During the course of the week before the students of Costa Mesa High School were let out for Ski week (President’s week), the CMHS Cheerleading team competed at the national cheer championship at Orlando, Florida where they placed 13th in the nation.
Back in December the Costa Mesa High School cheer team competed at the state level and placed 2nd. This gave them the ticket to go to nationals in Orlando, Florida. This is the first time in a long time that the team went to state, which is not because of a lack of skill, but because of a lack of funding. It takes quite a lot of money to get more than a dozen girls all the way to the other side of the US, and that is without considering hotel fees. Unfortunately, due to these very same circumstances concerning money, the cheerleading team probably won’t be able to go next year, as an enormous effort was pulled off to get the team to go this year. Although, with an entire year in between the next tournament, the team will have time to be able to train specifically for the competition, now that they have had a firsthand experience in it.
The team was led by three varsity members, Alyssa Hatton, Kerlly Castellano, and Tyler Davis; alongside their Coaches Kori Johnson and Kevin. The team left Costa Mesa on Friday the 11th, but the tournament did not start until Sunday and they came back to Costa Mesa on Tuesday night. The team had a few minutes to put on a routine that would be judged based on completion, difficulty of tricks, and energy. All the teams were split apart according to their size: small, medium, and large. Teams would then be split into smaller sub-categories. The performances only took two days to complete, which was good, because it allowed the teams to enjoy everything that Orlando had to offer, such as Disneyworld, Universal Studios Orlando, and Harry Potter World after the tournament was over.
As is stated above, the Costa Mesa High School team placed 13th place. When considering that they placed higher than the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of cheer teams that did not go, it goes to show that they accomplished an incredible feat. You also have to consider that Costa Mesa High School is one of the few high schools in California to have a team compete in the competition, due to multiple reasons, including the fact that California isn’t gung-ho for cheer as compared to states such as Texas or Kentucky. The only other school from the state of California to do any good was El Dorado, (5thplace).
This month, The Equestrian highlights girls basketball player Marlene Castro. As one of the three captains of CMHS varsity girls basketball, senior Marlene has shown excellence as point guard this season.
A trooper since the beginning, Marlene recalls being rushed to the dentist in the middle of a game during preseason, after she was elbowed in the mouth, just weeks after she had her braces removed. The impact was so great; it caused her front teeth to be pushed back into her mouth. Team members and students in the crowd that night recall hearing faint screams of pain coming from the girl’s locker room as the game continued. But this injury did not affect her in any way. Though she was out of for 3 games, Marlene showed up to school the next day with swollen face and all, continued to practice and showed up to the first game of the season, mouth guard in place, ready to play.
Marlene has been playing basketball for Costa Mesa High School since she started high school here. “I grew up playing basketball,” she said. She admits that there have been times when she feels like giving up, but she pushes herself until the end because “my team counts on me.” Team work seems to be the foundation of the girls team, as throughout the interview, never once did the humble senior build say I when referring to the successes of the team, claiming every victory was due to team work.
Though she’s been through a lot, Marlene finds light where most don’t. “My dad left me I was 2 years old, but this gave me the power to never give up. He’s a great motivator to play to the fullest every day.” She also credits her mother, who works 3 jobs to support her family of 5, but Castro does not let this affect her game. “I have that will that everyday I’m going to get through this, and just every day I play my heart out to win every game.”
This senior plans to attend Shoreline Community College in Washington where she hopes to continue to play basketball.
“Winning battle of the bell,” was the highlight of her season said Marlene. Early this month, the girls brought the bell home to CMHS with a win against Estancia of 47- 35.
This past Thursday the girls played in round one of CIF against J.Sierra. Though they did not win, the girls were not upset with the results as they put forth all their effort against this Division One school.
Marlene’s positive attitude and hard work is why The Equestrian is proud to name her Athlete of the Month. As for those who play basketball, she encourages them to “never give up, never give up ‘till that buzzer ends.”
Born in Portland, Oregon, Saaeed El-Assadi moved here in 2005. As #13 on the CMHS Basketball varsity team, he has been named the Athlete of the Month for February for the hard work and dedication that he has put into the program.
Currently a senior, Saaeed plans to go to Orange Coast College or Golden West College after he graduates from high school in 2012. He is captain along with Nick Dawson of the Boy’s varsity Basketball team at CMHS.
El-Assadi says he says he loves playing Basketball and hanging out with friends at CMHS, whenever he isn't out on the court.
When asked about his thoughts about receiving the athlete of the month award Saaeed said, in a humble tone, “It’s an honor, but I thought it could have gone to one of my other teammates.”
Saaeed stated that what made him receive this award was all due to hard work, not necessarily being any better than anyone else on his team. “I just work hard, I am not very talented or athletic, I just work hard.”
Although, some people who see him play would argue that he is a great Basketball player, such as his coach and teammates, as would the 149 points that he has scored this season El-Assadi did not let this recognition get to his head.
When asked about Saaeed his coach, Bryan Rice, said, “Saaeed is probably the most solid kid we have in our program as far as keeping things even, making sure we are doing what we want on the floor. He gets upset on offense and upset on defense and to have someone like that makes the rest of our guys play a little harder because they know they have someone there to help them out. Saaeed is a very good high school player and a great kid and works just as hard as anybody and we wouldn’t be the same program without him. We wouldn’t have nineteen wins, the best record in our school’s history, without him.”
His coach seems to believe that Saaeed has committed more than enough to deserve the title of athlete of the month.
Points Per Game
Assists Per Game
Blocks Per Game
Rebounds Per Game
Steals Per Game
1 second left on the clock. Mesa’s defense held off Estancia’s aggressive offense all four quarters and was up 30 to 32 when Estancia’s Ben Beck gets the ball and desperately attempts one last shot, changing the fate of the Eagles loss with a three pointer over Mesa’s Saaeed El-Assadi from deep corner, all stared in anticipation, the buzzer blows and the shot drops in. All are shocked and overwhelmed with the Eagles taking the Mustangs victory, 32 to 33.
None of it would've mattered had the Mustangs maintained the game at the free-throw line with nine seconds left. Jake Comer was in a one-and-one situation when the Eagles rebounded the ball. With no timeouts, Chad Fackler then passed the ball to Beck, who was past midcourt. Beck dribbled up the sideline, going toward the corner before pulling up for a three-pointer and didn’t give up.
The Battle of the Bell game for boys Varsity Basketball this past Thursday was extremely intense and full of school spirit up to the last second of the game. Estancia came in for the win of the game but because they only won by one point Mesa remained victorious with the rivalry bell. The Mustangs claimed the Bell for the first time in five years. Though Estancia was automatically in the CIF championship after defeating Mesa at this buzzer shot game, Mesa gathered all their composure to fight for their opportunity to show their rivals exactly what they have in the game against Calvary Chapel this Saturday.
Before the game, Coach Rice was confident in his team saying “We’re very comfortable, we love all 14 of them and we’re ready for this game. We have been in a few tough games recently but that just helps us prepare. The
seniors definitely have to step up this game, Jordan Walden, [Marcus] Hayes, [Jake] Comer, [Saaeed] El-Assadi, and Nick [Dawson] have to contain big guy [6-foot-7 center] Rashad Davis (#6 for the Estancia Eagles).”
Walden accompanied Coach Rice’s optimistic spirit commenting on how much the ream has grown, “We’re pretty confident, we’ve grown as a team, grown as brothers, I think we’ll be ok despite our two game losing streak.” He also added how the team has brought their spirits up the past few weeks by playing music all throughout practice and how after this season he will miss his team a lot because although he has grown with them and has had a lot of fun, he will focus on his other love, football in college.
The crowd was live with all kinds of support from Ms. Scott and all ASB members to Mr. Kiefer and of course Dr. D’Agostino who was very excited about the game and supportive of how well all CMHS athletes have been performing, “I am obviously excited. We’ve had three athletes in football sign to Chapman and Oklahoma State University as well as two more next year up for basketball and football scholarships. Four wrestlers are also up for state championships. It’s been a great season for all sports and I can’t wait to watch the game.”
Dr. Bauermeister, Estancia’s Principal who graduated from CMHS stated that he was happy with who ever won this game, although of course he would love to see Estancia win, he would want CMHS to take home the win in the CIF championships if Estancia couldn’t. “We want to beat Mesa for the right reasons, because we respect them and know how well they can do.”Estancia also has a few athletes being considered for scholarships including Rashaad Davis who is being recruited, a few golfers who are being signed to UCLA and a few softball girls who are being signed to a California State University.
Estancia made the first shot of the game within the first five minutes while all of Mesa athletes and fans included chanted for the athletes in the game to remain focused and bring that “D, D, D”.
During the second quarter, a call was made on player 51, Nick Dawson for hitting the ball out of bounds but the simple call soon changed to be a serious technical foul called on Mesa for Nick Dawson wearing the wrong number jersey, he was wearing 51 when he should have been wearing 22. The coaches including Bryan Rice were extremely disappointed considering the constant questioning with Dawson and the refs before about the
After this call during half time, the coaches had a lot to think about. “Everyone seemed to struggle under the pressure and got the ball stolen by a turnover every time. We need to get in the corners and get more rebounds,”was the plan determined for the second half of the game.
Alex Sampietro’s parents commented on the overall athlete’s performance in the game saying, “They were fans at the beginning but players at the end [of the second quarter].”
Mesa’s Nick Hefner scored a number of advantageous shots including a two-pointer in the third quarter taking the score from 21 to 23, Estancia to a tie along with many more to make the player of the game scoring fourteen of the thirty-two. Many timeouts were called the second half of the game as things were getting close to the end. The first teams’ foul against Mesa’s Jake Comer allowed Estancia to get the ball but as a result of lousy ball hold, Mesa which got another foul and allowed Estancia to come back with two free throws. Another timeout was called by Mesa’s coach Rice instructing his team, “We got the ball where we want it, just stayed focused and work that defense.”
Jordan Walden made an extraordinary jump in the third quarter against Estancia’s Ben Beck, who did a fake out. Martin Harry was also constantly in charge of the ball for Estancia passing and scoring for the rival team.
During the third quarter Mesa athletes participated in an inside joke, patting all their heads for good luck. Coach
Rice also continued to call out plays and called for Mesa athletes to maintain control, “Hold, that’s a hold” to Hefner who had the ball with all Eagles surrounding the ball ready to attack.
Once the game was near the end, constant cheers and applause as well as exclamations against bogus plays and good effort by both teams filled the stadium. Defense calls by the coaches and fans as well as flips and entertaining tricks performed by the Eagle and Mustang cheerleaders also added to the environment.
After the last play, Coach Bryan Rice reminded his team of their victory with the bell and their future chance of the playoffs exclaiming, “Pick your heads up. We have one more chance left tomorrow night for the playoffs. They got lucky, but we have one more chance. We did almost everything we needed to do. The boys played their hearts out and we got the bell, which we haven’t been able to do in a while.” Assistant coach Dan Krikorian added his feelings about the outcome of the game saying, “It’s a bittersweet win. We’ll take the bell in city champs. Our guys fought really hard but he [Beck] made unbelievable shot and got lucky.”
El-Assadi tried to uplift his teammates as well after the surprising shot by claiming “It was my bad, don’t worry about it,” to Hayes and Comer.
D’Agostino and Mr. Bauermeister tried to uplift all by reminding everyone that they were the winner, “ The big winner is the city of Costa Mesa. Give it up for yourselves. We respect each other and hope the best
of luck to both teams in the playoffs.”
The seniors of Costa Mesa scheduled to play a game of Ultimate Frisbee at Tewinkle Park on Saturday. At 1:00 pm, a few seniors showed up during the scheduled time and began to practice for the upcoming game. As time went by a handful of seniors gradually showed up until the number of people present were 12 (including myself). But in the midst of beginning the game, senior Chad Webster accidentally throws the frisbee into a 20-foot tree. In an attempt to rescue the frisbee, the senior boys began throwing branches and sticks at the tree, until James Lewis manages to save the frisbee from the tree's clutch.
At 1:30, the game officially began and everyone was assigned to their respective teams. Team Robert consisted of Robert Blackwell , Melissa Michaels, Chad Webster, Raquel Friedmann, Matt LeValley, and Warren Urbina, while Team James had James Lewis, Mitchell Grandia, Kyle Picco, Edith Esparza, and Renae Andrade. Although the teams were uneven, the game commenced and James' team advanced toward their goal. Due to the winds, the frisbee would frequently veer off course and make unexpected turns.
A while into the game, it appeared as if none of the teams were going to make a point until finally, Mitchell with a professional throw, manages to spot Renae Andrade and toss her the frisbee, making the first point of the game go to Team James. Hoping to redeem themselves, Team Robert starts the next round as the whole team spreads out. Both teams are yet again back at square one, as the winds maneuver the frisbee toward a random direction. But then hope is restored for Team Robert as Chad Webster, Matt LeValley, and Warren Urbina manage to make a goal for their team by passing the frisbee amongst themselves through a formation nicknamed the "Triangle of Power".
Determined to break the tie, both teams try to show the other who is the dominant team in ultimate Frisbee. Due to having to complete his duties as photographer for this story, Kyle Picco leaves the game and is replaced by Melissa Michaels of Team Robert, making the teams even. The frisbee was a blur as it sliced through the air and reached incredible speeds. Everyone played stupendously as Raquel caught a frisbee thrown by Robert, Mitchell tossed the frisbee to Renae, who in turn passed it to Melissa, then Edith. The game was intense and exhausting as players broke sweat.
Team Robert, after coming so close to scoring, change from offense to defense as Team James takes the frisbee. Edith , catching a frisbee thrown by James, passes it to Renae but she is suddenly guarded by a relentless Chad, who jumps wildly and constantly shouts," Ron Paul 2012, Ron Paul 2012," in hopes of distracting her. Finding James, she hands him the frisbee and runs toward the goal as Team Robert is pushed back. Locating Mitchell in the crowd of players, James throws the frisbee toward Mitchell as Mitchell in turn catches it making Team James the winners of the Ultimate Frisbee event with a score of 2-1.
Exhausted from the fun and exhilarating game, the players huddle under the shade of a tree to rejuvenate their energy. When asked how it felt to play with fellow seniors, Warren Urbina answered," Good times, good people, and of course, good Triangle of Power."
Both Varsity and Junior Varsity soccer girls lost against Estancia this past Wednesday at Jim Scott Stadium. During the junior varsity game, after Estancia scored, Mesa scored not even five minutes later, tying the game 1-1. Varsity almost had the chance to score, when Estancia was going for Mesa's goalie, but Mesa took it back and in less then 30 seconds was going for their goalie. A defeat that was taken with heads held high and sad smiles as this was the last game of the season and another year of soccer was completed.
The JV Soccer Girls' Game
The bus ride to Jim Scott at 2 P.M. for the junior varsity girls was loud as usual, but something else was in the air, an anxiousness that everybody felt, but no once voiced. We were all thinking it; if we win we’ll place in league.
“I’m nervous, yeah…” said my teammate, Maria Cabrera, when I asked her how she felt, “but we’ve improved a lot since we first started.”
Maria plays sweeper and stopper, the last and the second to last person in the defensive line, respectively. If anything, she’s the one that probably knows the most about pressure, because if anything goes wrong and the other team is going for our goalie, she’s the one to stop them. I’ve seen Maria save the team from an attempted shot at the goal many times, but yet, “I’m nervous they might make a goal,” she told me.
“We might win though,” Maria said afterwards, smiling. “You never know.”
“We might tie,” says Michelle Magallanes, a forward for the girls junior varsity team. “We just have to keep our heads up and not get down.”
I look around and see Angelica Quiroz, listening to her iPod like always, staring out the window. Angelica is one of the four captains and the star forward, the one who has shot most of the goals this season. She’s also suffered quite a lot of injuries; but I guess that’s the price that comes for always giving it your best. I interrupt her concentration and ask her how she’s feeling.
“I’m very nervous, not scared though, just nervous…” she says. “I’ve been nervous this whole day.”
I ask her how her leg has been doing since she injured it during the Saddleback game a few weeks prior.
“It’s doing better,” She looks at her right leg, “still hurts a bit though.”
We arrive at Estancia and my stomach starts to churn. We all get off the bus, with the coaches leading the way to the stadium. As we near it, I can hear the music playing already and I look around at my teammates before walking through the big black gates. I see that they’re already warming up; it’s their home, so we have to go to the other side, the visitor’s side. Which is uncomfortable, since every game before this one, we were where they are now. We all put on our attire and start warming up.
Then before I know it, the referees call captains and we introduce ourselves to the Estancia captains, even though I never remember their names.
“Call it in the air,” one of the referees says to Valeria Colchado, a senior and our usual sweeper.
“Heads,” she says.
Nope, tails. They get to choose whether to kick off or pick the side they want. They pick side and we have to kick off against the sun.
“First to every ball ladies and pass to feet,” our coach, Eva, says before giving the line-up. “Just play like you did during the Laguna game and we can win this, I know we can.”
And before saying our cheer, I tell the girls one last thing, because I know they have those butterflies just like I do and their hearts our beating fast and their hands are shaking. “Don’t give up…whatever you do, don’t give up. If you start thinking negatively, stop. That’s what killed us last time.”
The referee whistles and the game starts. It’s back and forth in who has possession of the ball. They have great passing to feet that’s killing our girls, for we just keep diving and I can’t hear anything.
“Talk ladies!” Eva and I shout. Communication is key, because if they don’t start communicating, they will be quiet the rest of the game and miss out on important plays. Our other coach, Jason, arrives late, but he immediately starts yelling as well and his loud and familiar voice seems to register in the girls and they start to move quicker and talk louder. His presence wasn’t enough to stop Estancia from scoring, ten minutes into the game, their outside
wing passed our defense and made a great goal that our goalie, Itzayana Lopez, could not block.
“Come on ladies! Zero-zero! Let’s get it back!” I hear Luisa Rosas shout. She’s a senior and a captain and is playing defense right now, though this isn’t her usual spot.
“I didn’t think I was playing good,” she tells me later. “I felt like I was really slow.”
Though not even five minutes later, Angelica scores. One of our players, who’s in the middle, crossed the ball to her, where she trapped it and turned with it, their sweeper trying to stop her, but to no avail, Angelica was faster and before the goalie could come out, she shot the ball in. Even though this boosted our confidence, it also brought their game up as well and the time before half-time was called, they had been on our half a lot and their attempted goals had been too much for our liking. Too much for my liking and when half-time was called I couldn’t handle the pressure. I was mad that the player I had been marking had gotten past me, that I was the reason for them almost scoring again, I was mad that I had missed my shot where it had been only me and the goalie. I felt like crying.
“It’s been 60-40%. They’ve been on our half about 60% of the time and we’ve been on theirs only 40. It’s exactly like how it was last time, going one-one into the second half. You guys need to step it up and stop making silly mistakes,” Jason says to the girls.
I look around at them, they’re all drinking water, sweating. It was rather hot, getting tired and thirsty was easy. Everyone is unusually quiet and no one has anything to say. When we say our cheer, it’s not the way it usually is…strong.
Brenda Menes, an outside wing, is sitting next to me.
“What’s wrong with you?” I ask her.
“My foot started cramping up.” Brenda says.
She’s been injured quiet badly and all of preseason was on crutches. She was substituted out during first-half. Although they put her in again, about ten minutes later, when Estancia scores again. And again.
It’s 3-1, with about fifteen minutes left in the game. Even though in my mind, I felt like we could still tie, I know when I looked around at my teammates they weren’t thinking the same thing. Even when I tried to tell them otherwise, it was no use. And after the fourth goal, even I lost hope. That’s how the game ended. We said “good game” to the Estancia girls and took off our stuff in silence.
That was it. That was our last game. It was over just like that.
The Varsity Soccer Girls' Game
The stadium music started up again and varsity started warming up on the field. The scoreboard was re-set once again and the sun began to set. They had already warmed up prior to this and were now kicking the soccer balls. About half an hour later, captains Daniela Benitez and Cindy Mejia went up to greet the Estancia captains and the referee’s. Coach Dan Johnston calls them in before the game starts, and then leaves them alone to do their cheer.
The starting eleven take their places and the game starts. A few minutes in and Estancia scores. Even so Mesa is still talking, they’re still communicating, this isn’t going to stop them, you can tell by the way they’re playing harder now, when the ball starts to move again.
This wasn’t enough to stop Estancia from scoring again though. Their teammates are cheering them on from the sidelines.
“Come on Mesa!” They’re all yelling, as well as the people in the stands. “Let’s go girls! You can do this!”
The third goal that Estancia scored was by a corner kick and that’s how first-half ended, 3-0. Coach Dan Johnston substituted girls every ten minutes. That was the new tactic he started using this year and captains were changed from game to game.
They were all breathing heavily as they came off the field, searching for their waters, talking…smiling. They weren’t down-trodden at all, something that was really admirable. They went to go meet Dan on one side of the field. The referee called for second half and the goalies were switched. Sarah Liebel went in for Maggie Acevedo and a new line-up started.
About ten minutes into the game, Mesa had the chance to score. It started when Estancia passed it from the middle to the outside and she took it down line, but left defensive player Johanna Hernandez caught up to her, slide-tackled her from behind, got the ball and took it down line. Then she passed it to the right outside wing, Kenya Avila, who took on and passed three Estancia girls, then passed it to Darian Miller, who unfortunately lost the ball.
By the end of the game, Estancia had scored two more goals and the ending score was 5-0. When I looked at Darian, she was hugging Jackie Waldron, who had tears in her eyes. They weren’t crying, because they lost the game, they were crying because it was their last game ever. Both of them are seniors, as a number of the girls on the team are, and this was their last game playing as CMHS students.
“Don’t cry Darian! Cause you’re gonna make me cry!” Jackie tells her, while rubbing at her eyes.
Everyone is hugging each other, saying “good-bye” and congratulating each other.
“I feel like I did my best, the goals they scored, they were lucky shots. I just hope the team bonds next year and that they do great,” Maggie says, smiling.
“We did some things pretty good and some things pretty bad, but it wasn’t as bad as some other games,” said Coach Dan Johnston.
Even though Varsity hasn’t had the greatest season, they did have a great season in terms of team camaraderie. Everyone cares for one another and no one was ever put down. If that’s not a great team, I don’t know what is. As for the Junior Varsity girls, it’s okay if they didn’t place in league. They only lost three games and had a great season over all. They went hard ‘til the end. Estancia is a great team, they don’t play dirty and they’re actually really nice, because I had the chance to talk to their players. To be able to play against them is a privilege.
Soccer isn’t an easy sport, ask any player. That’s the reason why they love it.
Mesa Mustangs emerged victorious after a close match-up with Estancia Eagles.
Last Wednesday, the Mustang Varsity basketball team faced their hometown rivals, the Estancia Eagles, at the Battle of the Bell game. The basketball matchup was held by Costa Mesa in the large gymnasium. Both teams were greeted by a full house, packed with students, parents, and fans from Mesa and Estancia.
Mesa’s starting lineup consisted of seniors Nick Hefner, Nick Dawson, Jake Comer, Saaeed El-Assadi, and Jordan Walden.
The first quarter ended with Mustangs leading 9, to Estancia’s 6. In the second quarter, the Eagles stepped up their defense and offense. they were able to leave the Mustangs trailing behind 7 points and the quarter ended 15-22.
During halftime, Costa Mesa principal Phil D’Agostino and Estancia principal Kirk Bauermeister introduced the Australian exchange students formally to both schools and gave them welcoming gifts.
After this introduction, the Mustang cheerleader team presented a dance routine. Then Mesa’s ASB gave a surprise encore performance of the Green Man Group act.
As the third quarter started, the Mustangs returned with a counter attack. They were able to narrow the Estancia lead down to four points, ending the third quarter with a score of 27-31.
“We had a beastly 3rd quarter,” said senior and ASB 1st Vice President Jacky Dang.
Estancia continued firmly into the final end of the game. With a stature of 6 feet and 6 inches high, Estancia’s center, Rashad Davis, was able to land two slam dunks on Mesa.
In the final quarter, both teams pressed on strong to secure a victory. With about a minute and a half on the clock and the score at 37-33, Estancia’s Chad Fackler scored a 3-pointer, after being unable to score any field goals the whole game. This prompted Estancia to foul Mesa’s team intentionally to try to extend the game and try their chances with one of the Mustang players at the free-throw line. Unfortunately for them, senior Saaeed El-Assadi was able to score both of his free throws.
“Winning.” said Saaeed El-Assadi.
The Mustangs were able to come out on top, finishing the game with a final score at 39-36.
“Mesa played some good basketball!” said senior Vice President Chad Webster.