Starting lineups to change with loss of seniors

April 3, 2018 — by Francesca Chu and Alexandra Li

Juniors and underclassmen prepare step into larger roles next year

This year, four out of the five starters on the boys’ basketball team were seniors. According to coach Patrick Judge, returning players freshman Tyler Chu and Cameron King, along with juniors Sehij Dhindsa, Kyle Yu, and Hanlin Sun, will have to step into larger roles in the ‘18-’19 season.

“I love having underclassmen on my varsity team because it gives us a solid core to work with and build on for next year,” Judge said. “I have high expectations for both of our freshmen from this past year’s varsity team — they spent every day in practice going against guys that were better and stronger than them.”

According to Sun, the juniors hope to take their experiences and use what they learned to improve their defense. The team hopes to avoid a rebuilding year in which the losses pile up, but Sun acknowledges the work remains to be done.

“I think we’re just going to go into the season with a no-regrets attitude and play as hard as we can,” Sun said. “We should be happy with whatever the results are as long as we can say we couldn’t have done more.”

In the off-season, JV and varsity players lift weights and work on building their skills as one unit , but Sun thinks it’s better for the two teams to stay separate during the season.

“We do a lot of game planning against opposing teams and having JV there would slow us down,” Sun said.

According to senior Neal Iyengar, a similar situation occurred the previous year when seniors such as Joel Schneidmiller and Kevin Couch graduated, but the team was still able to succeed this past season by getting used to the dynamics of new players with new skills.

Similarly, the boys’ soccer team is also losing a huge portion of their players with 16 seniors graduating in June. Most of the team’s starting line as well as goalkeeper Neil Rao will need to be replaced.

“We are losing a lot of strength in every position,” junior Owen Keogh said. “Next year, every player will have to step up in their positions and possibly play in positions they aren’t used to or haven’t played before.”

The nine returning players will not be enough for a full team, so the team will have to rebuild the bench and several starters for next year from JV and perhaps incoming freshmen.

In addition, they will be in a higher division than this year, and the team hopes to have a smooth adjustment to the harder competition.

Boys’ volleyball also has six out of 12 players graduating this year. Luckily enough, the team includes two freshmen on varsity, Dylan Li, who plays setter and opposite hitter, and Oliver Ye, who plays libero.

“Taking them on the team this year will give them plenty of time to improve,” junior opposite hitter Joshua Lee said. “Since most of our team is consisted of juniors and seniors, they'll definitely help out in the future as they're playing at a higher competitive level.”

However, losing strong seniors is something they’re getting used to this year, as last year they lost their two best players, alumni Joel Schneidmiller and Vincent Man. In response, the team plans to work on improving their hitting and consistency.

According to Lee, the team still has a lot of potential and hopes to win their league and possibly even win another CCS championship. They are currently 8-1 in division 1 De Anza league.

“Even though we took on two freshmen, we’re still treating them like the rest of the team,” Lee said. “With the losses, each player just becomes more accountable for their actions.”

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