With tennis season fast approaching, returning players reflect on the past years and their plan for the new season
By Lauren Penington
With last season welcoming a new coach for Legend’s tennis team, the girls had much to adjust to. As this season quickly approaches, returning players reflect on their past seasons to make plans to increase their success.
“Last year was my first ever season playing tennis, so I’ve made sure to immerse myself in practice a lot more. It’s no longer about showing up and hoping I do good, I’m putting in a lot more effort and working my way up,” sophomore Catie Mortimer said. “This season I really want to make one of the top JV teams and bond with my partner.”
Although the season is short, many girls have spent the offseason preparing.
“We have offseason practices and then we have practices from 5:30 to 7:30 am that I have been attending,” sophomore Alina Mali said. “I’ve definitely started practicing more on my own time versus only on official team practice times in order to improve a little bit more.”
The weather doesn’t hold these girls back at all. Many push through the winter season determined to come out on top in the season.
“When the weather is bad we play at the Parker racquet club,” Mali said. “Otherwise if the weather is nice and we want to practice on our own time then we use the Legend courts here.”
However, tennis itself isn’t the only thing the girls have been preparing.
“I’ve been exercising a lot,” junior Emily Schultz said. “I do workouts that aim for speed and agility. When I do practice for tennis, I make sure to give my full effort. I am more prepared for the competition there is this season and I’m hoping to go to Varsity.
Schultz isn’t the only athlete with competition in mind.
“Personally, I know that there is going to be a lot of competition,” Mali said. “I want to have more wins than losses so I can make it to Varsity. I’ve just been passionate for [tennis] since I was young and it’s really fun to participate in so I want to be able to go far this season.”
All the girls have been preparing for their season and their efforts are about to come to fruition. During tryouts, Legend coaches Guinn and Siers will assemble their top team in hopes of advancing farther this year. The coaches’ goals are to increase the team’s competitiveness. They hope this will result in an increase in the team’s standing within the league. Let’s see how far these Lady titans go, as their season begins.
On Sunday morning, the world lost an icon. An idol to so many people across the globe. Kobe Bryant was among nine people that died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, leaving behind a wife and three daughters. Words can’t truly express what happened.
I remember the 2009 Western Conference Finals. The only time the Denver Nuggets have made it to the WCF in my lifetime. Of course, it had to be against the Lakers. Of course, we had to play against Kobe. The man who ruined dreams. Carmelo Anthony was amazing, but Kobe was on a different planet. He owned the Nuggets. I was at the games when they played in Denver. The environment, as always, was incredible. I remember it so vividly. Every time Kobe touched the ball, he got booed. Every. Single. Time. It was out of hate. Hate for all of the best reasons. We knew that every time he touched the ball, we’d be down by more than we were before. Even if they didn’t score, somehow, we were down more than we were before. Denver put up a good fight but eventually lost in 6 games. Kobe and the Lakers went on to win the Finals that season.
I know that just about everybody did it. Whether it was on the basketball court, the classroom throwing crumpled up papers into the trash can. Make or miss, there was always one unifying word. “Kobe!!” Every time, in elementary school, we’d pull up and chuck a prayer of a shot you’d hear it. “Kobe!!” For Kobe, it was part his ‘shooters shoot’ “Mamba Mentality.” He’d make some ridiculous shot and just get back on defense. For us, if we made the shot, the game stopped to celebrate. He may be disappointed in the fact that we took the time to celebrate, but this wasn’t our day job. We did it cause we felt, for just one second, like we were him. Our idol.
Kobe played 20 years in the NBA, spending his whole career with the Los Angeles Lakers. In that time, he was a 17-time All-Star, 2-time Olympic Gold medalist, and a 5-time champion among many many more accolades. He was a killer (in a basketball way, of course). The type that made you fear seeing the number 8 or eventually the number 24 in that Lakers purple and gold. You just knew that there was no way he was going to let his team lose. In basketball, we always talk about the clutch instinct. The killer mentality. Kobe was the embodiment of that. There are just so many examples of it. It was only fitting that his last game embodied his whole career. He dropped 60 points, including the daggers that put the Lakers over the Utah Jazz. Truth is, none of that mattered.
Kobe Bryant embodied the very best things about a person. The greatest competitor. A tireless worker. An outstanding father. Just an incredible person. He was a superhero to all. Yes, he may have had his spots and made some mistakes, ones that shouldn’t be glossed over, but he proved that people can change.
He had four daughters. Possibly the most devastating part of the accident was hearing about the fact that one of his daughters was in the crash. His 13-year-old, Gianna. Natalia, his oldest daughter, is a volleyball player. Gianna was the basketball player. The heir to Kobe’s massive throne. Even at 13, she already had all of the tools to be an amazing basketball player. She possessed the very things that Kobe had. Skill, but also the mentality. She already has the killer instinct. The belief that it doesn’t matter who you were, she was going to beat you. Most importantly, she had the undying support of her father.
Their bond came from basketball. After retirement, Kobe took time away from basketball. It was Gianna who brought him back the league. Her love of the game and her ambition. Kobe saw it too. There’s a clip that’s been going viral in recent days when he’s talking about his legacy and his kids taking the torch with Jimmy Kimmel.
“This kid, man. I’m telling you. The best thing that happens is when we go out, and fans will come up to me, and she’ll be standing next to me. They’ll be like ‘hey, you got to have a boy. You and V[anessa]. You gotta have a boy to carry on your tradition, the legacy.’ And she’s like ‘oye, I got this. Ain’t no boy for that. I got this.’ And I’m like, that’s right. Yes, you do. You got this,” Bryant said to Jimmy Kimmel.
Gianna dreamed of going to UCONN. One of the most dominant teams in recent history. Then eventually to the WNBA. People believed she would be the unifying force to bring the NBA and WNBA simply because of the legacy that she brought along with the legacy she was creating for herself.
Players believed that Kobe could have ended up being the commissioner of the WNBA. He’s become an ambassador for the game. He’s done everything to try and build up a game that hasn’t been as popular as it should be.
I’ll end it with this, This doesn’t feel real. Kobe Bryant was literally a superhero. Like Superman. He may have had 23 years on me, but he was supposed to outlive me. An immortal. The fact that we have to wake up in a world without the Black Mamba, Kobe Bryant, is devastating and doesn’t feel real.
Welcome to the Forgotten Sports Teams, Events, and Clubs: Legend, an opinion column in the newspaper discussing some of the smaller sports teams and events in our great school and revealing highlights and accomplishments of each of the programs. In this edition, we will be covering the Swim team and the unique setup of our team.
The Lady Titans basketball team is already up and in action for their winter season. Although their first game ended up with the girls on the losing end, they soon rebounded — winning their second game and restoring their mojo.
With seven seniors leaving the team last year, the team only has two returning members that have played on the varsity level. This has become one of the team’s biggest challenges.
“Our biggest challenge is experience,” senior Ally Lowe said. “We’re working on growing everyone’s skill and making sure we’re all up to varsity level.”
Lowe and her team are under no illusions — the team is not perfect, especially as they work with almost an entirely new line up.
“Obviously we still need to improve — we can work on finishing our shots; making good, smart passes; and not turning over the ball,” Lowe said.
Aware of what they need to work on, the team has continued making conscious strides toward success, hoping to make this season a great one.
“After tryouts finished, we started practicing and conditioning,” Lowe said. “We’ve been working on plays, strength, and team bonding in order to make sure that we are a close and well connected team.”
With only two returning varsity players, the seniors have taken on much more of a leadership role. Not only are they leading a group, but they are actively teaching new players the moves and tricks they need to know to succeed. Lowe has not only stepped up as a senior, but has also moved up as team captain.
“I just love playing basketball because it’s a fun team sport and although it is mentally and physically challenging, the outcome of winning games and working together with my team is very rewarding. It’s a great challenge,” said Lowe.
Even with the loss of their first game, the Lady Titans Basketball team is rearing and ready to go, constantly learning and evolving to better themselves, enhance the team, and prepare for this new season.
Welcome to the Forgotten Sports Teams: Legend, an opinion column in the newspaper discussing some of the smaller sports teams and events in our great school and revealing highlights and accomplishments of each of the programs. In this edition, we will be covering the hockey team and the unique setup of our team.
Today, we’ve been joined by Joseph Holguin, a player for the combined Legend-Chaparral-Ponderosa team for years. Even though it’s a combined team from three different high schools, Joseph says it’s been a great sport and he’s gotten to know his teammates across schools over the years. “At first I thought it was going to be kind of weird since we all go to different schools, but it’s not that weird since we all grew up playing club hockey together.” Over the years, the difficulty and level of play have increased, as more students from these schools and other districts begin playing hockey for their high schools, not just club hockey. As students of Legend, we also were interested in how Joseph felt about school support and knowledge of the hockey team. To this, he said “The support could be better, we kind of get lost to the bigger sports. [I hope] more people come out to the games, they’re fast, they’re fun, lots of big hits and lots of goals.” Joseph also is excited for this year, as he says this is the best the team has been, “both on paper and in chemistry, we’re better than most teams in the state.” It’s an exciting year for hockey, and we hope to see more info on the hockey team’s wins and successes.
It’s the beginning of a new era for the Legend boy’s basketball program. For the first time since the school opened in 2008, the basketball team will be led by a new head coach. Social studies teacher Mr. Brenning will now also go by Coach Brenning as he begins his first year as the head coach of the program.
As all track fans and participants know, being in track means commitment, hard work, and of course, lots of strength to try as hard as possible to win. Only the best girls made it to State May 15th through 17th, and even fewer managed to do well against all the other runners in Colorado. Sophomore Catherine Liggett was one of the girls that stepped it up to rock the track for Legend High School.
Liggett placed 9th in the two mile run, 5th in the mile, and 3rd in the 800 meter dash. However, the stress of this competition was much more real than most of the other competitions Liggett had attended.
“All the girls were extremely well-known and had amazing athletic accomplishments. I couldn’t help but worry that there would be no way for me to compare to them when I ran,” Liggett comments. However, Liggett has an “extremely supportive team, and many of them came out to cheer for me while I ran.”
Liggett added that she “was just hoping to place, not really focusing on possibly getting in the top three.” After all, Liggett was running against girls that are “known around the state and even the nation for their running abilities.” She was extremely shocked when she ended up placing as well as she did in the two mile run, mile run, as well as the 800 meter dash.
Liggett earned a whopping 13 points for Legend, putting the school in 22nd place, with a personal best mile (5:01.65 minutes) and 800 meter (2:13.69 minutes.)
Other girls in Legend did just as well in other categories, however, with Senior Abby Albrecht placing 11th in shot put, which is just shy of the podium, Senior Liz Hershey placing 14th in discus, and Sophomore Tara Pelton placing 14th in the 100 meter sprint.
Junior Anna Kennedy really took the state by storm after finishing in third place at the Colorado Girls 5A State Golf Tournament on May 19-20. She finished better than projected and better than her own personal goals.
“My goal was top ten,” Kennedy said. “It was really cool to beat the goal that I set for myself.”
The tournament was at the Raccoon Creek Golf Course in Littleton, and posed to be a difficult course. However, Kennedy shot an 80 the first and a tournament low 74 on the second day. She was one stroke away form playing in a playoff for first place.
“I was upset because I wanted to in the playoff but I’m still really happy because I had a lot of fun and it was very competitive” Kennedy said.
Big sports venues like this always tend to bring out the best in athletes along with anxiety. According to Kennedy, she tried to focus on other things, like her tan, instead of the nerves that were prevalent from her shaking hand during the course.
“My coach was very proud of me, and told me that he knew I could do it” Kennedy said.
Needless to say, the pressure is on her next year. Her coach expects her to win it all next year and cap off a great high school golf career with a sate championship. Her biggest goal for next season is to improve off the success that she achieved this season.
“I don’t really have a favorite part, but the whole experience of it was really positive and it will help me next year,” Kennedy said.
One of Legend’s most involved and competitive sports is Poms. After Poms tryouts, which were held on April 29 through May 3, Legend will see 31 new members take center stage in the 2014-2015 school year.
“We were very happy with the turnout that we had for tryouts and are extremely excited for this new year,” said Varsity Assistant Coach Kenzie McManus.
“We have a lovely bunch of girls and can’t wait to get started working with them.”
The Poms teams will be heading to camp in June, which McManus believes “is one of the most fun events that we do during our season.”
“It is the first time that all the girls have the opportunity to get to know one another and bond as a team and as a program,” McManus said.
Here is a list of the 2014-2015 Varsity and Junior Varsity Poms teams: