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Women’s Waterpolo Takes Home NCS Title and Their First State Qualification.

WALNUT CREEK— The 2022 season for women’s varsity waterpolo was nothing short of impressive and historic.

After ending regular season 18-10, the team blew their way through competition to land themselves a spot in the North Coast Section Division 1 Championships. The game ended successfully as the women’s team brought home the title after taking down Amador Valley on November 12, the final score 6-5. The win was not only a demonstration of the immense talent and drive, but it also meant their appearance in state playoffs for the first time in program history.

“It was really rewarding to know all our hard work—morning practices, tournaments, games, etc—had payed off,” said junior player Caroline Nicol. “The energy from all of us [making state] was remarkable. Even with some ups and downs, we always had a ‘next play’ attitude… which definitely a reason that won us our game.”

Senior Tiernan Lynch makes a pass in their first state playoff game against Clovis East (CIF Playoffs, Nov 15).

Women’s waterpolo moved on to play Clovis East at home on November 15, yet lost their first state playoff, 6-12.

Senior Kayla Morse reflected back on her last season with the team, “Winning NCS was a surreal experience… Our team grew so much since our first game and making program history was an amazing end to the season.”

“The looks on the faces of the players and their families, it doesn’t get better than that! I’ve rewatched the game probably ten times already and can’t help but smile every time we score,” said head coach Ryan Sevilla. Sevilla has coached water polo for ten years, eight of those years with Las Lomas, and is looking towards the future of the team, “We’re not going to get complacent – we’re incredibly proud of the 22-23 season, but this team has high hopes for next year and this is a big offseason for the players. I know they’re ready for the challenge that lies ahead and I’m excited to see how much we can improve by next August.”

Waterpolo will begin practices over the summer and the 2023-2024 season will begin during August.

Junior Teagan Claus rushes to save a ball (CIF Playoffs, Nov 15).
Freshman Lily Palma moves to get the ball closer to Clovis East’s goal (CIF Playoffs, Nov 15).

Written by BROOKE KILLGORE

Photos by ROWAN SHEA

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Issue 6 Magazine Sport

Sports In The New Year

By Adam Tarr

On December 17th, 2020, the California Department of Health and the California Interscholastic Federation released modifications and guidelines regarding the 2020-2021 high school sports season. When playing a high school sport, some of the things that make being on a team so special are competing against other teams and playing with your peers. Athletes in 2021 will have had to adapt to new norms to ensure that students can safely participate in sports without contracting the virus. Across all levels of sports, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused uncertainty and drama as well as opportunities for growth and learning.

The new guidelines state which sports are allowed to be played in each COVID-19 tier. Contra Costa is currently in the red tier which only allows for sports such as cross-country, track and field and golf to be played, sports that are easy to play using social distancing and which have a lower COVID-19 threat. “I think that right now some sports are riskier than others, like for example, football. If you’re really close to people and you’re having physical contact with people that’s more of a threat because you can’t have that distancing…” said Megan Sechle, a senior on the cross-country team at Las Lomas. The CIF regularly updates their guidelines and the status of each county in returning to sports on their website. 

“I’m pretty eager [to return]. I think that the safety of our community right now is more important than returning back to our normal sports,” Sechle added. Students will not be able to compete against other teams until at least January 25th at the current time of this article being written.

During the pandemic, sports have not been anywhere close to normal. At all levels, athletes have had to change routines and make sacrifices just to have the chance to play the sports they love. “Some of the challenges that we’ve had to adjust and get used to, is [high fiving] a lot, and the stretching groups, and circles [when normally], [you’d] be breathing on each other and of course you can’t do that now.” Sechle added. 

It’s hard to say when high school sports will return to normalcy. With the COVID-19 vaccine finally being distributed to people 16 and over, it’s possible we could see some ease in restrictions. Unfortunately, this likely won’t be any time soon because people in the high school age levels are not prioritized.

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Features Magazine Volume 70, Issue 4

Mask Up, and Hit the Slopes

By Caroline Johnston

Graphic By Jane Wilson

The days of drinking hot chocolate in the lodge and making friends with strangers on the lift are seemingly over for this snowboarding and skiing season. Nearly every aspect of life has been affected in some way by COVID-19, and snow sports such as skiing and snowboarding are not the exception. On a typical day at a ski resort, there may be hundreds, if not thousands, of people participating in a variety of activities ranging from sitting by a fireplace in the lodge, to taking continuous laps on their favorite runs. Now, due to the pandemic, things are looking different at the resorts due to a variety of different safety precautions. In March of 2020, resorts had to shut down prematurely due to the virus, but will remain open this winter. Thankfully, skiing and snowboarding are activities that can be executed quite well in terms of coronavirus safeness, since they occur outdoors and can follow social distancing guidelines with relative ease. 

Since public health is the main concern of the resorts, there are many safety precautions that resorts are taking to protect everyone. One requirement is that everyone must wear a mask, or face covering, especially while near other people such as in lift lines, and when walking around the lodge. Some resorts, such as Boreal, are requiring everyone to wear gloves, which isn’t too much of an inconvenience since most people already wear gloves while skiing or snowboarding. Resorts such as Squaw Valley are also not grouping together parties on the chair lifts, so there will no longer be a “singles line,” where one can usually cut the long lines and join a random group on the lift. Other resorts, such as Boreal, are putting together singles on their four person chairs, with one person sitting on each end of the chair and both wearing masks. 

In addition to enforcing safety precautions for the guests at the resorts, most resorts are also limiting the amount of people who can go ride each day and requiring visitors to buy their tickets online beforehand; this is the most inconvenient safety measure in place for many. In December, Squaw Valley is only allowing people to ride who are: lodging in the village, have a season pass, are renting equipment, or are taking a lesson. Other resorts are limiting the occupancy to a smaller percent or capping the amount of visitors each day at a certain number. Homewood employee, Billy Fletcher said that they are only allowing 1600 visitors each day, and that all tickets have to be bought beforehand and picked up at a kiosk at the resort. Other resorts such as Donner Ski Ranch are allowing season pass holders to go whenever they want, while people who are buying day tickets have to purchase them in advance. Junior Megan Lewis, who went to Mt. Rose over Thanksgiving break, said, “People are only allowed to do half days,” and, “They only had two lifts open so that made the lines really long.” Other resorts, such as Donner Ski Ranch, only had the lifts on the front side of their mountain open as well, during the month of December. People who have Epic Passes, (a combo season pass to over 20 resorts in North America, including Heavenly, Kirkwood, and North Star) can only make reservations for seven days in each new batch of released dates. With all of the reservation requirements that have been put in place this year, all trips must be planned in advance which leaves no room for spontaneity. 

This will most certainly be the year where the diehard skiers and snowboarders will be weeded out from the people just there to hang in the lodge. At nearly all resorts, the lodges are not open for indoor seating. Boreal has defined one’s car as their “new lodge.” Fletcher said that at Homewood, one can order food online and pick it up at a kiosk, but there is no indoor dining. Senior skier Jakob Lapping said, “People that like nice restaurants, hotels, shopping, and clubs in ski resort villages will be disappointed this year.” Those who truly love the sports may not be that bothered by all the safety precautions, because in the end, they still get to ski and snowboard. Lapping said, “The sport of skiing and snowboarding felt essentially the same and was equally as fun as previous years.” Although things may not be the same as previous seasons, it’s really special that people can still go skiing and snowboarding at all, since so many other sports and activities have been completely shut down due to COVID-19.

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Magazine Sport Volume 70, Issue 4

Where are Senior Knights Playing Sports in College?

By Charlie Pentland

Graphic by Yiying Zhang

For many, it’s a dream to play collegiate sports. Student athletes will dedicate hours of hard work for the opportunity to play at the next level. Las Lomas, regarded as one of the best academic schools in the district, has also seen many students and alumni go on to play division one, two and three sports. The senior class of 2021 has produced many athletes who will go on to play at the highest level of collegiate sports, division one. 

Playing on varsity as a freshman and averaging 22 points per game her junior season, Rose Morse has been instrumental for Las Lomas on the court. She has been a leader on the girls’ varsity basketball team and is now committed to the University of California, Riverside. Morse described Las Lomas as the place where she learned to be a good teammate, leader and hard worker: “Playing for Las Lomas has taught me a lot of lessons; how to be a good leader and the value of hard work.” Morse went on to talk about what drew her to play at UCR. She discussed how UCR made her feel valued and how she liked what the coaching staff had to offer. “I chose UCR because I felt like they wanted me and needed me. A lot of the colleges that were talking to me made me feel that they already had someone of my skill and that they just wanted me to fill a spot, whereas UCR wanted me because they felt that they believed in my potential and that I would be a valuable player for the team.” Morse continued by saying: “UCR also has a new coaching staff that I felt like I connected to very well. And not to mention that I’d be playing for Nicole Powell, a former WNBA player.” 

For many seniors, male and female, who play water polo, the lack of sports on campus this year is heartbreaking since they will not get to play their senior season. While this ends many playing careers, senior Renee Fleeming will get to continue playing water polo at San Jose State next fall. “I chose SJSU because, along with the gorgeous campus and great location, it offered me the opportunity for a good education and to continue my water polo career at a D1 level.” Fleming, who played on varsity all four years of her high school career, mentioned how Las Lomas coaching really took her game to the next level. “Las Lomas truly helped prepare me because I was given the opportunity to improve my skills and play against – and with – some of the best athletes in the country. I was/am a captain junior and senior year, which really helped my leadership skills improve, and I was able to learn how to communicate and instruct in ways other high schools and programs don’t allow. What I was able to achieve through Las Lomas and high school water polo will really help me when I get to start playing at the college level, because after four years as a varsity athlete, I am stronger and smarter than when I started.”

Former Las Lomas defensive end Troy dela Vega recently committed to continue his football playing career at the United States Air Force Academy. Troy relocated to Utah with the hopes of playing a football season and getting the opportunity to play for a football scholarship. Located in Colorado, the Air Force has produced eight players who later went on to play professionally in the NFL. Troy also reflected on his time at Las Lomas and credited Head Coach Doug Longero and Assistant Coach Mike Ivankovich for some of his success on the field: “Las Lomas helped me get prepared for the next level by teaching me how to lift weights, as well as Head Coach Longero and my other coach, Coach Ivankovich, teaching me how to be a better football player by spending time on me to get me where I am today.” When asked what drew him to play at Air Force, dela Vega said, “Air Force is just a great fit for me and my family. Also, it was a great decision. I chose the Air Force because it’s gonna set me up for life.” dela Vega went on to say, “One of the main things is that I am going to be able to play college football at the next level on TV, which has always been my dream.” It is important to note that Troy did transfer out of Las Lomas to Park City High School in Park City, Utah, to have the opportunity to play his senior season, where he had a total of four sacks in 12 games.With the Las Lomas administration trying to salvage what it can for sports this school year, student athletes are still finding ways to play at the next level. This senior class has produced many athletes who will have the opportunity to play all across the country at the highest level in their respective sports, and The Page looks forward to honoring more seniors for their athletic accomplishments.