By Lucas Shaw
youth dominates most teams
Five of six teams are dominated by underclassmenâboysâ basketball, girlsâ basketball, wrestling, girlsâ soccer and girlsâ water polo. Experience is invaluable come postseason. Can a young team like girlsâ basketball, with one senior, really handle a big game late in the season?
no star quality
Last year, winter saw more star athletes than it has seen in a long time (such as Ali Riley â06 (left)). This year, teams seem to be missing those iconic players. Can Wolverine athletics be as exciting and successful without the big names?
too small to compete
Every year, wrestling struggles because the team is not large enough to actually win full tournaments, but every year individuals win titles. Can wrestling continue to succeed with so small a team? And can it continue to attract more members?
division changes a big deal?
During the girlsâ volleyball season, we saw the first effects of Mayâs CIF division changes. Volleyball lost earlier in their higher and tougher division. Will basketball meet a similar fate when it has to play the likes of Artesia or Mater Dei?
football takes it toll
Five important members of the varsity boysâ soccer team also played on the football team. They all missed the beginning of soccer season and two of themâJohn Howe â07 and Ryan Calvert â07âcannot play now because of injuries sustained during the football season. Can soccer succeed without them?
testing vertical integration
Athletic Director Audrius Barzdukasâ vertical integration of the sports programs from seventh grade up to the varsity has shown success for football, but now the ideaâs biggest test is ahead with girlsâ basketball. The first seventh grade girls to work with head coach Melissa Hearlihy are now freshmen playing on the varsity squad. Will the extra work pay off?
Even though Swoope doesnât start, he contributes with plenty of blocks, rebounds and assists off the bench.
Although Hung is inexperienced, she is averaging 14.0 PPG and leading the team in assists.
Based on Truerâs solid showing at the Camarillo Duals event this past weekend, good things should come.Â
Perez has prior experience at 2-meters and is contiburing greatly on the offensive and defensive ends.
Playing considerable minutes as a freshmen, Boysen has shown potential with fast touches and true grit.
Kroh is receiving a lot of time on the pitch as a starter, and his sublime finishing could prove decisive.
As the squad’s lone senior and its point guard, Greenfield, who averaged a team leading 15.6 points per game last year, will need to use her experience to help this extremely young team early on.
Danhakl is one of four seniors on the varsity girls’ soccer team and, as a captain, is a leader on and off the field. As the team’s fastest defender, Danhakl is extremely effective at crossing and clearing the ball.
The team’s captain returns to the Wolverines after playing against some of the world’s best youth opposition this summer in Brazil. His superb ball skills are rare for a player at his position, and he does well to organize the backline.
The team’s lone senior starter averaged over eight points and four assists last season. This season he should improve on those numbers and step into a huge leadership role. If the Wolverines hope to win league, they will need a rested Trotter.
The co-captain, who is being recruited by Princeton’s wrestling program, looks to continue his dominance while the team makes a run at the league title. His individual performance has been stellar in the past, and no change seems imminent.
This is a talented and athletic group. Another shared league title should be on the way. A deep run into CIF is out of the question, but the team could win some in state before running Artesia.
Like the boys, this is a young group. They should contend in league and potentially make noise later.
This team hasn’t been good for a long time, and this year should be no different. Early games have not shown promise.
Repeating last year’s success is out of question, but expect this team to win league and some CIF playoffs games.
Girls’ Water Polo
The lack of seniors is a concern, but this team should ahve a successful season again–a league but not a CIF title.
Though the small team will prevenmt tournament success, individuals will do well.
Boys’ Basketball at Loyola, Jan. 12, 7, p.m.
This game is big for two reasons. To capture both an outright league title and bragging rights, a win here is a must.
Marlborough at Girls’ Basketball, Jan. 6, 5 p.m.Â
Marlborough is one of the highest ranked teams the Wolverines play. It may be a good test for a maturing younger team.
Boys’ Soccer at Loyola, Jan. 12, 7 p.m.
While this game won’t even be close–Loyola is a true power–this rivalry game will be the most fun for the fans.
Girls’ Soccer at Flintridge Sacred Heart, Feb. 5, 5 p.m.
While players say the Mission League is weaker, this game against their rival could decide the league crown.
Wrestling in the Tournament of Champions at North Torrance High School, Dec. 29-30, 9 a.m.
This tournament provides the team with a real chance to show their chops against many of the area’s best.
Girls’ Water Polo at Louisville, Jan. 30,Â 4 p.m.
Though the small team will prevent tournament success, individuals will do well.