Taft Today

Goodbye Fall; Hello Winter

Keely Simon, Reporter

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     Concluding Fall sports with the girls swim team conference championship, football’s City championship, and baseball’s Fall Ball Tournament victory, the Winter sport’s season began in November.

     Girls basketball Coach Kirk Vidas, now in his 21st year of coaching, continues his work with the girls. Last year, the Chicago Public League awarded him the John McLendon Award for his outstanding service and dedication to basketball. Caitlin Nicholson (Div. 916) is the team captain. The girls played their first conference game at home on Nov. 27 against Walter Payton.

     The varsity boys basketball coach, Jason Tucker introduces a new system to the sport which motivates the boys for the new season.

     Rolling into this season, Coach Ramon Pagan takes the girls to the top. The team was undefeated, placed second at state and won the Martian Luther King tournament last year. Gabby Atlas (Div. 927) expects nothing less than winning going into this season along with returning player and new captain Aracely Martinez (Div.947 ).

     The boys bowling team is no stranger to winning. Coached by Ramon Rivera, the boys placed third in the Chicago Public School league. The team was invited to The Glenbrook North Spartan Eliminator, taking first in the bronze division. Captain Joey Camarda (Div.047), is ready for the new season. Their next is Dec. 3 at Waveland Bowl.

     “This year we will achieve a lot of good things with the practices to come. I also think that with our new practice drills, we will pick up many spares, we’ve easily missed making our scores reach higher expectations,” said Camarda.

     For the boys swim and dive team, Coach Jason Polensky brought the boys up to compete in the Gold Conference. Sean Watson (Div.933), Edin Haskovic (Div.019), and Conor Swenson (Div.917) are the team captains.

     This upcoming season means the most to me because it’s my senior year and it’s my last chance to prove myself as a swimmer and I want to be there for my team” said Marcin Klecha, Div. 927.

     Falling short of first place last year, Coach Ryan Cooper lead the competitive cheerleading team to second place at city last season. Captain Angelica Popek (Div.029) and the girls are motivated to bring a city victory to Taft this year.

     The poms team also fell short of a city title, taking second place. Coached by Jacquelyn Alunan, the team is switching things up. The team is now bringing three routines to city, rather than just one. Captain Isabella Aviles (Div.972) is determined to get placed first this year.

     Coach Brad Engel and the wrestling team are preparing for another city win. With returning key players and captains, Brenden Gallo (Div 937) and Piotr Krupa (Div. 927), practices began the first week of November. The team is eager to get back on the mats to start their journey back to the top. Senior Ross Raucci (Div. 922) has been on the team since sophomore year.

     “I hope to put on the best performances this year before going to college. I look forward to being city champs again,”said Raucci. The team’s first meet is on Nov. 28 in the main gym against Mather, Senn and Sullivan.

     Making the transition to indoors, many cross country runners join track and field. Coach James Bleicher and Coach Garrett McLinn continue their push to State. Co-captains Mia Cinquini (Div. 947) and Marisa Guidone are prepared to their team make state this year.

     Captain Sean Powers (Div. 917), who as been on the team since freshman year, is ready for the challenges of the season and ready to lend a hand out to his teammates.

     “I’m excited to lead the team and help my teammates reach their times and just enjoy being on the team,” said Powers.

Poms perform at the 2018 Pep Rally.
Photo by Alexandra Kulikowski.

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Goodbye Fall; Hello Winter