Attention potential IMSA athletes!
Are you having a difficult time choosing which sporting activities to be involved in this fall season? Are you unsure of whether or not IMSA sports are for you? Are you experiencing doubts over whether you can balance school and sports?
All of these answers (and much more!) will be answered in the brief sport summaries below.
Co-ed Cross Country
Regardless of your running ability, anyone is welcomed to join Cross Country. For more competitive runners, though, it may be difficult to secure a varsity position for girls. Many varsity boys have graduated, so there will be several open spots on the male varsity team. On the other hand, no female varsity runners graduated, so there will be a great deal of competition for those seven spots.
Last year, the boys won conference, and the girls placed second. This year’s goal is for both teams to earn the conference title. To reach this goal, commitment will be necessary. Caitlin Walczyk, a senior and returning runner, notes, “We are going to be looking for runners that have run mileage over the summer and are willing to commit themselves–not only by running, but by being a part of the team as well.” Christy Darabaris, another senior returning to the team this year, says, “You can be the slowest person in the race, and all anyone cares about is that you are trying your best, and there will be people there to cheer you on. I love getting to know all the runners and we all get so close to one another. It’s a great experience”.
IMSA’s golf team accepts golf players of any skill level. Passion and hard work are imperative this year with two of the golf team’s best golfers and captains having graduated. In particular, keeping all of the team’s golfers well-rounded in all aspects of their game will be the main focus this season. Luke Zhan, a returning player, discusses the amount of patience and skill required to be a good golfer: “Nailing the technique in golf is absolutely crucial and it takes years, if not an entire lifetime, to come even close to perfection. Also, mentality is a huge part of golf; if you don’t go in with the right attitude, you have already lost”. With this mindset, this year’s team will try to surpass their impressive record from last year. If you enjoy a more individualized sport, then golf is for you!
Dealing with major changes in the roster and coaching will be difficult for this year’s soccer players; therefore, they will have to stick together as a team to push through these changes. Last year’s head coach, Jim Mueller, has moved to Charlotte, NC, leaving assistant Coach Gentzler in charge until a new head coach is announced. Because few players graduated, most of the positions are projected to be already filled; however, there is always room for prospective new members with a passion for the game.
Projected team captain, Anthony Mercado, emphasizes that IMSA’s boys’ soccer team is not known for its medals and trophies, but that the program has come a long way since his enrollment in 2010. “I am expecting a lot this season,” says Anthony.
With a rigorous schedule and frequent practices, swimming is a challenging sport to be involved in, but one full of wonderful experiences nonetheless! When asked what types of swimmers she searches for, Coach Daidra Marano responds, “Anyone interested in experiencing something challenging should join. We take students with little to no experience, and we WILL make an athlete out of anyone.” This upcoming season’s focus will be on getting IMSA’s swimmers to swim their personal bests and shaping them into the leaders they aspire to be.
Marano demonstrates her pride in the swimmers she has coached:, “In my six years coaching at IMSA, I have never had anything less than great athletes, dedicated individuals, and leaders I am proud of.” Aside from the dedication and demanding physical strength, swimming is known for the strong bonds that are created between the swimmers themselves. Stephanie Wang, a returning swimmer, advises anyone considering swimming to “Give it a try. You might just come to love a second family”.
If you want to start a new and interesting sport at IMSA, then choose diving! Coach Vicki Morrow says that she has never had any student try out for her team with previous diving experience. She mentions, “If a person is willing to learn, I will teach them how to dive. If someone is planning on going out for another fall sport and she finds out that it is not for her,
I would love to have her give diving a shot”. Aside from the fact that everyone starts diving their sophomore year at IMSA, there have been many great divers that have successfully continued their diving careers in college, which demonstrates the lasting impression that diving leaves. Additionally, Coach Vicki declares, “My biggest goal, however, is to teach smart kids how to dive and have a great amount of fun doing it”. So if you want to try something new, or have experience with diving, swimming, gymnastics, or other related activities and wish to participate in a sport at IMSA in the fall, diving is for you!
IMSA’s girls’ tennis season officially begins on Monday, August 20th. Since the first day of match-play with other schools is Tuesday, August 21st, the girls have to scramble to create a solid line-up as well as pair up doubles partners. No need to fear, though! Coach Bernardini, Coach Lundgren, and Coach Dana are more than qualified to shape up a group of girls into a strong team of athletes in no time! The best 28-30 players from tryouts will be recruited. With a large amount of varsity starting seniors having left last year, there are many spots open on the varsity team’s line-up. However, there are many JV players from the previous season that will be aiming for those spots, making varsity placement quite competitive. There are high expectations for the girls this season, and there is no doubt that they will reach and surpass those expectations. Coach Bernardini mentions that this year’s focus is on “creating a great experience for my players,” and that one of the most important pieces of advice he can give is to “be a great teammate.”
With a large amount of players not returning this season, IMSA’s girls’ volleyball team needs many new athletes! This year’s team is mainly searching for hitters and setters, although players with experience in any other position are welcome! Last year’s team set the bar high with quite a few broken records, but there is always room for improvement, which is exactly what this year’s team wishes to do. Sarah Valentine, an accomplished junior on varsity, shares some advice to aid potential volleyball players: “Try your hardest, and always strive to improve, not only your athletic skills, but your skills as a teammate and friend. Never give up, and set high goals for yourself. Make your aspirations your expectations and work hard to achieve those.”
Official meetings for each and every one of these sports will be held the first week of school and will provide more information for those who are interested. It is HIGHLY recommended you attend the meetings of any and all sports that strike your interests. Regardless of which sport you choose, you are sure to find a welcoming family in your team.