Teams, coaches strive for successful seasons
The winter sports season is upon us and all of the coaches are looking to prepare their players for the long season ahead. With a tougher slate of games for all teams that participate in winter sports, it will be a test of their heart and determination.
Boys soccer coach Matthew Markarian has transitioned to the girls’ soccer scene as head coach. Hoping to continue the success of the girls’ soccer team who has made playoff runs in recent years, Markarian is hoping to bring a fresh look to the program in hopes of winning a championship.
“The girls team has had a lot of turn over the last few years,” Matthew said. “I feel like I can bring the stability and experience the team really needs. I am looking forward to the new challenge of building a stable program again. There is a lot of talent on the girls’ team and I look forward to seeing the results at the end of the season. Coaching the girls is very different but the game is the same. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the girls so far and I hope that Coach Dave and I can make many more memories throughout the year.”
With highlighted matchups against Fowler High School and Riverdale High School, the team will be tested by their upcoming competition. Lauryn Tucker, ’18, is hoping to make the most out of her last year of soccer.
“One of the things that I’m going to miss about soccer the most is the feeling of having a second family,” Tucker said. “My teammates have offered a lot of support throughout the years and I’m very grateful for them. I have made a lot of good memories throughout my years of playing soccer. It will be nice to look back and remember some of the good times we all shared. It’s going to be an emotional rollercoaster but I’m glad my parents are going to be there just like how they’ve always been there for me.”
Some soccer games last year were canceled due to poor weather conditions. The Feather will post updates on the status of games and cancellations that may occur during the season.
Filling his brother’s role as boys soccer coach, Garrett Markarian plans to lead the team, along with new coach Frank Brunnemann. Garrett hopes to keep some of his brothers tactics but will also implement his own ideas into the mix.
“My goals for this season is of course to win the Valley championship,” Garrett said. “But we are young and it is important to make sure we are developing our players so in a couple of years we will be a real threat. Coach Frank and I have our own philosophy of developing players. I feel that’s what makes coaching special because everyone has their own way of doing things.I was intrigued by the position and I knew it would be a challenge but I’m glad I took the opportunity.”
After playing soccer his freshman and sophomore year, Griffin Schmidt, ‘19, decided to switch to basketball this season. He discusses his decision to the change sports after being a part of the soccer team for two years.
“I just wanted to try something new,” Schmidt said. “I think it was time for a change. Basketball seemed like a great opportunity. Coach (Penberthy) talked to me about the chance of me playing and I was on board from the start. My interest in soccer wasn’t the same as it had been during my freshman and sophomore year. I just thought I’d enjoy basketball more at this point in my high school career. It wasn’t hard to make the change but I’m glad that I did.”
Boys soccer will be continuing to practice throughout Thanksgiving break, except for on Thanksgiving day.
Boys basketball had a successful season last year making it to the semifinals in the CIF playoffs but eventually losing in the playoff semi-finals to Caruthers High School. Returning for his fourth year as head coach, Jon Penberthy wants to keep improving from years prior even though the team is completely different from last season.
“It’s a big challenge to only have one returning player from varsity last year,” Penberthy said. “Normally you would have 4-5 players returning which allowed them to lead by example. This year we are learning as a group to do things. It’s a challenge for the coaches as well. We are trying to see who plays well with each other and what everyone’s strengths are. Our expectations are to compete every night. To continually get better each practice and to put ourselves in an opportunity to win each game.”
The only returning member of the team from last year is Wyatt Koop. He hopes to rally the players and get some key wins throughout the season.
“Since I am the only returning varsity player from the previous year,” Koop said. “I want to be able to teach the new players that have come up from JV. The reason why is because it is a big step from JV (junior varsity). The speed and the intensity of varsity can be overwhelming sometimes. I hope I can be the leader that they can rely on. That is one of my biggest goals of the season.”
Most of the players that are on varsity this year were improving their skills on the JV basketball team last year. Penberthy and his coaching staff will be working closely to take their games to the next level for the upcoming season. They will also be scrimmaging Firebaugh High School in their home gymnasium during the Thanksgiving break.
After a season which had it’s ups and downs for the girls’ basketball team, head coach Robert Foshee kept his girls grounded and worked to improve throughout the summer as well. Foshee ensured the girls worked hard over the summer in preparation for the upcoming season.
“You can never replace your seniors,” Foshee said. “But we’ve improved this year through returners maturing and developing as well adding newcomers Hannah Vannoy, Hannah Villines, and Sophia Kalugin. We had one of our best summer programs this year. Both the numbers of girls who participated and the success they had on the court at the Fresno City League. Just playing basketball more will translate to better team chemistry and confidence during the season. The goal of our coaching staff is to develop the girls into better basketball players, better community members, and better followers of Jesus.”
Returning point guard of the team Ashley Zamarripa hopes to build off of her success with the team last year. She knows it is team game and everyone is going to be on the same page for them to have a successful season.
“I am very grateful for my teammates,” Zamarripa said. “The main reason why is because they’ve helped me become a better basketball player on the court but most importantly a better friend off of it. They help me stay focused during the games and show me the importance of a team. My coaches have helped me stay positive throughout tough games and show me the importance of playing with the team.”
The girls believe in themselves and that they can have another successful year behind the support of the FC students. The girls have key matchups against rivals Fowler High School and Parlier High School where they will be looking to come up on top with a victory.
Feather trials live broadcasting
With the excitement of an upcoming winter sports season, The Feather will be bringing live broadcasting to readers. Logan Lewis, ’20, and Suky Cheema, ’19, will travel to games across the valley to bring patrons of The Feather live updates and crunch time scores.
The streaming app that will be used will be announced in the coming weeks. With this new idea, The Feather hopes to expand their multimedia platforms and bring readers of the paper live sports action.
Stay tuned in with The Feather on social media to receive scores from the winter sports teams.
For more info on FC athletics, check out the Fall 2017 sports box scores. For more articles, read Zoology and AP biology visit Monterey Bay Aquarium.@thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.
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