Check out how MSJ’s winter sports teams performed in their seasons!
This winter season was a rebuilding season for Boys Basketball as they struggled with their 8-17 record, as The players faced many obstacles such as being shorter on average compared to other teams and being plagued with injuries. However, the team excelled in their three-point shooting ability, speed, and knowledge of the court. Off the courts, Co-Captain Point Guard Senior Arnav Arora commended his team on their budding friendships; he said, “The six a.m practices that everyone attended were hard, but they definitely brought us closer together.” In the future, Arora hopes that the team continues to build on their experience from this season to face previously challenging opponents again; he said, “We had so many players playing varsity for their first year and we were able to play really well against teams such as Logan or Newark and so for next year they should already know what to expect, and I think that will make a huge difference.”
Girls Basketball performed well throughout the season, persevering to earn a 12-2 winning record and placing second in MVALs. The season had plenty of lows and highs, with the team initially struggling to compete with other teams despite their own dependable shooters and rebounders. Commenting on their positive aspects, Captain Center Senior Starla Murillo said, “I think something that was good for us this year was aggression. We have a lot of girls who are willing to put their bodies on the line to get the charge or go up and get that rebound.” Next year, the team wants to place higher at NCS and win more rounds. Murillo said, “I think our work ethic and mentality to just work hard, going as hard as possible, in the league and at NCS, has helped us be successful and I hope it continues into next year.”
Boys Soccer ended this season with a record of 2-2-10, an improvement from the previous year. With Seena Sajadieh as their new coach, they were ultimately able to improve upon their team chemistry and maintain strict discipline throughout the entirety of the season. This helped foster a greater sense of awareness on the field, allowing players to make more intelligent plays, most notably with Mid-fielder Sophomore Kanishk Kapoor and Left-Wing Junior Aris Safi. Co-Captain Right-Wing Senior Anton Lin said, “These players were really impactful to our team this season and were able to be effective on offense, scoring goals moving the ball forward.” As the team is primarily composed of underclassmen, Lin has high hopes for the future; “I hope in the coming years we will see some of the underclassmen have strong leadership so we can continue improving our playing style and be more adaptive on the field,” he said.
Although Girls Soccer placed 7th in the MVAL with a record of 2-2-10, they performed relatively well given their fairly young team. Despite being plagued by injuries, with nine players out throughout the season, the players were still able to head into each game ready to compete. Co-Captain Defensive Midfielder Senior Marwa Nekrawesh said, “I think the team does a great job of motivating one another. They’re also good at not letting the game get to their heads. They leave all they got on the field and don’t dwell on the results, which I respect.” While players did face plenty of obstacles, they were successfully able to persevere and build a greater sense of camaraderie within the team. In the future, Nekrawesh hopes the team continues to work on their communication on the field, as well as playing more aggressively in order to compete at a higher level against the other teams.
Both Boys and Girls Wrestling had impressive seasons, ending with records of 5-1 in the MVAL. They sent multiple players to NCS, even qualifying for NCS Duals on the Boys team for the first time in six years, which only the top two teams in each league can attend. In the absence of their seniors from last year, Wrestling was tasked with catching many underclassmen up to the returning players. Speaking about the challenges they faced with a young team, Co-Captain Senior Vincent Chen said, “We had a lot of injuries throughout the season, mostly the underclassmen, which stopped our improving because many people didn’t have their regular partners and had to work with someone else.” With the help of their two new coaches, Coach Robert Nishiyama and Coach Alan Li, the team was able to see a drastic improvement in players over the season and looks forward to the seasons to come.
Graphic by Web Editor Gregory Wu