Fall sports athletes grow in skills, confidence

Santa Catalina Lower and Middle School’s fall sports athletes exemplified the spirit of Cougar athletics as students competed in soccer and volleyball.

In each sport, students were lauded for being good teammates, for their hard work and willingness to learn, and for showing kindness and respect for players and coaches alike.

The boys and girls soccer teams each saw players trying out new positions, steadily improving their skills, and growing in confidence as the season went on. Both teams claimed wins against previously undefeated opponents.

Volleyball drew a staggering 74 players to the court. There were five teams in total: a boys team, JV and varsity girls teams in the IPAL league, and JV and varsity girls teams in the competitive Mission Trail Junior Athletic League (MTJAL). Several sixth graders played on the competitive JV team, their first time playing at that level. After a slow start, the team went on a six-game winning streak and missed the playoffs by just two wins. The varsity team finished the season with an 8-7 record and missed the playoffs by just one win.

A pep rally was held in December to celebrate each team, with awards presented in three categories: Most Improved, for consistent effort and dedication to improving skills and performance; the Cougar Award for exemplary sportsmanship, commitment to equitable play, and dedication to the team; and the Coach’s Award, for strong knowledge of the sport, an unwavering work ethic, and upholding the standards of excellence. After awards were presented, representatives from each team gave statements thanking their coaches—a characteristic Catalina display of gratitude.

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