Third New Coach in a Row Leads to Bad Chemistry

VINCENT LIN

Co-Sports Editor

Already in the middle of the Almont League season, the varsity girls’ soccer team is struggling to establish basic team unity. With a new head coach, Armando Gutierrez, the team is racing to try to connect with each other before the season draws to a close.

The Lady Moors include many star players that shine in their own light, but the team is failing to become recognized collectively. As a result, their preseason ended with a record of 2-8.

“There are a lot of good individual plays, but it’s difficult to work as a team,” said mid-fielder Vanessa Gutierrez.

Perhaps the most serious problem for the team is the switching of coaches each year for the past three seasons. Teams function particularly well when they have withheld the same coach for at least a few years. Even with graduating senior players, returning players and incoming JV players still build or maintain a strong bond with the coach, which enables them to play much more assuredly. Recently, in the case of girls’ soccer, the team has had no such luck.

“We’ve had a different coach each year for the past three years. It’s hard to get used to the different coaching styles each year,” said mid-fielder Gutierrez. Personally, Coach Gutierrez focuses on different tactics, having the team practice a lot of corner kick plays and passing drills.

The team describes itself as a “second half team,” or a team that may do more poorly in the first half of their game, but come around to improve their performance in the second half in a wave of motivation and desperation. More points are scored in the second half, but it may be too late for the team to surpass their opponent. Such was the case for much of the girls’ preseason, in which many games ended with only one or two point losses for Alhambra.

Another example of such a game was their Jan. 22 League match against Mark Keppel, which ended 3-5, with two points scored in the last half. However, that day, the girls were short one player and were also using a substitute goalie. It was raining heavily as well, leaving the field puddled, despite the game already having been postponed from Jan. 19 and from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Keppel game also led to an injury for mid-fielder Paulina Ale, whose collision with another player led to an injured knee that will keep the player from the field for two weeks.

Nevertheless, seeing their close scores, the girls aspire for better results under better conditions, less hindrances and, of course, more practice.

“Even though we had a really rough start, we’re still trying to reach CIF. It’s not too late; if we fix our flaws, we really can make it to CIF,” said Ale.


Varsity Wrestling Starts League with Major Victories

ANGELYNE CHU

Staff Writer

Being in a sport requires a lot of time and devotion to the team. The varsity wrestling team is no exception, as they practice every day after school in the Dance Room. The team is eagerly anticipating the Almont League finals and the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF). Last year, five wrestlers placed in the CIF playoffs, three of which are returning this year. Now, they are aiming to place most of the wrestlers in the top ten of CIF.

According to Head Coach Mike Williams, he has kept the same training system for years. Although half the team is still young and the other half is experienced, the team is definitely progressing as one and the players are improving everyday.

“They started out slow, but they’re gradually picking it up. Each player is doing their own part and the inexperienced are growing better while the experienced are taking it to another level,” said Captain Abel Avila.

Although the players are improving, there were some factors that slowed down their progress. These issues include injuries such as a sprained back,  sprained ankle and skin infection, along with the players’ academic grades.

“The injuries did slow us down, but we just need to ignore the pain and just concentrate on training,” said Captain Chris Lopez.

Their first League match against the Bell Garden Lancers took place on Jan. 6 and  ended with a victory of 56-18. There were three forfeits for Bell Gardens since they did not have opponents to send forth that were close to Alhambra wrestlers’ weights. There were also five backup wrestlers left. In a one-on-one match, Avila defeated his opponent with a 15 point lead of 16-1.

“The team did well, but they are not good enough for Schurr or Montebello just yet. There were some things that need to be improved like mental errors and techniques, but overall, they just need to raise their level,” said Williams.

Also, Captain Hugo Perez was one of the three players whose opponent had to forfeit the match and sat at the sidelines watching the rest of his teammates wrestle. From analyzing the moments that happened during the game, Perez believes that the team’s spirit can be better.

On Jan. 13, the Moors faced off against the San Gabriel Matadors in their second League match. There were three forfeits from San Gabriel and four backup wrestlers left for Alhambra, but the match ended in a 64-18 victory.

Overall, all three returning CIF captains of the varsity wrestling team (Avila, Lopez and Perez) firmly believe that their attitude as a team is the most important thing to work on.

Artists’ Anonymous Get Down with the 60’s

For the past months, the members of Artists’ Anonymous (AA) have been working on an exhibition influenced by 60’s styled visual art. Entitled “Kaleidoscope Eyes,” the collection consists of student-created artwork  inspired by the themes expressed in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s counter-culture movement.

Currently on display at the AHS library, the exhibit features vibrantly colored collages, psychedelic paintings and optical illusion art. The walls are adorned with posters and album covers representing the cultural sensibilities of the era.

“There’s a broad range […] of ideas to feed off of,” said AA President Brenda Chi. “We encouraged [the students] to use optical illusions and bright, vivid colors.”

In addition to work done by AA members, the Déjà Vu history club has also contributed a collage. The exhibit contains 60’s related paraphernalia donated by teachers and staff. Speech and Debate coach Kevin Tong loaned his Motown album covers to the exhibit while mathematics teacher Ron Matossian provided his “dirty biker” helmet.

The showcase will be open to all students at lunch or after school until Mar 26. A public reception is scheduled on Friday, Feb. 12 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Students are encouraged to dress in 1960’s clothing and take part in the costume contest. A prize will be awarded to the person with the most authentic attire.


Alcohol Restriction Lowers Teenage Death Rates

In Oct. 2009, San Gabriel High School alumna Vicky Chen was killed by a drunk driver as she and a friend tried to fix a flat tire on the freeway.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 350,000 people between the ages 15 to 19 received medical treatment from car accidents. Of those 350,000, 500 were killed in 2008. Approximately 26 percent of the incidents were due to driving under the influence (DUI) with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of  at least .08 percent.
Actions, such as enforcing the legal drinking age, set by law enforcement have decreased DUI fatality rates. The under-aged DUI tragedy rate has decreased by 60 percent since the 1960s, as shown in trends by the National Institution of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
In Alhambra, sobriety check points are done twelve times a year, in addition to weekly radar trailers.
Another initiative, the Zero Tolerance policy delivers consequences for people driving with any BAC of more than zero percent, disapproving of any consumed alcohol amount and vehicle operation.
However, students feel that the laws are certainly helping prevent drunk driving.
“Although [the age 21 law] might not eliminate all risks, it definitely allows minors to mature for a few years before letting them choose whether or not to endanger their lives by drinking and driving,” said sophomore Jimena Jaramillo.

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