Winter athletes warm up for the season

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By Abhinav Garg, Ariana Vernon, and Kristen Zhou, Sports Editors

The PSAL fall season is wrapping up, which means the winter season is just kicking in. From co-ed wrestling to girls’ basketball, athletes from the seven winter teams are gearing up for their respective seasons. 

Girls’ Basketball 

Last season, the girls’ varsity basketball team was undefeated during their regular season and placed third in the city. Following this success, they plan to stay on top through teamwork and practice. “Our team is going to focus on building the team chemistry and laying a solid foundation,”  said Senior Kelsey Zhen. “When we all hustle the hardest we can and devote ourselves to the team, there aren’t any limits that can hold us back and that’s an exciting opportunity to be a part of.” The team practices every weekday until 6, and on Saturday mornings. Junior Xandria Crosland said, “Practices are pretty rigorous. Since we’re not the tallest group of girls, we do a lot of guard drills with shooting. And, of course, we do conditioning and work on our plays and other skills.” 

Boys’ Basketball 

This season, the boys’ varsity basketball team is aiming to win the division and make a deep playoff run. Freshman Matthew Cantor said, “We have been practicing strenuously to be prepared for what is yet to come.” In order to achieve these goals, the team is planning on making many improvements from last year. “From last season, since the core of the team is returning players, we can improve on finishing late in games because we have only gained more experience,”  said Junior Jahdon Jerome. “In addition, we expect to be more composed defensively due to our experience, therefore we can focus on maintaining leads especially in the second halves of games.”

Girls’ Indoor Track 

As the girls’ cross country team completes a successful cross country season, the girls are looking ahead to the upcoming indoor track season. As always, the girls look to be the best in Queens and in the city. The team is also looking forward to freshmen cross country runners joining the indoor team. With cross country being her first season, Freshman Erica Jin said, “The distance we had to run in cross country [helped] build our endurance and strength. Speed is also crucial, so all those painful practices and meets really improved our speed.” Freshman Kate Estevez agreed and attributed her excitement for the season to her teammates. “The upperclassmen have all been extremely helpful. The captains of my team are the most supportive, caring, and understanding people I have ever met,” said Kate.  

Boys’ Indoor Track 

The boys’ indoor track season is starting up as well. Finishing second to Francis Lewis in the Queens Borough Championships last season, the boys hope to take the title this year. Although the boys’ cross country team struggled to recruit members at the start of the school year, it is not a concern for the indoor season. “Cross country is only distance running, but indoor track has a wide range of events including sprints, jumping, and weight throwing,” said Junior Shawn Edelstein. “Almost all of the cross country runners will be returning for track, and we will also get some sprinters and jumpers who don’t do cross country.” Nonetheless, the team will still have to fill the positions of the recently graduated seniors. “We have a lot of good runners, but it might take some time to figure out who is going to fill in what role,” said Shawn.

Girls’ Table Tennis 

The girls’ table tennis team is expecting many changes to their roster with the addition of eager new players. Co-captain and senior Jaime Tran said, At the interest meeting, Chloe and I were really surprised to see that there were so many new members. There are now over 40 people on our team interested in playing compared to the 20 we started off with a few years ago.”  The potential new talent and increase in recognition creates a very hopeful future for the team.”

Co-Ed Wrestling 

After a solid season, the co-ed wrestling team hopes to continue their success this year. Senior Maria Arsenie says, Last year the team finished off very strong and we are aiming to match that this year. All the athletes are extremely hardworking and our determination will help us fight for the state championship title. Our goal is to keep the title and also win more playoff matches.” The team is undergoing a change in coach from the Mr. Hackney to Coach Matthew Curiale. Despite this, no one is deterred. “We might need some time to adjust…  but I am sure the team will be able to keep up the work ethic and motivation that allowed us to win states last year,” says Maria.

Photo by Min Hyeok Shin.