Fall sports return with athletes optimistic about winning a championship


The fall season includes a large variety of fall sports, such as Football, Cross Country, Volleyball, golf, water polo, and tennis. Webb football prepares to run a trick play against the Silver Valley Defense. Eric Gu (‘26) takes a sip out of his water bottle after finishing a mile-long warmup run for WSC cross country practice. VWS Volleyball poses for a picture before playing a crucial game that will send the team to the playoffs.

As Webb’s fall sports season continues, teams are fighting to clinch a spot in playoffs in hopes of bringing a California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) title home. Below, fall season athletes and coaches share their biggest challenges, along with what they are most excited for this season.  

WSC Cross Country 

The WSC cross country team started this year with a bang, with varsity runners being ranked fourth place in CIF so far. With over 10 CIF appearances, the cross country team is one of the most successful programs at Webb.  

It is not easy to maintain that title, though, as every athlete must be committed to the team and give it their all in every race. Despite the pressure, the players are extremely optimistic about this season. 

“The team seems to be focused on the right things,” said Brian Caldwell, the cross country coach. “The things that I emphasize are hard work, no excuses, and becoming better each day.” 

“This season is going to go very well.” Garrett Cordova-Caddes (‘23) said. “We’re constantly moving up in the rankings, we have rivals in our league for the first time in years, which is just going to push us further, and everyone has a great mindset for going all the way.” 

Although stepping into the position of a team leader can be challenging, Garrett executes the position with confidence and is certain that the cross country team is in good hands.  

“The team looks to us for directions,” Garrett said. “I want to direct everyone in the right direction to create committed, life-long runners that keep the team in action long after I’m gone.”  

The team’s biggest challenge so far has been fighting through injuries, which has caused a major setback. With numbers running thin this season, younger players will have to step up to varsity.  

“The biggest challenge for the season so far has been losing Connor Plunkett to an injury,” Coach Caldwell said. “He is our number 3 runner, and we don’t have a lot of depth, so it will be very difficult to replace him.”  

Despite what it may look like from the outside, cross country is more than just running a trail with others to fulfill the sports credit. To the players, it is more of a family that wins, loses, and fights through adversity together.  

VWS Volleyball 

The VWS volleyball (4-9) team is a force to be reckoned with. As another one of Webb’s most successful programs, it is no surprise this year’s team is fighting to clinch a spot in the playoffs. 

Like this year’s WSC cross country team, VWS volleyball has lost some important seniors, yet players were quick to step up and handle the responsibility of being a leader.  

 “I believe that this year’s biggest obstacle was losing five seniors who made up our whole starting lineup,” said Nicole Rabadi (‘24), volleyball co-captain. “However, we have a great team this year that are excited and ready to fill those positions.” 

The teamwork and chemistry formed by the players is what makes their team unique, hence why the players see themselves as more of a family than just a volleyball team. 

“The friendships I have formed with everyone on the team and how much fun we have together is my favorite thing about the team,” Nicole said. 

Their team recently beat Tarbut V’ Torah (3-5), which allowed them to have a shot at playoffs this season.  

VWS Cross Country 

VWS cross country is not only known for their fast, strong running team but also for their passion. They are a strong unit that acts as one big family.  

“My favorite aspect of the team is how supportive they are of each other,” said Syrah Russell, varsity cross country head coach. “Whenever someone is finishing a race, they are waiting at the finish line to cheer each other on.”  

With the team acting as a strong unit, both players and coaches are confident in the team’s ability to successfully place in this year’s meets.  

“I think we have had a great start this year with many new faces,” said Emily Huang (‘23), varsity captain. “I think the biggest challenge for the team will be being more confident in our skills and having a positive attitude regardless of our times.” 

With their teammates and coaches as their support system, the team is ready for any challenge that comes their way. 


Pictured above is the Webb football team, weary and hot, preparing to score more points in the second half. Though no longer fully energized they are still determined to win. “Due to the heat, I was more exhausted than normal while running routes,” said Jordan McCray (‘24). Although it was 98°, they pushed themselves to their limits.

Coming off a losing, truncated season last year, the Webb football team is determined to make a playoff run this year. A new league has given Webb football even better chances to add another banner in the gym. 

“My favorite thing about the team is the comradery,” said Alejandro Fountain (‘24), varsity football captain. “I also enjoy getting to build a new family each year as we welcome the incoming freshman to the team.” 

“I enjoy having a role in further developing the players into responsible young adults,” said Amahl Thomas, football head coach. “I feel this team has a ton of potential to be league champs and go to the playoffs as long as we stay healthy and stay together.” 

As Coach Thomas stated, being healthy is the most important part in winning a championship, but they are currently dealing with a lot of injuries, which is the team’s biggest setback this year. 

“Because of the size of our team, our biggest challenge will be health,” Coach Thomas said. “If we can stay healthy, we will have a successful season record-wise. However, I can only control what I can control…so regardless of our overall health, I, as the head coach need to ensure that we are successful as a team, socially and emotionally.” 

The future of Webb football is looking bright, with 14 freshmen part of the team. Having this many younger players will require the upperclassmen to step up as leaders. 

“I am going to set a good example with my work ethic and make sure they are all focused and engaged while on the field or sideline, so they can learn and get better,” Alejandro said. 

Webb football has only three games remaining, all league games. For them to make the playoffs, they need to win all three games. The players are all determined to extend their season, so they are putting in extra effort during practices to propel them towards playoff contention. 

WSC Water Polo 

Fall sports return, which means it is time to dive back into water polo at Webb. The team started off great going undefeated in their first four games.  

This year, WSC water polo team is happy to be back in the pool, with their season last year being heavily affected by the pandemic.  

“This season is going pretty well, and I think we are playing well so far,” Julian Ratinoff (‘23) said. “The team’s goal this year is to make it to the CIF playoffs and hopefully come back with a title.” 

With a record of 7-5, the team is confident that they are going to make it far in CIF this year.  

“I think we’re doing really well in season and think we’re going to go far in CIF,” said Sawyer Belville, water polo head coach. “The biggest challenge is that we’re one of the youngest teams this season, so we need to work on our fundamentals.” 

Similar to this year’s WSC cross country team, the water polo team lost several crucial leaders. Despite the loss, many underclassmen have stepped up.  

“I’m proud of the players leading by action and stepping into their role as a leader,” Coach Belville said.  

VWS Golf 

This year, the VWS golf team is already a hole in one. The players and coaches have their goals set on winning as many matches as possible, while also making sure to have fun. Yet, there are still a few challenging matches ahead. 

“I feel great about this season,” Lauren Duffy (’25) said. “My favorite part about the team is our dynamic, we all strive to improve our game.” As the team stands undefeated with only a few matches to go, it is safe to say that their energetic dynamic has triumphed, but their greatest challenge still awaits.  

“I think the biggest challenge for our team this season is beating Fairmont,” Lauren said. “Last year they beat us by one stroke.”  

This year, being undefeated, most players on the team are certain they will be able to pull through and get the victory.  

Although most of the underclassmen on the team are picking up a heavier workload, they are still finding ways to show out for the team.  

“Everyone is busy, especially the sophomores, as they are getting used to a busier schedule,” said Angie Zhang (‘23), VWS golf captain. “I would say spirits are still really good though, and I can’t wait for the rest of the season.” 

With spirits high this season, the golf team hopes to raise a banner in the Les Perry Gymnasium this fall. 

VWS Tennis 

With strong team spirit, the VWS tennis team remains undefeated. In addition to their outstanding performance in games, the players achieved this feat by overcoming challenges together. 

As an outdoor sport, temperature has a significant impact on tennis players’ performance.  

“When we were playing away games, it was once 105° and we even received a heat alert,” said Amy Wang (‘24), varsity single player. “We overcame this challenge by spraying water on our hair and clothes. It was so harsh, but we got through it together.” 

Another challenge is: as a team with players from all grade levels, it has been difficult for some players without previous sport season experience to adapt to sports life at Webb. 

“The underclassmen always ask me questions about balancing school and sports, so I give them advice and calm them down,” Amy said. 

Team spirit within a large team is not only fostered through active communication between players, but also through engaging training programs, implemented by the coach, that strengthen the connection between all the members.  

“Wednesdays are ‘freaky friends’ days,” said Michael Kozden, VWS tennis coach. “I match them with a freaky friend, someone they don’t talk to, and they play doubles together.”  

Coach Kozden believes that by adhering to the team philosophy of “getting better every day,” players can witness each other’s growth and learn to both win and lose.  

“This is a lovely team, and we have the best coach ever,” Elaine Tang (‘24) said. The VWS tennis team will continue to use team spirit to defend their undefeated streak.  

If you want to come out and support the Gauls, the team’s games are listed on MaxPreps