By: Kristin Hoag
The Las Vegas Kickoff at Anthem Hills Park is held December 2 and December 3. This preseason tournament gives high school teams an opportunity to play together and determine what needs to be improved on before the official season. The teams that participated in the Las Vegas Kickoff included: Clark, Foothill, Green Valley, Liberty (Calif.), Mingus (Ariz.), Palo Verde, Rancho, and Sierra Vista.
“I thought the tournament was really fun,” said Sarah Law, senior and captain of the girls’ varsity. “It allowed everyone on the team to get to know each other and have bonding time.”
According to a soccer parent, the tournament was well organized, and the fields that were played on were nice. Overall, it gave Clark’s girls a chance to see how they might do this year compared to other schools.
“I expected each game to be challenging, and they were, but I also expected that our team would still be learning how to play together rather than individually,” says Sarah Law. “Now that we have played four games in the last two days, I have high hopes for our team this season.”
At the Las Vegas Kickoff, teams were broken up into two pools and played twice a day. The first three games were to determine where a team was ranked in either Pool A or Pool B. The last game on day two was for overall placement to determine first, second, third, and fourth.
“The tournament was a good experience for the girls to have,” said Coach Case. “They were able to work together and determine what else they need to do to get better. I felt like they did well against the teams that they played, and I think that we’ll have a really good season.”
Two players to watch for are Azucena Bernal, as well as teammate Kealani Chaidez. They were a duo that played well together, and were a force to be reckoned with. During the tournament, the duo took approximately thirty shots on goal and worked well with the team.
“Every half, the team is getting better,” says Kim Withers, junior. “We’re going in the right direction. We dwell on all the positive stuff that we’ve done each game. Having several returners on the team has been big, even though we’re in the process of rebuilding our defense.”
The defense has really come together and is reading each other a lot better than before the tournament, according to Sarah Law. If the team learns from the mistakes they’ve made and continue to work hard at practice, then play-offs will be a goal within reach.
By: Kayla Hoag
As the wrestling season begins Clark High School prepares for its first tournament of the season. The Charger Thanksgiving Duals take place over Thanksgiving weekend and several schools gather at Clark for their first wrestling experience.
During the beginning of the year ROTC helps out with the tournament – keeping time, scoring, keeping track of which weight classes are wrestling, and which order they go.
“The wrestling tournament started at 9, but we’ve been [at Clark] since 7:30,” says Seans Fa’asa, “The tournament ends at 5, so we have two shifts. The first shift is from 7 – noon and the second shift are from noon – 5.”
Other ROTC students would be showing up throughout the day to help with the tournament, and switch shifts and/or jobs.
According to Seana Fa’asa she thinks the matches are both fun and interesting to watch, and she would like to encourage others to come out and support the Clark wrestling team.
The Clark wrestling team has been practicing for 3 ½ hours each day, with so far a total of 14 practices.
According to Andrew Balshazy, junior on the Clark wrestling team, he enjoys the tournaments at the beginning of the year because it allows everyone the opportunity to see where everyone is at, at the beginning of the year, and ultimately shows “the best of the best.”
According to a parent at the wrestling tournament he was really impressed with how well the tournament had been set up and organized. He compliments Clark on steeping up to make a facility available to wrestle at, and making everything really smooth.
He goes on to say that because of his prior experience as a wrestler, he really enjoy watching the tournaments and other athletes compete.
Barada Moncravie, an old wrestler at Clark, says “This tournament is a good eye opener for new wrestlers, and it allows everyone to get back into the swing of things. It’s really helpful and a good warm-up for the beginning of the season.”
The tournament starts off the season with how things are ran and the wrestlers are given the opportunity to see how everything works through tournaments, so later on they’ll be able to get through things quicker, and realize what an actual tournament is like. The Charger Duals was a success, and a lot of the wrestlers were provided with a good learning experience.
By: Kayla Hoag
With the winter sports officially beginning wrestling, soccer, and basketball all hold tryouts in preparation for the season. Soccer tryouts were expected to be held Monday, November 14th and go through to the next day, Tuesday, November 15th. Now that a freshmen team was added, there would be a varsity, junior varsity, and now freshmen team – if there were enough girls to play.
With a good turnout of at least 80 girls, all the Coaches – varsity coach, junior varsity coach, and the freshmen girls’ coach – all divvied up the girls into three groups, and would test the girls on passing, shooting, basic ball handling, speed, and ability to play with others.
As the first day came to a close, the coaches told everyone to keep their numbers, and return with them the following day as marking would continue. With high expectations the girls left and looked forward to returning the next day.
There was a lot of excitement when returning to tryouts, but on the second day girls’ were divided more by skill level and compatibility.
As practice started coming to a close, each coach had the girls’ they were working with line up somewhere and they would call up the girls, one-by-one to talk to them personally. Each girl was told whether they made varsity, junior varsity, or the freshmen team.
With all of the girls being told which team they would officially be practicing on, they were expected to be ready from now on, as the season would begin and practices would become more serious.
By: Kayla Hoag
As the cross country season comes to a close, the Regional race decides who will move up to race at State – if anyone from the Charger team has a chance to qualify. Making the Charger family proud Mucuranyana “Freddy” Amon placed 7th out of 100 athletes and qualified at Regional’s with the time of 17:43.
“It’s really great that he’s gone this far, I think we expected that he would improve a lot throughout the season racing right behind Basabose, and this just goes to show that with the drive a lot can be accomplished,” says Nick Ziter, former cross country runner.
Now that the season has ended for all the other runners Freddy continues to train for the last week of practice in preparation for the State race up in Reno, Nevada. For training Freddy continues to run around Clark and train.
According to Coach he only planned two intense workouts for the week, and other then that they planned on doing easy work outs just to get the blood pumping and Freddy’s legs loose.
Leaving extremely early Friday morning, two buses take the teams who qualified, the individual runners, and the coaches up to Reno then come down the Saturday after the race.
Based on the times recorded for the athletes racing in Reno, Freddy has the opportunity to place 8th or 50th – there’s a 40 second timing where all the runners are coming in.
Out of the top eight runners to place at the Regional race, Nick Hartle, the 1st place runner was the only athlete to be an upper classman, the rest being freshmen and sophomores.
When it comes to training for state everyone is hoping for a good race, but there are a lot of factors that come into play when it comes to determining the outcome of the race. There’s a change in elevation and temperature, although all the runners have to deal with it, the team and coaches are hoping that Freddy can quickly cope and adapt to the situation.
“There’s running days when you feel good and when you feel bad, so we just have to hope for the best and see how he races,” says Coach, “Friday morning the bus leaves, and that’s an eight hour drive, a lot of bus time, a lot of things to adjust to.”
Coach hopes to get in a light jog when they arrive in Reno just to get Freddy’s legs loosened up.
“It’s difficult to have expectations,” says Coach, “Because of all the external factors he has to deal with. We hope that he can go up there and run his race. After all he’s only a freshman, so I hope he’ll be able to learn a lot.”
By: Aleez Sandoval
With football season wrapping up and coming to an end, it must mean only one thing: it is now time for Clark’s basketball team to show everyone what they really got. Because intramurals are currently underway, tryouts will be right around the corner and students expected to tryout and doing a lot to prepare.
The head coaches for the boys’ basketball team all took the time Monday afternoon to hold an information meeting for all students interested in playing basketball in room 200. With the room semi-full, students seemed pretty anxious to get the season started off.
“As of right now I’m expecting the season to be a pretty good one but it’s going to take a group of dedicated athletes to make that happen,” says the head coach of the Charger team, “Because of the seriousness of this sport, a lot is required from athletes in order to try out for the team.”
Before tryouts they are recommended to attend all or most of the intramural practices being held every day.
All students trying out are recommended to show up a little early to tryouts to check in with coaches and in hand at tryouts must be their first quarter report cards.
“Grades are very important while playing a sport. Bad grades means no playing and we don’t have time to have multiple kids benched because they aren’t able to keep their grades up,” says one of the coaches.
Tryouts will be held Saturday, November 12 starting at 9:00 am. From 9:00-11:00 athletes with no prior Varsity experience will be trying out. Athletes with previous Varsity experience will then be trying out at 1:00 until an unspecified time.
It seems that Clark is able to succeed this year but it isn’t going to be easy.
By: Kristin Hoag
With only a month left until the winter season starts, wrestling is one of the few sports that have begun intermural training. Future wrestlers and previous wrestlers are expected to show up and work out in order to get a jump start on the new season.
“Intermurals are the best practice that we can get before the season starts,” says Nick Ziter, junior, “We’re able to see where we stand with the team, and our coaches tell us what we should work on to improve. Plus, the kids that go to these practices have more time with coaches as opposed to the kids who wait until season.”
Workouts consist of mostly sprints in order to condition or recondition the athletes. Great stamina and endurance is required so that wrestlers are able to withstand each time period during matches. The longer a match goes, the more difficult it becomes for wrestlers to maintain their ability to perform at the level in which they are most competitive.
“It’s very tiring at the end of the day, but by the time season starts, all of the hard workouts that we’ve done have paid off,” says Shelby Peppers, junior.
Reaching goal weight is also an important part of wrestling. Getting in shape for a wrestler’s ideal weight class becomes a challenge in regards to staying healthy and staying hydrated.
“Coaches always tell us that it’s important to drink several bottles of water a day. When we sign our wrestling contracts, they give us a packet about certain diets and specific calorie intake that will help us keep our goal weight,” says Ziter. “Managing what we have to eat is probably a wrestler’s least favorite thing about the sport.”
Another essential part of wrestling is the tactics that are used in order to pin an opponent or to prevent one’s self from getting pinned. Knowledge of both defensive and offensive strategy are beneficial when wrestling on a competitive level.
“My favorite wrestling move is the fireman’s carry,” says Shelby Peppers, “Being one of the only girl wrestlers makes me feel like a bad ass when I can beat the guys.”
With the start of a new season, each wrestler wants to meet their own goals and expectations. Doing better than last year becomes motivation to improve and taking the steps to be a healthier athlete are all beneficial as a wrestler.
By: Kayla Hoag
While the line for tickets started to extend through the parking lot, the student body began to fill the stands in preparation for yet another football game. Wound up with excitement and anticipation, they hoped for yet another victory by the football team.
“I’ve been looking forward to the game all week, now that the fall sports are coming to an end, there are only a couple games left to watch, I’m hoping we win,” says Dayna Tanaka, a freshman and junior varsity cheerleader.
As the color guard walked to the center of the field to present the flag colors, the band, orchestra, and guitar all began to play “Amazing Grace,” while choir sang. The crowd applauded as the color guard walked off and then broke into uproar of cheers and shouts as the Clark football team rushed the field ready to play.
The captains took the center of the field for the coin toss – Trojan kicked off and the game began. With a lot of back-and-forth play, both teams play a great defensive game and the first quarter ends with a 0-0 tie.
With some pep-talks by the coaches, and as the team motivates one another, the Chargers come back into the second quarter ready to play. Deyan McKinney gets a touchdown and the team has a successful field goal conversion – the Charger team starts off the game with a 7-0 score. As the Trojans come back in the game, they manage to score two touchdowns in the second half, and lead 7-14 by the time the second quarter ends. With one injury on the Charger team, Hidero Takagi is walked off the field.
Throughout the third quarter there is a lot of back-and-forth play again. While both teams play a great defensive game. Marquise McKinney ran a 45 yard touchdown and there’s a successful pass conversion, which brings the Chargers back into the game, and only down by one point. With only a few seconds left in the game, the Trojans pick up the ball and run for a touchdown, taking the lead 14-20, the third quarter ends with the Trojans in the lead.
As the fourth quarter starts and the Chargers are down there is a lot of anticipation in the stands as the student body gets edgy for the outcome of the game. Marquise McKinney ran a 70 yard touchdown and the Chargers had a successful kick conversion.
As the Trojans are 6th and goal, the Chargers defend the play, and Deyan McKinney ended up running a 60 yard touchdown. With another touchdown by the Trojans, the Chargers take the lead 34-26.
“I lost some faith in the middle of the game, when the [Trojans] were ahead, but I’m really glad [the Chargers] came back, we still have a chance,” says senior Glen Green.
With less than a minute left in the fourth quarter, and the Trojans with the ball, #5 Avi Asaraf got an interception and the game ended 40-26. The stand erupted into singing the “Charger Fight Song” and full of excitement – proud of the outcome of the game.