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New coaches for fall sports to change team dynamics

With the departure of several teachers in the previous school year, five coaching positions were opened up for returning and new teachers. The positions that were vacated last year included two cross-country positions, two volleyball positions and one tennis position.

Unlike Caitlin Lopez, Cristian Iga and Brent Chesterman, who are coaching their respective sports for the first time at SIS, Erin Hogshead and Ivan Atanaskovic are returning to coach the junior varsity girls volleyball team and varsity boys volleyball team, respectively.

With the changes in leadership, student athletes on fall sports teams can expect to undergo certain changes in team dynamics, or in the way practices are conducted. The cross-country team added exercise regimens to their training in addition to their runs, and the tennis team changed the way in which the tryouts were conducted.

“We are going to try some different activities where we do strength training with [Coach] Iga, and we are going to try to incorporate some yoga,” Coach Lopez said.

Although the changes have not yet been fully incorporated into practices, athletes on the teams are already feeling the changes brought upon by the different activities.

“Even though we focused mainly on running last year, we are doing yoga with [Coach] Lopez this year” said Jenny Lee (10). “I think that this yoga makes us stronger as runners, and as athletes in general.”

The varsity girls tennis team also went through a change regarding the way tryouts were held. In previous years, all members of the tennis team were required to try out each year, regardless of previous membership. This year, however, all members on the team the previous year were guaranteed either a main or alternate position on the team. Apart from changing the way in which tryouts were held, however, practices will be conducted in a relatively similar manner to last year. The challenge system, by which players can challenge other players to a game in order to change their rankings on the team, will be kept the same.

Coach Chesterman, varsity girls tennis coach, cited court availability as the main reason for not changing many aspects of the tennis team and the way it practices.

“It is hard to do much with three courts, so I’m not going to even think about that [until] we get more courts and more space,” said Coach Chesterman.

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