By Raymond Lo
Co-Captain Izel Gutierrez, a senior who has been on the girls varsity soccer team for four years, has a desire to compete and push herself to her limits, which has allowed her over the years to improve her game.
“With [four] years in soccer I can still get a lot better,” stated Gutierrez.
Even though the season had a rough start, Gutierrez says that the team still looks to have yet another successful season. According to her, the team needs to strengthen their chemistry and getting used to playing with each other.
“[She’s] always willing to put the team before her[self],” stated Head Coach Rafa Moran. Gutierrez wishes to inspire and act as a role model for the underclassmen in the soccer program.
Senior Daniel Lua has been on the boys varsity soccer team since his freshman year. This year, he is aspiring to make his team the best it can be.
Lua leads by example, offering guidance for those new to the team.
“He knows what is expected and communicates that to the new players,” stated Coach Miguel Garcia. His time on the soccer team has helped him grow both physically and mentally as a player. The sport helped teach him that hard work ultimately pays off.
“Our team has a lot of room to grow and everyone is working really hard,” said Lua.
Aside from being recognized on the field, earning the respect of his teammates and coach is the most rewarding part about Lua’s high school career in soccer.
Amanda Lee, a junior, is the reigning Most Valuable Player in league. Although she has been on varsity for three years now, she refuses to sit back and relax, instead working towards setting the tempo of each game.
In a game against Whittier Christian on Dec. 2, she was the leading scorer despite Gabrielino’s loss.
“[We] played hard, but there is still room for improve- ment,” stated Lee.
Lee is a team player, always willing to show the other girls how to improve their game. She is currently learning how to play with the new varsity team and has high hopes for the upcoming season.
“She commands the court and helps girls learn [to] be more effective on the court,” stated Coach Desiree Almaraz.
Kevin Le is a senior who has been an outstanding player on the varsity team for four years. The energy that he brings to the games gives inspiration to his teammates.
“He does everything he can for the team and is a leader for the team,” stated Coach John Carney.
Le leads by example, knowing that the underclassmen look up to him. He was once in their shoes, and looked to his elders to find out what to do better and how to do it. Now, as a senior, he tries to set the best possible example for those new to the program.
This season, Le is looking forward to helping his teammates perform well.
“Even though I wasn’t able to play the first few games, the team chemistry improved and we did a lot better,” said Le.
Cassidy Do is a sophomore who has shown drastic improvement over her freshmen year on the wrestling teams. She tries to do everything she can during practices to the best of her ability.
“[Cassidy] challenges herself beyond the other athletes with martial arts,” stated Coach Ivan Carvajal.
Do’s work ethic resulted in great success towards the end of last year during CIF, and she is looking forward to the new wrestling season. In addition, she has proven that she can be a leader by acting as an example to others on the team.
Every time she faces a hardship, she finds a new way to overcome it, a mindset that allows her to persevere through the biggest of challenges.
“Everyone has a lot of potential and everyone works really hard and has a lot of room to grow,” stated Do.
Harrison Sanin is a senior who has been on the varsity wrestling squad for four years. Despite being a defending Mission Valley League champion, he is still constantly trying to become a better wrestler.
“I have to do extra work, not just practice,” stated Sanin.
Sanin has improved dramatically since his freshmen debut by qualifying for CIF in his sophomore and junior years. Last year, he was extremely close to placing in CIF. Although Sanin knows he isn’t the best, he is motivated to work hard with the knowledge that this is his last year.
“He constantly tries to improve and helps push others around him,” stated Coach Michael Humphreys.
He is currently fighting through an injury and is expected to return by the end of December.