’ve built relationships fications. He now leaves with 17. with them. One of the most challenging “He was really dedicated to certifications Tromello earned the team and our success and was his certification to become he was an amazing coach,” Alec a US National Coach. He had to Mendelsohn ’17 said. “And we pass a series of written and prac- all love him as a coach and a tical tests, and also had to coach person and he will definitely be two athletes to compete at the missed.” national level. TromTromello also ello has coached feels like he has three athletes to the grown more as a national level—Lindcoach and a person sey Valenzuela in here than any other 2010 and Katie Crow place he has worked. and Crystal Riggs in “So I came here 2013. Lindsey VaI was a twentylenzuela worked at something year old Harvard-Westlake as ex college strength an assistant strength and conditioning ’ coach briefly in 2008 coach with a chip on Michael and 2009. my shoulder and a Tromello “It’s a lot,” Trommassive ego,” Tromello said. “So you ello said. And I leave can take the tests and become a here with two children. I’ve coach, but you are not certified completely changed. I’ve turned until you have [coached two na- into an adult, essentially. And I tional athletes].” think that Harvard-Westlake has Tromello is now working to added to that maturation process earn his international coach- into becoming more of a better ing certification. He will likely person, a better man.” receive it when his first interna“I’m going to miss HW for tional athlete competes this sum- sure but I’m ready to close the mer at the Pan American games door as well,” Tromello said. in Gainsville, Georgia. Proper nutrition is different for While he has been working each athlete, depending on all on building his certifications and factors from his or her sport to his gym, Tromello has stayed at his or her height, weight and the Harvard-Westlake because he efficiency of his or her metaboliked being able to work at a high lism. But through all of these level high school sports program variables, it is essential that each where he could build relation- athlete is able to find a diet that ships with the students. balances his or her nutritional “And I think that one thing needs to ensure he or she has the I’ll take from this place is that energy to perform at his or her the kids here are like any other best. nathanson s





12• BIG RED FALL 2016


Jameson Wang calls a play during the Wolverines’ Sept. 16 road game at El Camino High School. Photographs by Aaron Park For Big Red

BIG RED FALL 2016 • 13



HE GOT THE box in August. It was heavy and filled with books, lots of them. A math textbook. Of Mice and Men. A biology binder. Then he found a small plastic cover. He flipped it open. Inside was a school ID, complete with his official photo. He glanced at the name on the card. “QB J-Man Wang,” it read. “Well, I guess they already fighave you!” ured out my nickname,” he thought. “Jameson! You’re a legend! A legend!” ON HIS FIRST day of high school, Jameson Wang was already one of HE WOULD SMILE and laugh, but the most popular kids in school. he had trouble figuring out what People came up to him at his locker, to say next. It’s something he still at lunch, or in class, just to say that struggles with, whenever he isn’t they did. with his close friends. Everyone “Hey, Jameson,” they would tell knows his name, but he doesn’t him. know theirs. Everyone knows him, “Welcome, Jameson! Good to but he barely knows them. He’s the

14 • BIG RED FALL 2016

quarterback, and they’re just freshmen. He just wants to be a freshman. Of course, that’s nothing but a dream for Jameson. Freshmen aren’t starting varsity quarterbacks. Freshmen don’t pass for over 1,000 yards in their first four games. Freshmen don’t brush that off like it’s no big deal. JAMESON FIRST THREW a foot-

YOUNG BUCK he didn’t know who to talk to, so he kept to himself. When he did talk, it would only be with the other freshman. The upperclassmen were too intimidating.

POCKET PRESENCE Jameson Wang (8) drops back to deliver a pass in the Sept. 9 against Garfield. ball when he was four years old with the help of his dad Joe, who’s the head coach of “Team China,” an all star team with players pulled from top Chinese college football programs. A year later, he was playing flag, and eventually, he started playing Pop Warner for the LA City Ducks, and that’s where Wolverines head coach Scot Ruggles first saw him last year. Ruggles needed a quarterback. Marshal Cohen and Noah Rothman were about to graduate. As it stood, Thomas Glover was next in line to take snaps, but he’s a running back. He was out of options as he watched Pop Warner Football steps away from his office at Ted Slavin Field one Saturday last Spring. Wearing a jersey and helmet that

made him look like a highlighter, Jameson led the Ducks up and down the field that Saturday. He was hard to rattle, delivering strike after strike like it was routine. Ruggles approached Jameson’s father after the game. “I’d like your son to apply for next year,” he said. Jameson had applied before, back in seventh grade but was rejected. He decided to give it another shot, and in the Spring with Ruggles’ help, he received his acceptance letter. Football practice started in late June. JAMESON WAS nervous when he showed up that summer morning. It was awkward. In the locker room,

ON THE FIELD, he just stuck to the basics, trying to grasp the playbook. He kept quiet there too. He was wide-eyed and couldn’t get past the thought, “I’m playing high school football!” And that was always followed by the other one: “What am I doing here?” Quarterbacks are expected to be in constant control of their team. They’re the team’s drill sergeant, the cheerleader, and the soft shoulder all at once. They get blamed when things go bad and reap the rewards of success. This is just as true for Tom Brady as it is for a freshman playing on Varsity. It’s the most important position in sports, and not everybody can handle it. Jameson had the talent; he’s always had that. Here he was, back at Ted Slavin Field delivering more perfect spirals, only this time wearing black and red. He was just still searching for the rest of it—the confidence. He was a freshman who didn’t know anybody. He didn’t want to stand out, just to blend in. After practice, when the older players would head straight home, he would join the rest of the freshmen to clean up the field, picking up pads and cones and stray balls right next to the third string offensive guard. Then he would head into the locker room to change quickly and quietly, wanting to go back home. Something changed in late July. The intimidation wore off, and Jameson grew more comfortBIG RED FALL 2016 • 15

able every day. He started talking. Senior wide receiver Zac Harleston became a close friend. He began to take command of the team, careful to keep seniority in mind but never afraid to speak up when necessary. “Come on! Let’s do it!” he’d holler at his teammates during scrimmages. But he would never yell at the offensive line. Not after they jumped offside, not after he got sacked, and not after the snap flew 10-feet over his head. He knows how important it is to keep those guys happy. “I wouldn’t even be able to run a play without their help,” he said. “If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have any success.” In early August, Jameson brought a sleeping bag into Hamilton Gym and moved for Hell Week. The freshman all grouped up in a corner, and soon, the whole gym was full of players from all grades. Some brought TVs; others brought the PlayStations. The team was going to spend a week living in that gym while they had some of the hardest workouts of the year. They were to eat together, sleep together, and shower together for a week. They would enter as players and leave as a team. On one of the last night after the coaches called “lights out” and left, everyone slowly got up and wandered towards the light of the wrestling room, an unspoken Hell Week tradition. The freshman weren’t sure what was going on, so they followed. Boys lined the walls and then they started calling out names, two at a time and always freshmen. The two would have to go into the middle and fight. Jameson waited against the wall, breathing out a sigh of relief every time his name wasn’t called. Two freshmen drifted to the 16 • BIG RED FALL 2016

center of the room. “WHOOP!” they screamed from the sides. “GET HIM!” Somebody screamed too loud. A coach came in. “WHAT’S GOING ON IN HERE!?” he said, and everyone scrambled back into their beds. It was tense in the gym that night. They knew that in the morning, the week would live up to its name. The coaches thought they were going to get fired. The team met in the morning and were later told to line up on the field. A whistle blew. They started running and kept running and running. Back and forth, back and forth for two hours straight. Between the sweat and panting breaths, Jameson was crushed. They

THREE STEP DROP Wang delivers a pass against Garfield. He threw for three touchdowns in the 38-31 victory, including a 32-yard hook and ladder in the first quarter. could have been practicing then, but instead they were stuck running back and forth. It left a sour taste in his mouth. They weren’t getting any better. AS HE RODE the team bus to Birmingham High School, Jameson wasn’t nervous about his first high school start. He was excited, because he was prepared. He’d been dialed in all week at practice, so that now, whether he was putting

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS Wang listens to head coach Scot Ruggles during a time-out (top) and rushes (bottom) in the Sept. 23 game against the Dominguez Dons.

on his pads, stretching, or warming up his arm, adrenaline was running through every part of him. He’d prepared all summer for this; he knew the playbook inside and out. He knew that he was ready. He just knew it. Coach Ruggles found Jameson under the lights. “Trust the system,” the coach said. “You don’t have to win this game by yourself.” Then, Jameson he walked over to senior linebacker Cam Welther. “Can we beat these guys?” Jameson asked. “Oh yeah,” Welther said. “We can.” Minutes later, during the first drive, Jameson caught the snap and

fired off a bubble screen to Cam Jones. Jones shook off a tackler at the line of scrimmage and ran the next 45-yards for a touchdown. Jameson ran to meet Jones in the end zone. “Let’s get it, Cam!” Jameson said. “Let’s go, Jameis! Let’s go!” He went on to throw for 188-yards, and as the first half was winding to a close, he lowered his shoulder to ram into the end zone from the three-yard line for the second touchdown of his career. He didn’t throw a single interception, never once looking like a freshman. He knew what was needed of him and did it and did it instinctually. When the scoreboard showed zeros and read “HARVARD-WESTLAKE 20, BIRMINGHAM 7”, Jameson pulled off his sweaty pads and followed his teammates to a table parents had set up. They all grabbed Chipotle burritos and exchanged “good games”, and “see you tomorrows”. Then he found his dad. “Good game,” his dad said. “But remember to get the ball out of your hands quicker. Make good decisions.” A man approached. “Jameson?” he said. “I’m a reporter with the Los Angeles Daily News. Can I ask you a couple of questions?” The two of them walked off, and then the questions started coming. Steps away, his teammates were chatting to themselves. A day later, Jameson’s name was in the papers.


EVERY DAY AFTER school ends, Jameson heads with the rest of the freshman to load themselves onto a school bus. Some guys listen to music, some chat, others nap, but however they spend the drive, they’re at the Upper School in 20 minutes. The football players head straight to meet the rest of their team to study film and discuss strategy. But Jameson doesn’t go with them. He meets the quarterback coach, and they dissect Jameson’s performance the week before. Then they game plan for the week ahead. Soon, he’s on the field again, running a 7-on-7 drill. He takes his three steps back and delivers ball after ball to his receivers. Hut! Slant. Right on the numbers. Hut! Out. Straight into outstretched arms. Hut! Post. Just out of reach. Jameson pounds his hand to his chest. “My bad.” They run the drill for 15 minutes. “Rinse it up,” Coach Ruggles calls, and everyone rips their helmets off and races to be first to get a drink. They slurp up as much as they can, take a breath, and go in for more. At football practice, every drop of water matters. Zac Harleston comes up to Jameson and pats him on the back. Jameson turns around to find an outstretched hand. He slaps it. “Let’s go!” he says, and he buckles his helmet and jogs to the fortyyard line, ready for more. ■ *An earlier version of this article incorrectly said that athletic director Terry Barnum met with the team during Hell Week.* BIG RED FALL 2016 • 17


Head fanatics Josh Musicant ’17, Rasa Barzdukas ’17, Kenton Sheridan ’17, and Pearl Acord ’17 lead the rest of the fanatics help support the Harvard-Westlake football team. 18 • BIG RED FALL 2016



CHEERS FOR THE FANATICS Cut the Fanatics some slack. They might not make it to every single game, but they’re trying. And that’s a big improvement. BY CARINA MARX Everybody remembers the biggest fallout of last year. The debate that started on 20152016 Fanatics Facebook page has been a topic of conversation ever since, whether jokingly or seriously. Emotions ran high on both sides and we, as a community, have seen many major changes since then To recap: the main argument was over equal representation between boys’ sports and girls’ sports. Girls felt their sports were not being promoted enough on the Facebook page. They said that all the hype was directed at the major boys’ sports, yet many argued that certain sports just aren’t as interesting as others. They said that most of those sports happen to be girls’ sports, because of the way sports’ culture works. Others chimed in to say that there were many boys’ sports that were overlooked as well. “Legend has it that the last time a fanatic came to a tennis match was in 2007,” tennis player Jed Kronenberg ’17 said in a post to the group. It seemed that the only thing people could agree on was that no one was happy with the way their team was being publicized. The argument lasted for hours, and created rifts that have not been healed yet. Head Fanatic Gabe Golob ’16 then posted the Fanatics mission statement: “The Fanatics support all Wolverines in competition with honor, integrity and respect for ourselves and others while promoting school spirit and fostering community.” The rest of the debate was soon deleted. Fast-forward six months:

The new Head Fanatics have taken over for this school year, and more sports are being advertised on the page than before. Head Fanatics have made over 10 posts advocating for girls’ volleyball and field hockey just in the past month, and the group has opened up to more suggestions. More players from different teams have posted about their own games and successes. Not only are the Head Fanatics working to make sure everything is promoted equally, but some previously lesser heard about sports are making their own voices heard. Not everyone is pleased with this growth, however. Many people still complain that, while the Head Fanatics are doing more to support girls’ sports, not all of the girls’ sports are getting the attention they deserve. And let’s face it. There’s still a ways to go. Both the girls’ golf and the

girls’ tennis teams are undefeated in their respective leagues. Out of all the posts made by Head Fanatics this year, only one has mentioned tennis and only one has mentioned golf. There is still a relatively clear hierarchy of sports. Members of those two teams have not posted very much either, however. We, as a community, need to lower our expectations for the Fanatics. Change doesn’t happen in an instant. When the initial issue was brought to light, too many people expected that the change in promoting and reporting would happen in a singular moment. It just has never worked like that. In fact, the progress made in the advertisement of the lesser reported on sports should be celebrated. It’s difficult to change a mindset so engrained in one’s life. If you’re so used to only seeing reporting on football, you’re not going to be able to shift your

attitude with ease. Even with the will to open up the Facebook group and make it more inclusive, it takes effort to break bad habits. A way to speed up the process is to reward the good, rather than focusing on the bad. Let’s focus on the progress made instead of criticizing the fact that we still have work to do. We can’t expect everything to work the way we want it to the second we want it to. A bill does not become a law in a day. Change is something that is supposed to happen over time. If we truly want a change to stick, to not be reversed, it has to be enacted over time. The progress the Fanatics have made in the equal representation of sports is not something to be overlooked. Though there’s a long road ahead of us, what we’ve accomplished so far is impressive. Let’s cut ourselves some slack.

BIG RED FALL 2016 • 19




Josie Baker ’18 prepares to tee off during the girls’ golf match against Flintridge Sacred Heart. Baker shot a 2-over 39. AARON PARK/BIG RED


T’S THE same routine every time. Josie Baker ’18 leans over, setting a white Titleist Pro V on the tee. She steps back, five or six feet directly behind the tee, and turns to face the sprawling fairway. Steadily, she raises her arms, bringing her driver’s head level with her eyes. She pauses here, at the apex, for only an instant. The driver falls calmly back to her side and she makes the short trek back to the ball, between the tee markers. Setting her feet into the trimmed turf, Baker brings the club back, her backstroke uncoiling seamlessly into an whip-like swing. With a sharp thwack, the little white sphere takes off into the sunny San

20 • BIG RED FALL 2016

Fernando Valley sky. From start to finish, it’s a controlled motion, smooth but brief. It’s a motion that speaks to long hours of practice and years of dedication. The ball lands squarely on the fairway, hundreds of yards downrange. It was only one of many similar drives, as Baker led the Wolverines to victory that day against Notre Dame, shooting a team-best 1-over par. BAKER’S STORY HAS roots beginning long before she was born. It goes back to her grandfather and uncle, who have been avid golf fans throughout their lives. They introduced her to the sport at a young

age. As a child, she’d accompany her grandfather to the golf range to watch him practice. She received her first set of clubs at the age of six and began taking group lessons, switching to private lessons when she was eight. She’s been playing ever since, drawn in by the unique nature of the sport. “I like how it’s very competitive and very concrete,” Baker said. “I like how every shot you hit, that’s what it is, there’s no referee, there’s no debating over that. I like the variety of golf. I like how you can play thousands of different courses and each one of them is different, and even if you’re playing on the same course, you never have the same shot twice. So it’s very concrete in

a way, but it also allows for a lot of creativity when you’re playing.” Baker’s family has roots in central Colorado, near Denver, and she often travels to the Centennial State to work with her swing coach, Brad Neher. Over the past summer, Baker spent two months honing her skills around the mile-high city, investing hours into practice on the golf course. “[Golfing]’s all I did,” Baker said. “That’s all I had to do. I just golfed for two months and worked with my coach. I have a lot of friends out there who golf. I play tournaments out there and it really helped me work on my game.” GIRLS’ GOLF PROGRAM Head

Marge Chamberlain has known Baker since she was in eighth grade. Since then, Chamberlain has been able to observe Baker’s rapid rise through the ranks of the varsity elite. One of Chamberlain’s memories of Baker’s freshman season involves Wolf, a popular game within the golf community. The game is played with a rotation of four teammates, in which one player is designated the “wolf ” at each hole. The “wolf ” then can pick one player to pair with and compete against the remaining two. Baker, on the other hand, declared that she’d play “lone wolf ”, meaning that she’d com-

pete against all three of her teammates for more points. “You have to be humble because it’s definitely a game of etiquette and a game of respect for your fellow competitors and for the game,” Baker said. “My coach tells me to be internally arrogant. Believe that you can hit the shot you want to hit, believe that you can make the putt, but don’t brag about it. Basically, don’t be a jerk about it and show respect to everyone around you.” Baker’s competitive nature and steady confidence have been a breath of fresh air for Cham-


berlain. “It’s really inspiring because a lot of young women athletes don’t want to win, they want to be nice to their teammates,” Chamberlain said. “Josie wants to be nice to her teammates, but she wants to win. She’s inspired other people to step up and say ‘Hey, i want to win, I want to go under par. I wanna be the best player I can be. Let’s do it.’”

BAKER’S WORK ETHIC has paid dividends

in her development as a player while she refines her game to match her natural talent. “She’s always been a standout ball-striker, she’s always been a good iron player,” Chamberlain said. “She’s taken a lot of time to improve her overall strategy and her chipping and putting have dramatically improved.” In addition, Baker has made strides in the mental aspect of her game, a skill that is integral to development and success in the sport. “How you set yourself up for the next shot both mentally and technically is what drives the difference between scoring well or not,” Chamberlain said. “So being a person who knows how to score is a skillset, just like hitting a wedge shot or a putt. Learning to score is an important part of winning in golf.” Chamberlain compared Baker’s resilience with that of PGA Tour member Rory McIlroy, who spent 95 weeks atop the Official World Golf Rankings to go along with four major championships. “Every player goes through periods of ups and downs,” Chamberlain said. “I mean, we saw [McIlroy] struggle last year and now he just won another 11 million dollars. So that’s golf, having the emotional resilience to know you’re not always going to hit it great, but you still want to stay in the game and score.” Baker herself, however, prefers being compared to current 10th-ranked golfer Rickie Fowler, who competed in the Ryder Cup earlier this month. “I know people who know [Fowler] and they say he’s just the nicest guy and the greatest guy, and he does all this charity work and helps out,” Baker said. “He’s also a really good golfer, and he’s from Southern California too. He’s played a lot of the same tours and the same tournaments that I’m playing right now, so I relate to him.”

BAKER HAS HER focus set on continuing her


Josie Baker ’18 tees off during the Wolverines’ match against Chaminade Sept. 8. Baker shot 1-over 38. AARON PARK/BIG RED

career as far as it will lead her after graduating high school. “I’m really planning to see how golf in college goes and see if it’s something that I would consider trying professionally,” she said. “I’m not 100 set in anything yet but i definitely see myself at least giving it a go to do it professionally because I really, really, love it.” Between her talent, resilience, and competitive spark, Chamberlain’s assessment of Baker’s potential is simple, yet bold. “I think Josie can go as far as she wants.”

BIG RED FALL 2016 • 21


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Q. How did you start playing football? When I was in kindergarten, we brought out a football, and I just loved the game. I begged my mom to let me play flag when I was in first grade, and I have loved it ever since. Q. How do you balance football and lacrosse? The good thing about that, is that they complement each other really well. When I’m fresh out of football season and go into lacrosse, I feel so much stronger and I feel a huge strength advantage. Football also gives me extra aggression, which definitely helps with lacrosse. When I go from lacrosse to football, I have just come off an entire season of working on football, which transitions right into playing wide receiver for football. It’s a really good cross training overall because I get strength training from football and speed and agility training from lacrosse. Q. What’s your favorite Wolverine moment? There’s a ton that I have in football, and some of my favorites include the hail mary from last year, scoring the triple OT game winner were both really dope. Q. What are you looking to do as a leader this year as a senior? I really want to teach them the lessons that I had known. Every senior has told me that the season goes by fast. Now that I’m a senior, I can’t believe how surreal it is, and I really wish I had cherished the moment more, in both practices and games. Because you’re out there anyway, then you may as well to go as hard as possible, because you never know what’s going to happen and you shouldn’t take it for granted. Q. You made big improvements last year, what led to that? I think it was definitely an increase in confidence. Especially in sports, when I’m having a bad day, it shows in my game, but when I’m feeling confident, that’s when I play the best and get the best out of myself. I also grew a lot, and that also really helped. Q. You’re a two sport athlete, any change you’re playing football? That remains to be seen. I’m definitely going to focus on finishing my senior year of football really well. I’m going to play lax, but if the urge to play football is still there over the summer, then I’m going to follow that and try to balance both. But right now, I’m going to try to be the best lacrosse and football Wolverine that I can be. BIG RED FALL 2016 • 23


Get to know your 2016 cheerleaders

Maddy Harbert Senior “I think that we all have each other’s backs no matter what, and it’s a really comforting place to go. It’s like home.”

“I trust them completely and I know that there’s such a deep level of respect and I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

Jackie Ayestas Junior Natalie Blut Junior “The stuff that we do is not easy. We have complicated routines and the stunting’s really difficult. But when times get really tough, and there’s injuries and people are crying because they can’t figure out a certain move, it’s like your sisters are right there with you to help you along the way and support you and be your number one fan.”

24 • BIG RED FALL 2016

Natalie Blut, Nicole Kim, Olivia Ketcham, Rachel Grode, Rebecca Sugarman, Maddy Harbert, Amorette Marcus, Amy Kronenberg, Anneliese Breidsprecher, Caty Szeto, Eden Sanderson, Emma Lou Sesar, Gabi Berchtold, Georgia Wiles, Jacqueline Ayestes, Janie Kreshek, Julia MacCary, Kaelyn Bowers, Lily Block, Maya Golob BIG RED FALL 2016 • 25

26 • BIG RED FALL 2016


In the midst of the controversy over the national anthem, remember what it really represents.

It’s not always easy to see the flag from Ted

Slavin Field. When we turn our backs from the field, put our hands over our hearts, and crane our necks so we can see the flag over the Munger Hall hedges, we think about what the flag, the national anthem, what being proud of this country means. By now, I’m sure most, if not all of us have heard about professional athletes kneeling for the anthem, due to the unfair treatment of African Americans in this country. Colin Kaepernick might have started the movement, but entire NFL teams have followed suit. The reaction hasn’t always been positive: Kaepernick, according to a recent ESPN poll, is the most hated player in the NFL. Many have been quick to point out that Kaepernick is being disrespectful to the military, and choose to ignore his motives by casting the outspoken signal-caller as an attention seeker. As Wolverines, we need to be cognizant of the mistakes that our country has made, and be respectful of both sides of this issue. Our community has an affinity for debates. So far, we have not been doing a good job of

being respectful to both sides. Even though one side might be clearly right to 99 percent of us, we are not sharks, waiting in the water for blood, ready to pounce on anyone who has a weak argument. It’s not hard to see why some of our classmates have used mediums such as Facebook and the field to express their views on protesting the national anthem. I get that coaches don’t want to divide their teams and cause locker room tensions, but I think that these are issues that shouldn’t be ignored on the field. We don’t ignore them in history class, we don’t ignore them on the quad and it just doesn’t feel right to suppress all the strong voices at the point when our community’s togetherness is at its peak: under the bright lights. It’s time to let our athletes speak out, take a kneel and speak up for what they believe is right. In times like this in our country and our community, the Fanatics should support each other like we support our players: as a team. We need to be supportive of each other and remember what the flag is supposed to be: something that unifies us and represents our freedom to say what we want. Even though that can be hard to see over the hedges.


BIG RED FALL 2016 • 27

Big Red 2016 Homecoming issue  

The 2016 Homecoming edition of Harvard-Westlake's Big Red Sports Magazine