Winter sports begin at Townsend Harris

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By Shahidul Abedin, Amberly Khan, Pascal Marcktell and Shankar Raghunandan, staff writers

Winter arrives with more than just snow for many of the student-athletes of Townsend Harris High Schools. With fall sports concluding in mid-October, winter sports teams—basketball, indoor track, and wrestling—begin to prepare for their upcoming season starting in November.

Following last year’s impressive season, the boys’ basketball team’s new recruits will have to step up to the plate. The team worked towards this improvement with strategies on and off the court. Senior Benson Yunatanov says, “It’s important to work out and have a regimen off the court so you can use it towards your game in the paint.” As for next season’s expectations, senior Dvonte Davis explains, “We need to play better defense and get together more as a team to ensure that more games are won and so we can get the top record for the division.”

The boys’ indoor track team has had outstanding success throughout the last few years, advancing to championships and having many athletes qualify for states. The team participated in the Mayor’s Cup Championship race—an event that only a few teams in the entire city participate in. The team members look to continue the success they’ve had in recent years and are confident that they can do so. However, they will need to work hard to improve their endurance, strength, and eventually their times. Junior Matthew Neil says, “We have been working hard and training for all our meets. We are also successful because even if we get down, we will always bounce back.” Senior Adem Musovic shares his plan for a successful season, saying, “In order to continue the legacy left by the previous seniors, we all have to  come to practice everyday and remain focused.” He thinks the team can be successful for a simple reason—diversity. “Our diversity is what I believe will set us apart from the other schools during the indoor season as we don’t specialize in any one event, but rather do well in multiple events,” Adem says. With a multitude of success in the past, the boys are confident and excited for the upcoming season.

The girls’ indoor track team ended their winter season last year with many achievements, including placing second in Queens and earning a top three plaque. Many athletes also advanced to cities. They were first in Queens for all four races: freshman, sophomore, junior varsity, and varsity, which sophomore Emily Tan adds that “according to our coach, that has not happened in many years.” The team plans to improve on specific skills this year in order to maintain their high status. Looking forward to her second year on the team, sophomore Julia Xia shares, “I know a lot of us [athletes] are also hoping to go to cities for our respective events.” In addition, winning the championships this year is also on their agenda. Altogether, co-captain Leslie Huang expresses, “the indoor season seems like it will be very promising with a lot of freshman showing great potential.”

The wrestling team takes on a new look with the introduction of coach, Conner Murphy, and new team captains, Michelle Vattan, Yosef Ibrahim, and Tyler Tavares. Last year, the wrestling team made the playoffs with a record of 2 to 7. Sophomore, Raymond Zhou says, “Our team’s goal is to make it to the playoffs again, win, and have fun while doing it.” This year, they have more members and hope that with the introduction of new people, they can achieve more. Sophomore Cathy Chen says, “We have the numbers now, and I really think we can do better this year.”

All teams have high hopes and expectations for their success in the upcoming winter season, to follow up and even exceed the top scores they’ve made in previous years. Many team members are willing to put in the hard work needed in order to do so. With this much determination, it seems like a lot is possible for the school’s winter sports this year.