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Bulldog Times

Student News Site of Ruben S. Ayala High School

Bulldog Times

Season Recap: Boys Water Polo

Boys+varsity+volleyball+was+arguably+the+most+successful+team+that+Ayala+has+sported+this+year+with+their+CIF+Regional+Championship%2C+a+title+they+absolutely+dont+need+to+build+on+but+almost+certainly+will+as+their+team+stays+young+and+talented.
Avery Rosas
Boys varsity volleyball was arguably the most successful team that Ayala has sported this year with their CIF Regional Championship, a title they absolutely don’t need to build on but almost certainly will as their team stays young and talented.

It all started on Monday, September 9th when boys’ varsity water polo had their first match of the season against Summit High School. This game was not the most successful; however, it would not define their season. Boys’ varsity water polo went on to win the Division 5 CIF Championship for the first time in 20 years. This is a huge accomplishment, as they’ve only made it to the championships three times, and this time they proved to be victorious. 

Throughout the season, this team had one main goal in mind: to win CIF. At the time, it may have seemed to be impossible to achieve due to challenges and past results. However, in the end, they achieved this goal and they proved that it is possible with hard work and grit.

“My and [that of] probably all the seniors’ goal was to win a CIF title,” Alexander Florentinus (12) said. “We knew we could do it and we knew we had the players to do it, but as seniors, it meant more to us than anything as it was our last year.”

This season was certainly a memorable one for the players as well as their supporters. Plenty of amazing things happened that these players will never forget, and the seniors will cherish as their last moments on this team. Being a part of this team is something that they will carry on throughout their lives, and reflect on in a positive way in the future. 

“My favorite moment of the season was being able to provide the athletes some of their favorite memories of high school”, Coach Kevin Hammond said. “Being a part of one of their memories that will last a lifetime is something that’s special to me”

This year, boys’ varsity water polo played a total of 37 games throughout their season. By the end of the season, they had a record of 22-15 overall, and a league record of 3-5. In the league, they placed 4th overall out of six teams. However, in the end, they outshined all the rest of these teams by coming out on top for CIF. Due to their championship for Division 5, they went on to regionals, though they lost in the semi-finals. Nonetheless, this was a great season for this team, proving to be extremely successful and memorable.  

The roster for this season consisted of Ben Trull (12), Noah Heiderscheidt (12), Tyler Johnson (12), Julian Juarez (12), Alexander Florentinus (12), Evan Chang (11), Zachary Chang (11), Colin Mulqueen (11), Sung Park (11), Ian Christos (10), Christian Garcia (10), Alex Sanchez De La Cruz (10), Kai Santiago (10), Ethan Sarmiento (10), James Surio (10), Nathan Thacker (10), Kane Wukelich (10), and Tianchen Ding (9). 

Due to the superfluous success of this season, the next question that many have in mind is what will next season be like? Will they be able to top this past season or do just as well? Also, how will they achieve this next wave of success? Oftentimes, when a good thing is going, it is best to keep everything the same as similar results are likely to occur. 

“I really wouldn’t do anything differently to be honest,” James Surio (10) said. “This season was amazing and I don’t want to change anything”.

Even though this season has come to an end, there are many more to come, which plenty are looking forward to. Our Bulldogs are eager and excited for these upcoming seasons and cannot wait to see what the future will hold. 

Next season I am looking forward to working with a new set of athletes. I am excited to help them realize their potential, grow as young men, and hopefully win a few games along the way,” Coach Hammond said. 



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About the Contributors
Aniya Grant, Staff Member
Aniya Grant (9) is a staff member for The Bulldog Times, and this is her first year on staff. She looks forward to gaining more experience in student journalism, and building new relationships around campus. Aniya hopes to learn more about the students of Ayala through her writing, and is excited to collaborate with her peers to fully experience the art of journalism. In her free time, she enjoys baking and encouraging her mom to try her new concoctions. She also loves playing soccer with her friends and teammates, and she has been playing for 6 years as of now.
Avery Rosas, Editor-in-Chief, Sports Editor
Avery Rosas (12) is the Editor-in-Chief and Sports Editor for the Bulldog Times. In his third and final year on staff, he hopes to grow the publication’s reach by diving deeper into the stories that make our school, and our students, unique. Avery is very culturally centered from his proud Mexican heritage and, as a result, is heavily involved in the World Language programs at the school. He hopes to influence others to become proud of their cultures while also respecting those of others. His immersion in his Mexican culture is seen in the altars he constructs for Dia de Los Muertos and heard in his never-ending Latino music playlists, his daily soundtrack consisting of anything from Natalia Lafourcade, Pedro Infante and Los Panchos to Romeo Santos, Caifanes and Los Angeles Azules.  However, his biggest passion, seen in his writing and known by those around him, is baseball; more specifically, his darling Los Angeles Dodgers. Baseball is the center of Avery's media consumption and his immersion in the sport has allowed him to meet people across the country who deepen his understanding of the game and generally just enrich his life. His proficiency in baseball and sports writing as a whole has allowed him to enjoy some of the proudest moments of his life, the biggest of which was ranking Excellent in Sports Writing during a trip to the JEA/NSPA competition and convention held in San Francisco in April 2023. This year, he's hoping to further improve his writing skills and reach Superior for his final high school competition. Despite this being his last year as an editor for the Bulldog Times, he hopes to impart his passion for the program onto his underclassmen staff members and show them the beauty of what the Bulldog Times can do for writers and collaborators during their high school years; he also took the liberty of  drastically surpassing the word count for his staff bio because it's his last year. Every moment, every article, every quote and every word given to the Bulldog Times by Avery has been the legacy he hopes to leave to future student journalists and the higher standards he hopes to bring for the publication. And of course, he couldn't have done any of it without his mentor, advisor and friend, Ms. Eileen Tse, whom he will miss very much when he eventually leaves the Bulldog Times.  
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