Fall Sports Starts Season

Areli+Davis+practices+serves+at+practice+on+August+18th+with+the+help+of+Coach+Ryan+Max+Ocampo.

Quinn Pedrick

Areli Davis practices serves at practice on August 18th with the help of Coach Ryan Max Ocampo.

EV Thurgood, Features Editor

Valley High School’s fall sports season is already in the swing of practices, try-outs, and preparations for future competitions.

The season typically lasts until late October or early November, with days varying for each sport. Sports offered for fall consist of football, girls volleyball, cross country running, boys and girls soccer, and tennis. Some Valley staff members coach these sports out of a life-long love developed at young ages.

“Football has been a passion of mine since I was 8 years old,” Head Football Coach Quincy Burts said. “That passion never left after I finished up playing in college in 2006, which inspired me to become a coach.”

Burts has coached Valley’s football team for years, with the love of the sport developing much sooner. Appreciation and respect for athletics is expanding with current competitors, such as Yatziry Gallegos, Cross Country running team captain.

“From my cross country experience, I have gained a lot of confidence and a lot of collaboration with the team,” Gallegos said. “There are so many people that are close to you, and it’s like a family…that you have created throughout the years.”

Gallegos has been a part of the cross country team since her freshman year and has qualified for nationals twice. Sports teams, and athletics as a whole, can benefit people and students in a number of ways.

“In the high school setting I like for our students to use this sport for their personal needs,” Cross Country Coach Sergio Segura said. “These needs could be to release stress, get fit, make friends, become competitive, and at times to earn an athletic scholarship for college. Normally people who do sports are happier people. They have more energy throughout the day, sleep better, and are sharper in their thinking. At the same time our student-athletes create relationships for life.”

Tennis is starting to rebuild their program with new coaches after the year and a half delay.

“We are very excited to have a lot of new athletes who are looking forward to learning from new coaches,” Assistant Tennis Coach Ryan Max Ocampo said. “We hope to bring a lot of new energy and enthusiasm for the sport and the athletic program at Valley High School this year.”

Volleyball is also getting underway with three full teams: Varsity, Junior Varsity, and the Freshman team. The teams have moved up a competition level to 4A this year, and are practicing daily.

“The girls are growing and learning the game of volleyball,” Head Coach Tarina Elliott said. “Our overall program goal is to keep growing in the game of volleyball to obtain and retain our skills of the sport, helping our student athletes not only be successful on the court but also in the classroom. Most of our players are new to the sport, so learning the game is very important in building our program.”

The boy’s soccer team has also been working hard since June to prepare for the upcoming season. Both soccer teams missed out on competing last school year, and are preparing for this upcoming season.

“Recently, the varsity team competed in the Gerald Pentsil Classic Tournament and placed 5th overall, winning two games and coming short in two,” Boys’ Head Coach Christian Alvarez said. “Moving forward, our team goals will be to build team chemistry on and off the field, consistently pushing ourselves at practice, and make it past the first rounds of playoffs. Our first home game is on Sept 2nd on the football field. Hope to see as many students as possible!

The girls’ soccer team has also been practicing and preparing for the fall season.

“I am super excited about our team this year for Lady Vikings’ Soccer,” Girls’ Head Coach Nicholas Booker said. “I look forward to going to the playoffs and making it farther than we have ever gone before, and that first step is building good habits through the season.”

All of the teams appreciate student support and hope to see many fans at their games.

“Please come support us,” Booker said, “as we compete to bring Pride and Honor to Valley!”