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Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

Gauls prepare for start of athletic season at home amidst lockdown

Webb athletes work out individually to prepare for their upcoming seasons. Graphic courtesy: Matthew Gaw (’21)

While the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically impacted students’ schedules, it has taken an especially large toll on high school athletes around the country, many of whom are experiencing the longest time away from their beloved sports they have grown up playing. Despite many setbacks, Webb athletes are not letting the delayed sports season sway their commitment to the game, as many have turned to intense workout routines and individual conditioning drills to ensure they are ready when high school sports resume.  

For Marie Blake (‘22), VWS varsity basketball captain, it was the first summer in a while that she could not train and compete with her travel basketball team. Marie has been preparing for the upcoming season at home, going through rigorous workouts sent by her travel ball team, and even attending online practice clinics for dribbling and shooting drills. While she predicts her school team might have  slight changes on the roster due to conflicting sports, she has high hopes on the upcoming season.  

“Honestly, I’m just grateful with the people we have right now, and I hope we continue our streak of League championships and qualification to CIF, despite being in a new league this season,” said Marie.  

Kalman Dong (‘22), captain of the WSC varsity basketball team has taken the opportunity to work on his shooting form, vertical jump, as well as building up his physique individuallyWhile his original plans for numerous basketball camps have been cancelled, he was able to do a five-day online program with intensive basketball training to stay in shape. Kalman looks forward to stepping into an increased role this season as a second-year captain, following the graduation of playmaker London Tyck (‘20). 

“I hope to find our identity as a team and set goals to push ourselves to our limits,” said Kalman when asked about his goals for the season.  

Although spring season is farther away than winter season, some members of the baseball team are using their free time to prepare for their season and get stronger. In addition to their afternoon activities, some players have been hitting the field and getting extra work in.  

“I’ve gotten into weightlifting and it has showed in different aspects of the game in terms of speed and power,” said Daniel Serna (‘23). “Before COVID-19, I’d say my training was more casual and laid back, kind of just going through the motions. Once COVID-19 was underwayI really started to take my training to the next level and realized this was a big opportunity to separate myself from players across the country and my team.” 

On the softball team, some athletes have been improving their health as well. While practice has been made difficult due to closure of fieldspersonal workout options are still readily accessible, with many turning to YouTube, running, and ab workouts to stay healthy. 

I have been biking and swimming a lot recently, as well as tumbling and doing some gymnastics workouts which train my upper abs mostly,” said Marina Saeger (‘23). “COVID-19 has definitely changed the way I work outthough.”  

Over the summer, the football team adjusted its workout schedule to better fit the delayed season, effectively moving everything later by four months.   

“From August to mid-October we’ll focus mostly on lifting and then in October we’ll start getting into some conditioning, said Amahl Thomashead coach of the football team. Due to Webb’s decision to cancel all summer practices in order to comply with the coronavirus rules and regulations, the players have been working out at home, following a specific regimen designed around the equipment available to them 

While team captain Jake Baiz (‘21) was disappointed not to have summer practice, where the team usually gets together and builds bonds, coach Thomas had a different perspective about the season.  

“I’m cautiously optimistic.” says coach Thomas“I’m in full football mode right now. I’ve scouted our first few games, I think we’ve got good game plans for those, and I think we match up well, so I’m excited about the season.”  

“This season has a lot of high stakes and we’re really looking forward to it. It’s definitely going to be different, but just given that small chance really kept us motivated and myself for sure, said Jake. 

In quarantine, it is difficult to find motivation to stay active. However, with volleyball season approaching soon, these varsity athletes are trying to stay in shape for their sport. 

“I work out every single day and I try to run as well,” said Alex Xiao (‘21), co-captain of the WSC varsity volleyball team. Initially, I didn’t really find any motivation to do anything, but as quarantine went on, I realized it was necessary to stay active for volleyball season.”   

Savanna Cespedes (‘22), captain of the VWS varsity volleyball team, also shared her workout routine in detail. 

“During the week I tend to do lifting workouts 2-3 times a week, and on off days I do cardioso that is running 3-6 miles a day and other days I’ll just do sprints,” said Savanna. “I would also do my own drills and setting practice. I would try and get together with friends, with safe conditions of course, and play beach volleyball or just do simple practice drills in a backyard.” 

Although athletes are trying their best to stay in shape for their season, it is a difficult thing to do by themselves. Getting used to having their teams’ encouragement and support, Alex and Savanna are both working on staying motivated the best that they can. 

As for Webb’s highly decorated soccer program, the Webb Canyon Chronicle got the pleasure of getting an inside look at two Webb athletes and how they’ve stayed in shape over quarantine. VWS forward Taren Duffy (22), who plays soccer at varsity and club level, shares that she has started to work out individually, engaging in home workouts such as treadmill running, participating in workout videos, as well as other activities 

Similarly, WSC Varsity defender Maksym Graham (23), who also plays club soccer, mentions that he has been trying to use the extra free time to work out.  

Because I play soccer, I try to consistently do exercises with a lot of cardio and train with specific soccer focused drills, Maksym said.  

Many club sports, including Taren and Maksym’s clubs, are now slowly picking back up again with extra precautionary measures. 

My coach has taken precautions such as making sure we are all six feet apart when creating drills,” says Maksym.  

Although we are unable to play gamesour club takes our temperature before going into the complex and all our coaches wear masks at practice, said Taren. 

Even though this system of playing sports is different from what everyone is used to, there is little doubt that it is better than practicing alone. Taren and Maksym both agreed that they are more than ready to get back to playing on the Webb soccer fields. 

Webb athletes recognize that just because they cannot work out in person does not mean they cannot exercise at home. Prying yourself away from your screen and finding ways to stay active is crucial and will keep you healthy. Having all your teammates train for a sport foreven just a couple minutes a day, can have a huge benefit; it will ensure that the team is the strongest it can possibly be by the time the season arrives.

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About the Contributors
Bianca Arteaga, Public Editor
Do you know many busy bees at Webb? If you don't, then maybe you haven't met Bianca Arteaga ('22)—a self-described bee, she is productive, cheerful, and hardworking. She is, like many productive people, a morning person, and very organized. So perhaps it is no surprise that she is taking on the added challenge of AP Spanish this year, in order to better help people internationally in the future. Bianca eventually wants to become a lawyer and help people worldwide, which she may need Spanish for. For now, Bianca wants to help people locally by using the WCC to teach freshmen and sophomores to love Webb as she does. Bianca's other passion is protecting the environment. Despite being a very busy and successful student, Bianca is also very skilled in the athletic department. She is the varsity softball captain and hopes to continue playing even once she goes to college. Besides her work, Bianca also has a fun side: she loves playing the guitar, is obsessed with Taylor Swift, enjoys watching romcoms, and loves dad jokes. Bianca's many interests, well-balanced lifestyle, and unwavering work ethic truly make her a queen bee! Favorite song: "All Too Well" by Taylor Swift
Matthew Gaw, Chief Editor of Sports
Matthew Gaw (‘21), hailing from Hong Kong, is currently the Webb Canyon Chronicle’s Chief Sports Editor. With his growing passion for sports, Matthew enjoys watching the NBA, NFL, and the English Premier League. During his free time, he is also an avid lover for hiking, road-biking, and wakeboarding. With the California Wildfires going on nearby, Matthew wants to be an advocate to spread awareness about climate change. In addition to Matthew’s love for the outdoors, Matthew looks forward to being the alamo dorm prefect, along with being aadmissions ambassador. Matthew plans to use these positions to be a role model to his peers, along with helping others feel comfortable at Webb. Before he completes his senior year, he plans on putting up a memorable show in the Spring Musical, which he has been heavily involved in in the last few years. He also hopes to explore a wider variety of topics and venture outside of his comfort zone of writing sports for the Webb Canyon Chronicle.
Abbey Cook, Staff Writer
Abbey Cook (‘23) shares many traits with a butterfly: she is social, friendly, and optimistic. If you can catch Abbey anywhere, she is most likely hanging out with her friends or at the soccer field playing for Arsenal, a highly competitive team. An athlete since she was five years old, Abbey plays club soccer at a national level and aspires to play at a division one college in the future. She sets the bar for herself very high, and this mindset will be useful when writing for the WCC; she can improve her writing skills and become a better writer. Although Abbey is already a positive contributor on her high caliber soccer team, she also hopes to be a productive member of the WCC and produce quality work that everyone can enjoy.   
David Hastings, Editor of Sports
Captain of the Webb football team, David Hastings (‘22) leads with distinction and serves as a suitable Editor of Sports. However, his interests stretch far beyond one activity; music also constitutes an integral part of his identity. David has rocked out instruments since he was young, initially playing the drums but later transitioning to the guitar; he now plays for his band “Orange Juice.” David also likes to hang out with friends in the Claremont Village or binge Netflix shows with a bucket of fudge brownie ice cream from Ben and Jerry’s on his lap. Unfortunately, he missed out on many social interactions because of the pandemic and looks forward to re-establishing broken social connectivity by learning and reporting individuals’ stories for the Webb Canyon Chronicle. Apart from contributing to the WCC as an athlete, musician, and editor, David strives to make every community member’s voice heard. Favorite song: "Bitter Sweet Symphony" by The Verve
Oma Sukul, Editor of Photography
One hundred kilometers an hour. Blink, and you’ll miss it. Hesitate, and it’s too late. But for Oma Sukul (‘23), Editor of Photography, it’s just another day of volleyball. Her lightning-fast reflexes not only help her as a varsity player out on the court, but they also enable her to capture spontaneous moments that are featured on the front page. However, Oma also treasures the slower parts of life. If one were to visit her home in Rancho Cucamonga, she would likely be found indulging in romance stories alongside her cat Lucky or singing along to Niel Diamond with her dad. She cherishes her connections with her friends and family, and you can always count on her to be genuine, friendly, and delightful in conversation. Born in Toronto, Canada, her transcontinental family means that she has roots spanning the Pacific Ocean. Contributing to dozens of articles last year, this year Oma seeks to further explore her creative side. Rediscovering her passion for the WCC's quizzes, she continues her quest to make the publication engaging and entertaining for all. One thing’s certain: whatever life throws at her, whatever the speed, you can count on Oma Sukul to spike it back with a smile.   Favorite song: “I am... I said” by Neil Diamond 

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