Spring Sports Preview 2019

Lucia Ayala, Taylor Bannister, and Sean Billings, Staff Writer and Co-Sports Editors

“The will to win is not nearly so important as the will to prepare to win,” legendary football coach Vince Lombardi once proclaimed.

Spring sports at San Pasqual High School are just around the corner, and some athletes are adhering to Lombardi’s words while training for their respective seasons. With tryouts taking place from early to mid-February, teams are looking ahead with hopes of success.

The track and field team is headed by Coach Patrick King. They are set to take on Torrey Pines High School on February 28 for their first meet of the season. Junior Kodiak Ketcham shared his enthusiasm for the initial meet on the schedule.

“I’m always excited for the first track meet of the season; that’s definitely something special,” Ketcham said. “You have a lot of butterflies going in no matter how experienced you are.”

As a sprinter who primarily competes in the 400 meter event, he is anticipating improvement, with many returning athletes from the previous year.

“Last year we had a young team going in and we still have a lot of the members coming back out, especially on one of our 4 by 1 teams,” Ketcham said. “We are going to have all the same returning members, so I think this coming year we will come in a lot more prepared and ready to learn and grow even more.”

Softball is also approaching their season and is led by Coach Andy Villalobos. After coming up short in CIF last year, senior Raquel Moore and her team have their sights set on claiming the title this year.

“All the teams that were ahead of us in CIF have moved up to Division 1, so we want to win CIF or place higher than we did last year,” Moore said. “We want to win league, and we are going to qualify for CIF; we just want to make sure that we go farther than we did last year.”

Another goal for this squad is to defeat their crosstown rival, the Escondido High School Cougars.

“They [Escondido High School] beat us for the first time last year at home (Kit Carson Park) in 4 years and then we beat them at their home,” Moore said. “We are just ready to come back and demolish them this year.”

The boys tennis team, led by Coach Ron Peet, is putting in the work to make the upcoming season a memorable one. Junior Alan Agudo finds multiple ways to sharpen his tennis skills.

“Coach gets us out every Tuesday and Wednesday, and some of us have our own tennis instructor, so we all go to them and practice a lot,” Agudo said. “Outside of school, we usually go hit at Kit Carson… just getting ready for season, because you have got to be ready.”

After capturing a league title last year, this unit believes they are capable and experienced despite losing some members.

“We lost a couple players last year, but I think we’ll do fine this year,” Agudo said. “We have got enough players to hopefully do well.”

A varsity swimmer Isabel Pulido and coach Kristy Jurgensen are very thrilled to see how this season goes.

“[I am] hoping for a strong season; we have a lot of strong swimmers this year,” said Pulido.

Like every sport at San Pasqual, this team plans tor come together to create an everlasting bond with each other.

“I hope our team atmosphere grows and we become more of a family” said Pulido.

All the coach wants is for their team to show up and try their best at practice.

“[Most important is] Making sure you get to practice; if you don’t go to practice, you’ll never get faster,” said Jurgensen.

The team helps raise money for their sport by having fundraisers, which they enjoy doing. Students that have been there from previous years have some words of advice to give to new athletes.

“Don’t put pressure on yourself and enjoy it for what it is; come in with an open mind, be ready to make a lot of new friends, and have fun,” said Pulido.

A varsity baseball coach at San Pasqual, Jake Blalock is eager to get back on the field and start the season right.

“[A goal that we have is] Carrying that team chemistry into this year from last year, the success,” said Blalock.

Every coach has their expectations for the team to follow, and Blalock is no exception.

“[My expectations are] Coming to practice everyday,working hard in practice everyday, and working on team chemistry,” said Blalock.

The baseball team also has a couple of fundraisers that they host in order to raise money for the team.

“[We have a] Pancake breakfast and we sew hats and sweaters,” said Blalock.

Every coach has some words of wisdom, and Blalock is no different.

“It’s an interesting sport and it’s an interesting set of skills. Most sports are running andumping. Hitting a baseball is a really weird skill; it’s very hard,” said Blalock.

San Pasqual teachers and coaches encourage people who want to join a sport to come out and give it try.

“Come out and see if you like it. If it’s something you like, you’re gonna get better at it naturally,” said Blalock.

Expectations are also high this year for coach Todd Goodwin as his returning boys volleyball players come back from last season with a better and higher intensity than last year.

Goodwin has high expectations for his returning players this season as they finished with 26 wins and 9 losses last year.

“We have a really good group of returning seniors and some underclassmen that are going to be big contributors this year,” said Goodwin.

The success for the boys has been very high for the last couple of years and Goodwin is very determined to win the California Interscholastic Federation league title.

“We have a good core group of kids that are coming back to make at CIF and try to win league,” said Goodwin.