Meet our Spring Sports Captains of the year!

By JENIBELLE HSU, JUSTIN YEH, AND CAROL LI
STAFF WRITER

Softball

 

PC_ Chris(2)

PHOTO BY CHRIS CHAN

Elena Bahnimtewa (11)

Why did you decide to join softball?

“I started playing softball when I was five years old. At first, I did it for fun, but then my dad took me to go see a college game, and I fell in love with softball. I made softball my life, and I do not regret it at all. Softball has [given] me so many opportunities, and I have met so many amazing people [along] the way.”

What is your go-to comfort food?

“I have peanut butter and jelly [sandwiches] and chocolate milk before every game, because it is like my [good luck charm].”

If you were to join another sport, what would it be?

“It would probably be volleyball, because it looks intense [but also] really fun.”

Who is your biggest inspiration?

“My dad, [because] he goes to every game to cheer me on and spends his [free] time helping me practice. He has pushed me to [become] an independent person, and I am blessed to have him.”

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PHOTO BY CHRIS CHAN

Lilly Gomez (12)

How has playing softball helped you in your everyday life?

“Softball has taught me to fight for what I want, work through my struggles and never give up. I [once] fractured a finger on my pitching hand. When I was cleared to [play again], I was excited, but when I tried to pitch, I did not get the results I wanted and became frustrated. [However], I [pushed] myself to work twice as hard in order to succeed. Softball has [also] taught me to value my family, because they are the ones who love and support me and see me through my ups and downs.”

Who is the one person you cannot live without?

“I cannot live without my grandmother, because she has been there for me [throughout] my whole life and [manages] to put a smile on my face even when I am down.”

Is cereal soup?

“Cereal is not a soup. A soup to me is a hot or cold liquid that is made with vegetables or meats.”

What three things would you put on a pizza?

“Pineapple, ham and barbecue sauce, because I like the taste of those three ingredients together.”

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PHOTO BY CHRIS CHAN

Emily Bracamonte (11)

Describe your most memorable achievement.

“My most memorable achievement is when I committed to Central Michigan University in August 2017. Committing to a Division 1 softball program has been a dream of mine since I was eight. It has taken a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get me where I am today, and I do not [plan on] stopping now. The training I have gone through gives me the [energy] I need to strengthen my ability for the game.”

What is your best pick-up line?

“[When] a hot guy sneezes, I [will] say, ‘I would say God bless you, but it looks like he already did.’”

What is your go-to comfort food?

“My dad’s chicken tacos, but my mom does not let him make them that often.”

What is one thing you cannot live without?

“My parents, because they provide for me, and I could not be any more thankful [for them].”

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PHOTO BY CHRIS CHAN

Janelle Meono (11)

What is your biggest goal for this season?

“My biggest goal for the season without a doubt is to win CIF. As a team, we will need to learn to bond and trust each other a little more to [improve our] team chemistry. [Also], having productive practices will be key to [ensuring] that we become as strong as possible. I [know] that practicing hard will be important to make sure I am fully prepared for every game.”

What is your best joke?

“Did you hear about the strawberry truck that fell on the freeway? It caused a major traffic jam.”

Do you have a cure for hiccups?

“I hold my breath and take six gulps of water, but that usually does not work, so I just suffer through the pain.”

Would you rather have a horse-sized duck or a duck-sized horse?

“A super awesome duck-sized horse. There is no

that having a tiny little horse would be the cutest thing ever. I could take it shopping, and it could be in the dugout for games.”

Tennis

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PHOTO BY PETER OH

Stephen Lin (12)

How has playing tennis helped you in your everyday life?

“Tennis has helped me become more mature and independent. [For example], I learned how to manage my time in order to get [good] grades [while] playing tennis. Also, tennis has taught me to be persistent and patient. I learned that hard work, willpower and [commitment] are what make you successful. The most valuable life lesson I learned is that, through my losses, I am able to grow.”

If you could only eat at one place for the rest of your life, where would it be?

“Chipotle, because it is something I always crave, and their fajitas are the best.”

Who is your biggest inspiration?

“My biggest inspiration is my dad, because he is proof that dreams come true by working hard and never giving up.”

If you were to join another sport, what would it be?

“I would join track, because I love to run. Track is a sport that will allow me to push my limits and test my willpower.”

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PHOTO BY PETER OH

Alvin Chan (12)

Describe the best memory you have with your team.

“My best memory with my team was when one of our players brought a grill to practice and made us food. It was supposed to be a joke, but instead, we had a full-on barbecue [feast]. One of our players told his dad to buy Korean barbeque meat, which was so good. I think we [assigned] him to [bring] snacks every week after that.”

What is your best pick-up line?

“There are 21 letters in the alphabets, right? Wait, I forgot ‘U R A Q T.’”

What is your go-to comfort food?

“Spaghetti, [because] it has always been something my mom makes for me when I am busy or tired from school.”

Is cereal soup?

“CEREAL IS CEREAL, NOT SOUP! Soup is a liquid food [that] often contains pieces of solid food [and] meat, fish or vegetable stock as a base.”

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PHOTO BY PETER OH

Michael Tran (11)

Describe your most memorable achievement.

“My most memorable achievement in tennis is how I injured myself before both of my team CIF games, making me ineligible to play. In my freshman year, I was running to the bus to go to CIF, because I thought I was late. Right as I ran out the door, I slipped on a puddle and cut my chin open, which ended up knocking me out and sending me to the hospital to get stitches with Sanford instead of going to CIF with my team.”

What is your best joke?

“My life.”

What is one thing you cannot live without?

“The never-ending love and support from my friends and family.”

What three things would you put on a pizza?

“Green beans, carrots and spinach, because we out here stayin’ healthy.”

Baseball

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PHOTO BY VICKY WENG

Nick Barrera (11)

Why did you decide to join baseball?

“I have been playing baseball since I was four years old. I [first] decided to join baseball, because I wanted to be like every other average kid who goes to school, does sports and comes home [after school]. I [enjoy] playing baseball, because it is a mentally [challenging] game that [requires focus].”

Who is your biggest inspiration?

“The people who inspire me the most are [those] who are in a higher division than me, because they have more experience and more talent, and I want to become like them or even better.”

What is your go-to comfort food?

“I like to get Subway’s Chicken and Bacon Ranch [Melt], because they make me feel better and fill me up before or after games and practices.”

Would you rather have a horse-sized duck or a duck-sized horse?

“I would want a horse-sized duck, so I could use the duck as a boat and ride it.”

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PHOTO BY VICKY WENG

Jacob Bell (11)

What is your biggest goal for this season?

“My biggest goal is to win CIF or to at least make it to the championship game. I will accomplish this goal by always having my teammates’ backs through every obstacle we go through as a [family]. I believe we are the team to beat, because we are very talented team and have a great [work ethic].”

If you were to join another sport, what would it be?

“Golf, because I like hitting dingers.”

What is your best joke?

“My best joke is, “EEEERRRAAAHH.” If you know, you know.”

What is one thing you cannot live without?

“One thing I can not live without is baseball. Baseball is my life and allows me to forget all my [problems] when I step into the field.”

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PHOTO BY VICKY WENG

Nick Quiroz (11)

Describe your most memorable achievement.

“The best memory I have with my team is when we played [against] Workman [HS]. A ball was hit behind second base, and my [teammates] and I all went for the ball. Nate caught it, [but] then Fig ran into him, and the ball popped up. I caught the ball with my bare hand in mid-air and threw out the runner at third base.”

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

“Chicken wings, because who does not love wings?”

What is your best pick-up line?

“You look like trash… may I take you out?”

Are you a morning person or a night person?

“I am a night person, because that is when I get to go out and do a lot of fun things.”

Badminton

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PHOTO BY VICKY WENG

Kenneth Chang (12)

Describe a turning point in your sports career.

“A turning point was during my sophomore year when I watched the US Open and saw professional players play for the first time. The skill they displayed was amazing, and I was inspired [to] train harder and [improve] myself from then on.”

Describe your team in one word.

“Motivated, [because they are] encouraging during games [and] serious during practice.”

What is the one app on your phone that you cannot live without?

“Snapchat. I [have] to keep my streaks.”

In a movie about your life, who would you cast to play yourself?

“Jonah Hill, [because he] seems pretty carefree.”

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PHOTO BY VICKY WENG

Sabrina Yuen (12)

Describe your most memorable game.

“During [my] freshman year when I was still in [the] Junior Varsity (JV) team, we played against Guard HS, and we were having a hard time. I was trying really hard, but I was making a lot of mistakes and that really frustrated me. Our [opponents] would also say things like, “Just give up already,” and that made my self-esteem go from 50 to zero. When I heard that, I got really mad and I wanted to beat them, [though] that unfortunately did not happen. I heard a few cheers [from my team] here and there, but the other team was [still] really intimidating.  From that experience, I learned that cheering is really important, [especially] in a close game, because it will give [your teammates] motivation to try harder.”

Describe your team in one word.

“Persistent. We are getting [closer to our expectations].”

If you can go on a trip with your team, where you go?

“Disneyland, because it will be lots of fun for everyone.”

What is the one app on your phone that you cannot live without?

“Safari, because it has everything I need.”

Boys Golf

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PHOTO BY PETER OH

Christopher Guerra (11)

Why did you start pursuing the sport and how did you improve?  

“I always hit golf balls [for fun], but I started getting serious about three years ago. My dad got me into [golf]; he gives advice on my swing and [encourages me] to practice constantly. For every single shot, I always think [about] how I want the [golf ball] to go and [concentrate on how I can] hit the ball that way. [When] I [keep]  going to the driving range and playing on the golf course, it just builds into something fun.”

What legacy do you want to leave behind as a captain?

“I hope to help encourage them to do their best and bond closer as a team, so we can [improve] over the next couple seasons.”

If you can go on a trip with your team, where you go?

“I would probably take the team to the Pebble Beach Golf Course at Monterey Bay, because it is a very nice course, and I think the whole team would enjoy playing golf there.”

Describe your team in one word.

“Entertaining, [because] we are always joking around with each other. [Even] if we are not playing so well, we always cheer each other up and [try to] have fun.”

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PHOTO BY PETER OH

Brian Lee (12)

How has playing your sport and being a part of your team changed you?

“Golf makes me more hardworking. Because I like [golf] so much, I want to practice more, and [with] that [mentality], I become more hardworking at school. By [being a part of my team], I learn that I can help other people [who] are not that good get better.”

Describe your team in one word.

“Fun, or interesting. There are a lot of different people with different ways of thinking, and it is cool how we can come together and be a team.”

In a movie about your life, who would you cast to play yourself?

“Jackie Chan, because he is really cool and funny.”

What is the one app on your phone that you cannot live without?

“Snapchat, [because I need to] keep my streaks.”

Track and Field

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PHOTO BY BETTY LEE

Joey Avila (12)

How do you motivate yourself?

“A lot of people think track is an independent sport, but it is really not, because you have your teammates. [My teammates] motivate me to do better by using words of encouragement, and  always [having] friendly competitions with me at practices.”

Do you have any rituals before meets?

“I have an ice bath the night before, and it helps me prepare for the upcoming meet.”

Have you had any painful injuries because of track?

“Definitely. I experienced shin splints in all four years I was in track.”

Do you have any funny or memorable moments?

“One time before practice, we were supposed to take a lap around the track, and I banged my shins against a hurdle cart. Everybody laughed, but I played it off cool and rode on the hurdle cart as it was moving.”

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PHOTO BY BETTY LEE

Nathan Tu (12)

What do you do to prepare for meets?

“I prepared for invitationals by trying to run the race through my head and thinking [of] encouraging thoughts, so I can be confident about the race. Also, I get a good night’s sleep before competing, because rest [is important]. It helps me feel relaxed and reassured that I know what I have been doing.”

Have you had any painful injuries because of track?

“Yes, I had a stress fracture in my tibia, because I was wearing old shoes, [which] slowed me down in the beginning of the season.”

What is your favorite type of food?  

“My favorite type of food is sushi, because there are so many types of sushi, and it is really fun to eat with friends.”

How do you get over your nerves?

“I remind myself that I work hard everyday to do the best that I can do, and that helps me clear my head and focus.”

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PHOTO BY BETTY LEE

Jonathan Solomon (11)

What are some responsibilities of being captain?

“Some responsibilities of being captain are letting the throwers know where to meet up, knowing what the workouts are for the day and what room we are in and making sure that everyone is here.”

Do you like working with your team?

“Our [shot put team] has an individual bond, which is why I enjoy working with my team. For example, one of the members in track and I call each other cousins, because people think that we look alike, even [though] we are not related.”

What is you favorite part about track?

“[My favorite part is] meeting the people who join track, [including our] opponents. We had a meet this Saturday and there was a guy from Covina [HS] who I have not seen in a while, so it is always nice to catch up with people from different schools.”

Do you get sore from practices?

“For practices, we are mainly get sore when we are in the weight room. [At] meets, we focus on improving posture and exploding, which is using your leg as momentum and force to jump, so we do not experience soreness [after competitions].”

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PHOTO BY BETTY LEE

Tyrie Lane (12)

How do you overcome your nerves?

“Sometimes, I do get nervous before competitions, but my best way to overcome them is to remember that the competitors [and] I are here for a reason, so I tell myself to go out there and do my best.”

What is your favorite part about track?

“I enjoy the attention from track, because a lot of kids come up to me and ask me for my name and my event. Sometimes that can get to my head, but I try to remain humble for the most part.”

What type of food do you eat the most?

“Pizza. I love pizza; and ever since I was a little kid, it was my go-to [food], because I really do not like anything else.”

How would you describe the soreness you experience?

“The soreness feels like your legs are on fire. It is worse during practices, because the next day you have to do the same thing again, but during meets, it is less intense and more [bearable].”  

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PHOTO BY BETTY LEE

David Song (12)

How do you prepare for competitions?

“I prepare for invitationals by going to the weight room, practicing runs and looking at videos to make sure I have enough power [and] know how my form should look.”

What is your favorite part of track?

“My favorite part of track is being able to see the improvement with [my peers and myself]. It is a nice experience to see my peers and my own personal records get progressively higher, [because] it shows improvement.”

What is your favorite food?

“I like any Thai food, because of the spices.”

Any funny moments from track?

“It is incredibly shocking when someone’s pole breaks. It has happened twice before, and it is always [funny to witness].”



Categories: Features

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