Boys’ Basketball Bounces Back

By Ryan Norton & James

Boys’ JV and Varsity Basketball started a new season on Sat., Dec. 7, winning a score of 46-44, against the San Francisco Washington Eagles, hitting the courts once again with a new head coach along with new team members.

“I feel like my game has improved a lot since the summer,” said Varsity Small Forward Jordon Scott. “As a team, we have put in the hours and put in the work, day in and day out, so I think this year will be one for the books.”

In preparation for the new season, the Boys’ Basketball team have been holding practices with their head coach, Anthony Cuellar since November. Cuellar has made a strong impact on his players, providing advice both on and off the court, to improve their game.

“During the game, I want to win but also to have fun when I compete. I focus myself during our pregame by listening to music to zone out the distractions,” added Varsity Center Cisco Garcia. “When the time (comes) to play the music goes off and all I think about is the game and how I can benefit the team.”

Both Boys’ JV and Varsity teams have been playing scrimmage games against other high school teams, in order to mentally and physically prepare themselves for the new season.

“I think my biggest physical challenge was getting a concussion in my junior year and I couldn’t play in a tournament and all I wanted to do was get right back on the court.” stated Scott.

“Due to me being injured with a concussion, I haven’t bren able to work on my game as much as I wished. If I (could), I would have worked on my endurance and ability to shoot the ball,” stated Garcia

The new season started off with a few setbacks from previous injuries among various players. Physical injuries are detrimental during a season, but can still affect the player in the future. With practice and preparation, both Boys’ JV and Varsity hope that the season will be a safe one.

“My goal this season is to work hard at any practice and game. (fighting) to the end no matter the outcome,” stated JV Shooting Guard and Power Forward Kameron Golbaz.

The Varsity team is looking forward to the ongoing season with new goals set in hopes of winning the championship game this year. The next JV and Varsity games will be on Jan. 1, 2020.

Girls’ Golf drives through undefeated season, places 7th at CCS

By Harleen Kaur

PHHS Girls’ Golf Team ended their undefeated season after competing at CCS. The team won BVALs and continued to compete after they qualified to compete at CCS (Central Coast Section).

After ending their undefeated season of 10-0, the team was able to qualify for BVALS (Blossom Valley Athletic League). BVALs took place in Santa Teresa on Oct. 29.

“BVALs is a competition where the top three teams and individuals of the league compete to go to CCS,” said Girls’ Golf Team Captain Rachel Truong.

The team played against schools such as Leland, Live Oak and Silver Creek. 

The team also won many matches and took first place in BVALs.

After BVALs, the team qualified to play in the CCS league because of their undefeated record. The girls traveled to Monterey to compete in CCS to play against other schools in the CCS competition.

 Some scores from CCS: Shannon Abitago, 78; Vani Karamanal, 74; Rachel Truong, 79. In golf, the lower score is the higher you place.

The team placed seventh overall with a score of 444. They lost to teams such as Palo Alto, Valley Christian and Harker. The team was not able to qualify as NorCal Regional Qualifiers and ended their season after the CCS matches. 

“I thought I did good, and I am proud of our team for being the first (golf) team from Piedmont Hills to qualify and make it this far,” expressed sophomore Simriti Mahajan.

This year, the school had an actual Girls’ Golf Team. For the past years, there was not a team for the girls since there were not enough girls interested in joining or playing on a Girls’ Golf Team. Since there was no team for the girls last year, the few girls who were interested in golf played and practiced with the PHHS Boys’ Golf Team during the boys’ season. 

 Last year, the girls wanted to compete in BVALs, so they played as individuals representing PHHS at BVALs.

“We are no longer practicing or playing with the Boys’ Golf Team because this year we have an actual team for the girls,” said Truong.

The team practiced for matches by hitting and running short games at San Jose Muni Golf and Spring Valley. Practicing for short game consists of chipping and putting. The girls also practiced using different clubs such as drivers and irons to help develop skills to use during games.

“We are motivated to win and make it further into CSS next year,” stated Truong. 

Boy’s Tennis has served well

By: Rose Lu

The Boy’s Tennis team winded up with a record of 11-1 in their league and a record of 11-3 overall. Their most recent games was a win against Independence 4-3.

“The season went amazing as we went 11-1 in season and our only loss was a close match resulting from many players being absent that day,” shared Varsity Doubles 1 player Brian Chiang.

The team also had many goals and skills that they have been trying to hone especially during practice which occurred after school up until 6:30p.m. throughout the week. Occasionally, they also practice on weekends. During practice, the team focused on improving their serves, footwork, backhands and forehands.

“The team’s performance was very well this year,” commented Varsity Captain Manav Dixit. “A few things that we’re working on are to (stay) consistent in all our strokes and improve (our) overall gameplay.

The team also had many goals that they have been trying to achieve like making it back to A-league and to win more matches.

“I think the team’s biggest challenge is keeping everyone healthy,” shared Varsity Captain Alan Nguyen, “Overall, the team is improving a lot. Skill wise and strategically everyone is learning very fast.

Another big issue is staying committed to the team.

“Many people on the boys’ team have extracurricular so it’s natural that they can’t show up to everything. I think we only ever had a full roster for one game,” commented Chiang.

Joining the tennis team was a big commitment for the boys, especially because of their other afterschool activities and school.

“The most difficult part of being in tennis for me is the time commitment, because I also have a ton of other extracurriculars and clubs to do,” stated Varsity Doubles 1 player Gavin Yu.

The boys team enjoyed the season overall because of their good performance, the connections they’ve made and the skills that they developed.

“Being on the tennis team improved my skills a lot. Not only do we practice a lot, we also play real games, which tests both mindset and skill,” continued Yu.

Both new and experienced players are all welcomed to join the team next year to learn skills, make new friends and to stay healthy and fit.

Swimming Chart

Players Scores
Michelle Komet 44th out of 47 (Women 100 yard freestyle)

40th out of 44 (Women 100 yard backstroke)

Ariel Pham 24th out of 48  (Women 500 yard freestyle)
Megan Nghiem, Lilly Lui, Ariel Pham and Michelle Komet 43rd out of 45 (Women 200 medley relay)

39th out of 39 (Women 400 yard freestyle relay)

Andrew Hoang 16th out of 40 (Men 200 yard medley relay)

21st out of 36 (Men 200 yard IM)

David Tabilas 36th out of 50 (Men 50 yard freestyle)

28th out of 52 (Men 100 yard freestyle)

Eric Tran 12th out of 36 (Men 200 yard IM)

9th out of 50 (Men 100 yard butterfly)

14th out of 16 (Men 200 yard IM)

15th out of 16 (Men 100 yard butterfly)

Steven Tran 26th out of 36 (Men 200 yard IM)

37th out of 48 (Men 100 yard breastroke)

Andrew Hoang, Eric Tran, Steven Tran and Christopher Yi 16th out of 40 (Men 200 yard medley relay)

14th out of 15 (Men 200 yard medley relay)

Andrew Hoang, Matthew Santos, David Tabilas and Christopher Yi 13th out of 42 (Men 200 yard freestyle relay)

11th out of 16 (Men 200 yard freestyle relay)

Andrew Hoang, Andrew Nguyen, David Tabilas and Eric Tran 10th out of 35 (Men 100 yard freestyle relay)

11th out of 16 (Men 400 yard freestyle relay)

Varsity Softball home runs into CCS, JV finishes league strong

By Harleen Kaur

 

Varsity and JV Softball finished off the regular season strong; Varsity with a record of 9-3 and the JV team ended with a final record of 7-0.

Varsity faced a challenge when they played against Prospect and lost with a score of 8-6.

“We hit really well in the first inning and we started out really strong but we hit a road bump,” said Varsity Outfielder and Catcher Kylee Nielsen.

Meanwhile, the JV team’s last game was against Gunderson and the game ended with a victory for the Pirates with a score of 10-0.

Varsity made a comeback after a losing streak with a win against Willow Glen with a score of 10-2.

“This was a really important win because (Willow Glen’s) coach happened to be our old coach,” explained Varsity Pitcher Kailani Medina.

Both teams practice two times a week in preparation for two games a week.

“We practice hitting and situations that would happen in games to prepare us for when they actually happen during games,” said JV Catcher and Right Fielder Emalina Martinez.

Varsity has been practicing very hard in order to make it into CCS (Central Coast Section) playoffs.

“I’ve been working hard to fix my mistakes because I make them a lot but I’m learning how to get over them and grow to become a better player,” said Varsity Right Field and Pitcher Miranda Torres.

After the outcomes of Varsity’s last few games, Varsity made it to CCS playoffs.

“I’m very proud of us making it to CCS and hope we do well even though we have to go to Palo Alto,” stated Nielson.

Many players enjoyed playing at various games but some games stood out more than others.

“The game against Westmont has to be my most memorable of this season since it was in the rain and it was a challenge,” shared Martinez.

The Varsity team shared their aspirations and goals for next year’s season.

“I would want to make sure more often that everybody knows that they are a part of the team and that everyone plays a part,” explained Nielson.

The softball girls also expressed a grievance.

“On a less serious note, I would like it if we wore less white pants at games because they are so hard to wash,” said Nielson.

Many girls hope to train harder to improve for next year’s season.

“We compare ourselves to other girls but in a sense where we tend to look up to each other and want to be like each other,” stated Martinez.

CCS championships for swim

By Divya Verma

 

On May 3, the swim team competed in CCS (Central Coast Section) at the George F. Haines International Swim Center. Warm-ups started at 12 p.m. and the meet began at 2 p.m. for the CCS championship. There were many different schools that came together to participated in CCS.

“Numerous swimmers from public and private schools in five different counties, and some even in San Francisco come to compete in this highly competitive and exhilarating championship,” said Ariel Pham.

The boys that participated in CCS were Andrew Hoang, Andrew Nguyen, Jonathan Nguyen, David Tabilas, Eric Tran, Steven Tran, Louis Santos, Matthew Santos, James Savella and Chris Yi.

The girls that participated were Michelle Komet, Lilly Lui, Megan Nghiem, Ariel Pham, Elise Pham and Kimberly Pham.

“I feel like the team is a lot stronger compared to all the other years I’ve been at Piedmont. There were a lot of fast incoming freshmen this year and the team we are bringing to CCS will be the biggest it’s been in a while,” said Eric Tran.

This year’s CCS team consisted of swimmers from both the swim team and swim club. For some events, swimmers competed as individuals and for others, as a team.

“I like to participate as a team because we all recognize each other’s goals and we push each other to achieve them on the days where people show up to practice,” said Andrew Nguyen.

CCS swimmers have been practicing for CCS since the beginning of the season through going to meets. Boys ranked 16th place and the girls did not have an overall ranking.

“Some important results that came out of the meet were that boys placed 14th in 200 medley relay, 11th in 200 free relay and 11th in 400 free relay. The boys placed 16th overall, which was the CCS finish in school history and the first state championship consideration time for a relay (200 free) in school history,” said Pham.

Track and Field sprints to victory

By Terry Tang

Track and Field started off their season with their first win against the season against Prospect High School. Since then they have also competed against Pioneer High School and Oak Grove High School.

“I initially joined track for the sport, but I enjoyed it for the people. I love the friendships that I built with people I usually don’t talk to at school and also the coaches that I’ve grown with,” said sprinter Jacob Alviar.

Their most recent meet is a quad meet including James Lick, Sobrato and Lincoln High School.

“It was kind of pressuring running against other players because everyone is so good and fast so I always feel like I need to do my best to help the team,” said sprinter Jennifer Luong.

While there are regular meets there are invitationals specifically geared towards the high achieving athletes with outstanding abilities. The key difference between invitationals and meets is that invitationals are more competitive.

“Invitationals are definitely different from regular meets because at regular meets it’s usually only between two schools, but at invitationals it’s dozens of schools and the level of competition is definitely up there,” said Luong.

The track team had ran two previous invitationals: St. Francis Invitationals and Serra Top 7. Their most recent invitational would be Quicksilver Invitationals on Sat., April 6.

“(Serra Top 7 Invitationals was especially hard because) I was tired from fantastic and I was kind of sick,” said sprinter Gabriel Pasion.

“The invitational weren’t necessarily hard, but they were very intimidating at first because everyone is so good,” said Luong.

Some challenges so far are in the season are injuries which are fairly common during midseason and having to commute to a different school to practice on a track since Piedmont’s track is still under construction.

“The hardest thing I’ve faced so far in the season was not having a track HAHA,” said Alviar.

“This year’s team was absolutely amazing. We supported each other, and we grew such a strong connection with the teammates and coaches. I’m really proud of everyone, they did so well during our meets and improved so much. I can tell that everyone tried their best to get better meet after meet,” said sprinter Alexia Canales

(BVALs) Blossom Athletic Valley League and (CCS) Central Coast Section are also happening soon with BVALs happening on Thurs., May 2 at Westmont High School. CCS is spread out across three dates with CCS Top 8 happening Sat. April 13 at Leland High School; CCS Semi Finals, Sat., May 11 at Gilroy High School; and CCS Finals on Fri., May 17 at Gilroy High School.

 

 

Swim Team hosts Senior Night

By Andrew Wong

 

On March 28, PHHS Swim team hosted the annual Senior Night during their meeting. Hosted in every last home meet of the year, Senior Night’s purpose is to congratulate all senior members for their hard work and dedication towards the team. Underclassmen and juniors work together to give the seniors gifts and posters.

“I remember the past 3 senior nights where a lot of the seniors and swimmers would be crying!” reminisced Varsity Captain Andrew Do.

“I’m super excited for senior night! I’ve been on the team for all four years and I’m excited to see what the underclassmen prepared for us!” exclaimed Varsity Captain Chloe Nguyen.

Juniors Leslie Ton and Megan Nghiem arranged the plans of Senior Night, gathering the whole team to come together to paint posters and pitch in money for gifts. Each day, the swim team held poster painting days where everyone gathered around to help after school. Each member gets assigned into a group of three, and work together to create one poster for one senior. As well as each member pitching in as much money as possible to purchase these senior gifts, of which Ton and Nghiem are responsible for.

“It was pretty difficult to come up with something for their gifts because there was just so many seniors, so we ended up buying them a lot of snacks during the meet,” explained Swim team member Megan Nghiem.

“About 75 percent of the team contributed, usually the JV swimmers. We have days where we paint the posters, and this year I think it was like 3 people to a poster,” explained Junior Eric Nguyen.

During the same day of the home meet, underclassmen prepare the finalized products to tape against the walls. The coach presented the seniors an individual speech at the same time while presenting their gifts at the same time. Being presented many gifts of gratitude towards the seniors, the seniors are filled with excitement and joy from all the honor.

“It’s been a fun experience being on this team. Meeting new people on the team and competing against other schools has been fun,” said senior Edward Chew.

“It was super cool to see how awesome all the posters they made look! I went last because I was the captain, and I got pretty emotional! I’ve been on the team for four years so it was really heartwarming when Coach Jason said super nice words about me and everyone cheered along,” expressed Nguyen.

Math Team

By Andrew Wong

 

The annual Science Olympiad competition took place last Saturday at San Jose City College. Along with this, Math Team will be participating in the annual SCVMA (Santa Clara Valley Mathematics Association) competition this Friday.

Science Olympiad is a regional competition in which participants compete in over twenty events covering subjects such as Physics, Earth Science and more. With this, they set themselves to answer questions and build electronics as a team.

The SCVMA competition includes high schools from across Santa Clara Valley. Contestants compete in one of several categories; there are categories for each high school math class (Math 1 through 3, Calculus, Statistics, Pre-calculus) and additional events open to all grades such as Leap Frog and Discovery Quest.

Science Olympiad has been preparing for this competition through study sessions. Those competing in the biology event attend biweekly practices, and other teams have been meeting up to practice usually once a week as well. Science Olympiad’s funding is self-raised and completely student-run.

“Our school has never qualified, and we usually rank in the lower half or near bottom because we’re a new school with no funding and no coach or teacher support,” said Co-President Kenneth Lien.

Despite this, the Science Olympiad team stays hopeful.

“We try to have study sessions at least once a week. Especially because it’s second semester and everything’s super busy right now, we try to have them whenever we can or when the team captains assign them,” says co-president Vivian Lin.

Math Team has also been preparing for SCVMA through weekly practices on Fridays. With math teacher Stewart Kuang’s help, they review math techniques and previous tests in order to compete against their strong opponents.

“I prepare for the math and physics contest by taking classes outside and doing a lot of problems at home. Giving a rough estimate, I would say I spend about ten hours per week on physics and five hours per week on math, if you only count the time that I really sit down and slowly do those subjects,” explains Math Team Vice Captain Gavin Yu.

Science Olympiad is determined to place higher this year, since they’ve also been practicing more.

“Every year we are improving. We’re set to beat records again because we did last year. We placed twice, actually,” says Kenneth.

Math Team is equally as determined to compete against their long-time opponents, Lynbrook, and other schools.

“Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. When you work together, you can solve more problems rather than working alone. I’m not really good at geometry but I’m really good at manipulating equations,” explains senior Asher Twu.

If the teams place, the top five winners of SCVMA will receive trophies and the top 15 will receive medals. If PHHS gets first place in Science Olympiad, they will be able to move onto the next competition.

Girls Soccer

By Christine Do

 

The Girls’ Junior Varsity (JV) and Varsity soccer teams have kicked off this year’s season strong.

“We started off good. Overall, I think we’re in a two to one right now. We’re starting kind of slow because we’re still getting used to being put into new teams but we’ll get better over time,” said Varsity Forward Emilet Ramirez.

As always, with new captains and new teams, the season is definitely different for the players.

“You have to be a good role model and have good execution for game plans. As a captain, it is important to guide the team and have the ability to empower others,” said JV Captain Mahik Kaur.

Despite not being the most experienced, the girls have built on their skills since day one of tryouts in Nov. of last year. The soccer players have practice on the days they don’t have games so essentially, they’re always practicing and learning. With more training, the girls are able to work on their skills and build stronger bonds with each other.

“We’re not the best with skills but we’re good with working together and improving,” said JV Goalie Gurkiran Braich.

This year was the first year that the soccer teams have had a preseason tournament, where the teams played three games as practice for players to evaluate themselves and to see which areas they lack in.

In their first few practices, the girls focused on the mistakes they made during preseason. With the turf under reconstruction, this year’s practices were always held at different locations, and thus occasionally being cancelled. Like any team, there is always room for improvement.

“I think we need to work on talking more on the field to be able to improve in our games,” stated Ramirez.

As a team, the most important factor during a game is communication. Players have to know where their teammates are. If in possession of the ball, the aim is to pass it to the other players and get it safely into the goal.

“Every time the team loses a player, it is hard for them to lift that weight and to balance each other out,” said JV Left Defender Ishika Pol.

“I think we need to work on talking more on the field to be able to improve in our games,” stated Ramirez.

The girls are continuing to work on their skills as the season progresses. The next game will be next Wednesday at Santa Teresa High School, so come support the girls as the season comes to an end!