Winter sports preview

The CHS winter sports season is starting up, featuring girls’ and boys’ basketball, wrestling, girls’ and boys’ soccer and girls’ water polo. Depending on last year’s performance, teams hope to either continue past success or improve this season.

Girls’ basketball had an explosive season last year with a record of 22-7, making it to the third round of playoffs. Previous JV and frosh-soph coach Destiny Melton has stepped up to head coach of the varsity team this year and has been focusing on improving overall team mentality to prepare for the upcoming season. 

“Taking over is like a stepping stone, like I was supposed to do this eventually,” said Melton. “The girls make it worth it.”   

The team is 1-1 this season without playing any league games. The next game will be Dec. 2 against Pacifica High School.

Heading into this season, wrestling has a 3-9 record for duals and nine CIF individual qualifiers, as well as one master qualifier. The team is large in number, with many returning wrestlers, and is working on basic techniques and technical mistakes to help improve overall performance. 

“[We’re] just continuously practicing basic techniques, not trying to do anything too complicated and making sure of repetition, repetition when it comes to practicing,” said head coach Kevin Blatt. 

Wrestling’s season will start on Dec. 3 at Newbury Park High School.

After a 0-12 record last year, the girl’s soccer team hopes for an improvement this season. Practices are already reflecting greater player dedication. 

“Last season, we only had one girl hit the standards,” said senior Isabella Venger. “This year we had twenty-plus girls hit the standards.” 

 According to Venger, the team’s main concerns revolve around team chemistry. Since tryouts occurred late in the year, players will get less time to get to know one another.

“We are just super late, so we have to work faster and harder than all the other teams,” said Venger. 

The team plays Malibu tomorrow night at 5:15. 

Last season, boys’ basketball finished first in the Marmonte League with a record of 21-6. In addition to standout players like last year’s MVP Gavin Murphy, other team members have stepped up.

 “We have a number of players who, even though [they] might not be starters, really are dedicated and great teammates,” said head coach John Palarz.

Palarz plans to continue working on certain skills such as rebounds and ball handling, as well as overall conditioning. The team has won five out of its seven pre-season tournament games so far this year and will play its first in-season game against Palo Verde Valley on Dec. 3. 

Girls’ water polo was 1-16 last year, but the team is aiming for a higher record this season through withstanding longer sets at practice. Greater player dedication has already improved the overall morale of the team.

“This year, the team is a lot more committed and more enthusiastic about the sport,” said junior Julia Krammer.

The team started off with a win over Brentwood this season with a score of 13-5. Tomorrow, the team plays Marymount at 4:30.

Boys’ soccer made it to the second round of playoffs last year with 7-2-1 in-league and 9-5-3 overall. Despite a fairly small number of players, the team is optimistic about this year and plans to work on positioning, formation and speed of play, according to team members. 

“We have always had small teams for the last three years, [so] I don’t see us doing any worse,” said senior Italo Ortega. “We might even do better.” 

The team’s first game is tomorrow night at 6:30 against Crespi.