Fall sports are coming to an end, while the basketball and soccer season has started up again. Both sports will have competitive seasons showcasing many new and returning players.
The renowned Pinewood girls varsity basketball team is ready for another season with the goal of another state championship. Head coach Doc Scheppler never fails to lead his team to titles, but the true leadership is coming from the team and an example would be junior
“She takes charges, she rebounds, she blocks, she plays flawless defense, she’s versatile and overall very athletic,” said freshman guard Klara Astrom.
A future state championship is on the coaches’ and players’ itinerary, but it really depends on the execution in the regular and preseason and whether Pinewood gets moved up to open division or not.
Furthermore, lack of height could be an issue for the team. Many opponent teams have players that are tall; Pinewood doesn’t have that advantage. This makes it difficult to match up on defense, especially with teams like Saint Mary’s at Stockton with the shortest player being 5’5”.
On the other hand, the Pinewood’s offensive skills are their greatest strength.
“I think we have a very competitive team and I’m looking forward to the season. I can’t wait to see how good we can become,” Scheppler said.
Boys basketball will be a huge success this year due to many returning experienced seniors and new talent emerging. Ola Dean is the new head coach, and when the season starts his leadership will be put to the test.
Seniors Ryan Knotts, Nathan Beak, and Kyle Murphy are expected to guide their younger peers on junior varsity and varsity.
“I think it’s gonna be a good year because a lot of the upperclassmen have been playing together for a while now and have built up some good chemistry,” Murphy said.
Junior Matthew Peery is projected to have yet another great year as a varsity player. As the youngest player on the team, Peery hasn’t received many opportunities to play; however, his position, guard, on the team continues to improve and there are high hopes for him for this coming season.
Sophomores Connor Riches and Jaeden Bailey will also be great additions to the team. While they may not get the spotlight, they will gain more experience which is paramount in building their foundation for the rest of their high school career.
With the girls soccer team not losing many games last year, it is expected that another solid season is to come.
“We have a solid team who is really committed and excited to play so I think we will do well,” senior Amrita Mecker said. “We’re really motivated to get to CCS and I believe we can!”
In the league, there are a few teams that will really test the capabilities of the girls. Castilleja, Crystal Springs, and Mercy High School Burlingame are expected to be the real threats to the league title with very strong soccer teams.
Although the team lost four seniors last year, the team gained many experienced underclassmen that will make up for
“Luckily, only two [of the graduated seniors] were starters, one of them being Juka Kim, so we have to figure out who’s going to take her spot,” Coach Whitney Wood said. “The other one, Leah [Hess], was injured half the season last year, so we’ve already kind of figured a way to play without her; with that, it won’t make much of a difference to this year’s team.”
With the majority of the team being underclassmen, returning players such as sophomore Emma Doettling and senior captains Olivia Biggs and Jordan Berke will be expected to lead the team.
Pinewood boys soccer doesn’t have the best record throughout the past seasons, but hopefully this next season will
be a turnaround.
Players and coach Daniel Aregai alike admit that the team last year wasn’t great, but now with new freshman coming in along with a few new seniors, a different season should be expected.
Past leaders of the soccer team, alumni Oscar Fick and Vishal Jindal, graduated last year but seniors Dominick Twombly and Ethan Bair are projected to step it up.
“Dominick is a true leader and he can bring us together and make the team click,” senior Matt Kuo said. Ethan can be a great example to the underclassmen because he always works so hard for the team.”