This year, Mesa has been introduced to many new coaches. Several have left and new faces are coming in. With new swim, football, and now tennis coaches, Mesa sports teams are changing for the better. This year, both tennis coaches, Ina Go and Benito Quinonez, decided to go on with their lives and unfortunately leave coaching. This led to having no coaches for 2nd semester, which meant there would be no boys season. But in May, after many interviews and rumors of who would be the new coach, Brian Ricker had been confirmed the new tennis coach for the boys and girls teams at Mesa.
Brian Ricker has coached at both Laguna Beach High School as well as Corona Del Mar High School. Ricker had just recently resigned from CDM after over a decade of coaching, and now he hopes to bring his level of expertise to Mesa. Ricker was well respected at both schools while coaching and was named Coach of the Year several times each by the OC Register and LA Times. Brian Ricker is not new to tennis; he has coached hundreds of the best tennis players.
Ricker lived in Chicago and grew up there, but moved to California because he says the Chicago weather wasn’t ideal for tennis. He is dedicated to coaching and cannot wait to turn our school’s tennis team around. Coach Ricker values good sportsmanship and respect towards each other. In his first five weeks at Mesa, he has already cleaned up the tennis courts, re-strung the nets, and bought new tools and equipment that the team has never had the luxury of having. He aims to make the tennis program a well known one around school and he wants the team to be able to walk around school with great confidence.
In his little time here, he has already set so many goals for the future tennis teams. Mesa has had its fair share of rotating coaches especially in tennis. Brian Ricker is eager to help the tennis team with his coaching and he hopes to have a big influence on them, just like he’s had in his past several years of coaching at other schools. The tennis program is turning itself around and the team is ready to learn what Coach Brian Ricker has to teach them about the sport and more.
Written and photographed by Crystal Henriquez
The CIF match versus Capa Valley High School last Tuesday concluded this year's new record season. The CMHS boys’ volleyball team has taken many wins throughout their season leading them to CIF, something they haven't done for six years. It seems this year was our time to shine with wins against many schools such as our crosstown rival, Estancia, as well as Calvary Chapel. Junior Mason Tufuga also seems to be the star of the show, with his powerful kills and spikes at every game this season. At the CIF game against Capa Valley last Tuesday, the Mesa boys, even Tufuga, struggled a bit in the first game, but got their heads in the game for the next three games. Sadly our team’s efforts just weren’t enough and Capa Valley took the win. Mesa has finished 13-5 overall and 2nd in league this year.
Written by Crystal Henriquez
CMHS boys' volleyball took another win against Estancia on Thursday, April 23rd. After the close 3-2 win at Estancia, the Mustangs took the Eagles on their home territory and won three games out of four. Mason Tufuga's strong offense and libero Andres Ramirez's defensive plays lead the team to victory. The seniors were happy that they won their final year against their rivals.
The boys worked together in the first game, winning 25-13. However, Estancia made a comeback and the Mustangs were defeated at 21-25 in the second game. The third game started out close, but with the crowd's encouragement, the Mustangs took over again and won 25-14. They remained strong in the last game, securing the victory at 25-16.
By the Numbers:
Written by Karlee Kistler
Videos and Stats by Makena Seal
First Place Wins - Boys:
200 free - Augustus Cunningham (2:02.72)
200 IM - James Severance (2:34.99)
50 Free - Jorge Miranda (24.87)
100 Fly - Angel Rosado (58.91)
100 Free - Jacob Petersen (54.26)
500 Free - Raymond Andrade (5:45:33)
100 Back - Angel Rosado (1:01.68)
100 Breast - Nick Ly (1:10.15)
First Place Wins - Girls:
200 Free - Yesennia Villa (2:20.68)
200 IM - Cialee Enslow (2:46.40)
100 Fly - Karlee Kistler (1:23.41)
100 Free - Bridgette Smitheram (1:00.40)
500 Free- Yesennia Villa (6:12.97)
100 Backstroke - Kendra Ferguson (1:12.41)
100 Breast - Sarah Catania (1:27.71)
Photos and Stats by Yesennia Villa
It seemed like a pretty tough meet at first, but the team pushed through and dominated. Boys Varsity won 112-49. The girls had a little more difficulty winning this meat, but they were determined to succeed. Girl’s Varsity ended being victorious, winning 96-74.
First Place Winners: Boys
200 Free - Augustus Cunningham (2:03.92)
200 IM - Nick Ly (2:22.90)
50 Free - Jorge Miranda (24.32)
100 Back - Jorge Miranda (1:05.76)
100 Fly - Angel Rosado (58.36)
100 Free - Caleb Fisher (56.13)
500 Free - Corbin Fisher (5:34.62)
First Place Winners: Girls
50 Free - Bridgette Smitheram (27.94)
100 Back - Bridgette Smitheram (1:12.21)
500 Free - Yessenia Villa (6:21.17)
200 IM - Cialee Enslow (2.43.22)
100 Free - Cialee Enslow (1:05.16)
Written by Karlee Kistler
Photos by Yesennia Villa
Despite this, Mesa took the win and beat the cross town rivals in a close match.
Mesa lost the first game, five points short at 25-20. It was a close game, but neither the players nor crowd seemed to lose hope. The second game was an even closer, with Mesa falling short at 25-22. With only one shot left to preventing a loss in the rivalry match, the pressure built. The team came out strong, and Mesa won the third game 25-20, securing a chance at a win if they could take two more matches. Spirit started to fill the Mesa supporters again, as ASB members led cheers to encourage the team to defeat Estancia. In the fourth match, Costa Mesa took another win at 25-20. Now Mesa and Estancia were tied and they had one final game to declare the winner. The pressure was evident on both sides, as each seemed to play as hard as they could. Mesa would score, then Estancia, then Mesa, making predicting a winner difficult. The crowd could feel the tension. Mustangs would be in the lead by one, then we would be tied, then Estancia would take the lead. It was a nerve racking game for the audience. In the end, Mesa won the final game 15-12.
The boys seemed rusty at first but in the end, they reached their full potential. Mason Tufuga, junior, played an amazing game, scoring powerful hit after hit. Saucedo, senior, put up many blocks as the team’s middle. Senior Andres Ramirez, libero dug many balls and Cody Pham, junior, sett up the hitters to keep the rally alive. The crowd wasn't as large as the girl's volleyball match was, but the crowd had enough spirit with the help of ASB students and even parents to keep everyone's spirits up.
The victory brought Mesa's Varsity record to 1-1 in league. The JV team remains at 0-1, as Estancia did not have a junior varsity team to play against.
Written by Karlee Kistler
Photos by Cassidy Crandall
Coach Fisher: An Overview
Coach Fisher has been coaching football for 26 years, but football is not the only sport in which he has experience. He has led teams in softball, baseball, and—early in his career—wrestling. His career consists not only of coaching, but also of teaching. The new coach has taught a variety of social science classes, such as AP Government (for 16 years), economics, U.S history, psychology, and sociology. Coach Fisher has worked at CMHS for only three weeks, but he has already made a close connection with the football players. “They work really hard, they’re hungry to get better, and [they] seem like a bunch of great kids—hopefully we get a whole bunch more out. I think once we see, or [the school sees] what’s going on, what we’re doing, and how hard we’re working, and the goals we’re trying to reach, I think we’ll get more guys out. But so far we’re very happy.”
“Well, we were kind of nervous ’cause it’s a new coach, so, like, different programs.” -Will Grijalva, Junior
“He has a good program. I like how he pushes us and like how he’s really strict. You know that’s a good coach right there.” -Terence Johnson, Junior
“I felt bad ’cause I really liked Coach Grant; I [felt] like he was a great coach. Hopefully [Fisher]’s like Coach Grant.” -Michael Dias, Junior
Tennis seemed to have fallen apart as both coaches resigned earlier this year. As college students, they had their own hectic schedules and other priorities. All tennis players took up other sports, such as volleyball, or moved into other activities to fill in their sixth period. After a lengthy search, it appears that the athletics department has found a potential new coach for the sport. Tennis may start up by the next school year if not by May of this year.
After the resignation of co-coaches Postiff and Taylor, Kyle Thorsness stepped up to the plate to take over the swim teams. However, swimmers didn’t have to worry about being assigned a new coach of whom they had no prior knowledge; Thorsness was already the assistant coach for both aquatics programs for two years, working alongside Postiff and Taylor.
“I like all of them. Yeah, they’re all a great bunch of kids; we got a lot of young athletes that are really talented. So [I’m] looking forward to the next couple of years,” he said.
“I was alright at first—like I kind of wanted to try him out and see if he was good, and right now he’s been proving that he’s really good.”
“I want to see people go to CIF. This year I want to make it to CIF as a freshman, and I think he has the capability of getting me there.”
Written by Veronica Thai and Madeline Villanueva
Photos by Yessenia Villa
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The first game stretched on for quite a while though, because the JV boys did not know how to properly keep score in the book yet. The referee had to keep pausing the game in order to teach them how to do so. The last two games went by relatively quick. One minute you would look at the score board and the next minute we’d be up by several more points. Although they played some very successful games, the team was down several players. Many of the boys were not yet cleared to play because they haven't gotten all their paperwork in and their physicals done. A couple starters were missing because of this. Additionally, both of the setters were injured and unable to play, so Mason Tufuga, the strongest hitter, had to be moved over to set because nobody else could set. But even after losing their strongest hitter to set the boys pulled through and played great games. “All the guys stepped up and played really well… everybody contributed and I was really proud of the guys that were on the court,” said head coach Todd Hanson after the game.
Going into league, the coach thinks the boys need to work on consistency on their passing and location of setting. Also, they need their setters to get healthy as fast as possible because if they’re not back in time for league, the team will be hurting.
Although Leuzinger was a fairly easy win, the game proved that it is possible for our team to be successful in league, as long as everyone gets their physicals done and the setters get healthy.
Written by Emma Chapel
Videos by Makena Seal