Conditioning the basketball team for greatness

Ali Flores, Aztec Voice

Here we go again!

Alta Vista High School is starting basketball tryouts and games, but the most important thing is conditioning for the season. This year there are about 15 students in conditioning from all grades, and they are working hard to get a spot on the team.

Many students from AV are really excited for this year’s basketball season, and during the tryout, students were putting a lot of hard work into their workouts. Every time they finish their conditioning, they end it with a team celebration.

Junior Christian Johnson has high hopes for this year’s basketball season.

“My hopes for this basketball season [are] to achieve great things with my team and to win as many games as we can – to at least bring a trophy home – but the conditioning for basketball is really hard because I’ve never seen a coach push his students this hard to achieve [the] real condition they need to have to play a full game.”

The students are determined to be the team that they want to be.

Sophomore Jessica Caro wants “to be better,and to play, because last year I was just a benchwarmer. You have to put in a lot of work because sometimes you may feel like giving up, but you just have to keep trying for your team. I think I need to practice for this year.”

There you go folks: this year the basketball team is not playing around. They mean serious business to bring a trophy home.

KU basketball kicks off the season

Brandon Bowman, Aztec Voicefull-basketball-1500287

As University of Kansas sophomore Carlton Bragg, Jr., goes up for the dunk, the crowd gets silent. It seems like he is in the air for hours and hours. When he finishes the dunk the crowd goes in an uproar!!! It was a sight to be seen.

On Oct. 1 the Jayhawks put on a full performance for the KU fans. This event was filled with fans’ favorites, such as dunks, half-court shots and a full court scrimmage, as well as a performance by Kansas City rapper Tech N9ne.

Late Night in the Phog ended with a scrimmage. Both KU teams played against each other. Four of the Jayhawks ended up in double figures by the end of the game.

Bragg said, “We’re going to keep going at it, everyday, every practice.”

Most fans had their eyes on the top prospects such as freshman Josh Jackson, Bragg and the other players. But what shocked the whole arena was the fact that walk-on junior Tucker Vang would score a basket before Jackson.

The crowd was into the event, the players were into the event, and the coaches were into the event. Some of the players on the team were just happy to be there with the supportive team and the loving fans.

Other players said it was great to start out the season on the court in front of their fans.

KU will take a couple of days off by just playing pickup games before starting the actual first practice, allowing injured players such as Udoka Azubuike to rest and return to the action with the team.

Aztecs at the K

Jahvoan Galbearth, Aztec Voice

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The baseball team went on a field trip to the Kauffman Stadium to watch the Royals’ batting practice, interview the general manager and watch the game on Sept. 15.

This opportunity was good for multiple students because they got to see things that most Kansas City Royals fans will never get to see or experience. The team also got to eat dinner in the suites with the general manager, Dayton Moore.

Senior Prince Herrera, the right fielder for Alta Vista, said, “This experience was one of a kind, from the food to the players and the sights that we saw during the tour.”

He was also asked if he could do it again, would he? Herrera responded with a firm “yes.”

Senior Cristian Casillas said, “It was an experience that a lot of people will not get to see, so we should all be thankful for being able to participate in this event.”

He was asked what was his favorite part of being on the field trip; he responded by saying, “Being able to interview the GM and asking him questions in the interview room.”

The team got time to bond and have fun with each other throughout the whole trip, from the time they were in the car ride to the time they were on their way home. The coaches even landed a spot playing in the new baseball field being built across the street from Alta Vista High School.

“This experience brings the team together as a family so they can bond on and off the field,” baseball coach Justin Hartmann said. The team expressed that they cannot wait to have another good day at the K.

Kicking off a new season

Junior Leonel Pina challenged AV alumnus Mauricio Cordero for the ball during the AV Alumni soccer game.

Junior Leonel Pina challenged AV alumnus Mauricio Cordero for the ball during the AV Alumni soccer game.

Christian Johnson, Aztec Voice

It’s unbelievable how much a ball and goal can change someone’s life. Soccer is one of the most important sports at Alta Vista. It’s not just a sport to the students here, but a lifestyle – a dream.

This past week, the soccer team had a game against some of the past alumni It was a close loss, but the team still gave it all they had.

Soccer player and sophomore Javier Blanco said, “A loss is a loss, but we are going to work hard as a team to make it to state this year.”

Hard work and dedication are the best words to describe the Alta Vista soccer team. Junior Marquan Pennington said, “Osuga is my biggest motivator. He’s always telling us what to do when we’re struggling, but we all as a team encourage each other to never give up and work hard.”

Many other soccer teams don’t put in the time and effort to get to know one another. They usually look for someone with skill so they can win games, but that’s not a good idea because someone who has talent but no discipline can’t and won’t be able to work with the team.

A team with order, discipline and character is a team who’s most likely to succeed. The team must be able to communicate in order to win games and be a good sport in the game. Players must have good teamwork because someone who thinks only about themselves will bring the whole team down.

Alta Vista sport teams get close and consider each other as family.

Ready, set, spike!

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Jesus Esquivel, Conexión Azteca reporter

Aztec Voice reporter Jesus Esquivel spoke to Greg Brenner, the athletic director of Alta Vista, about this year’s volleyball team.

Esquivel: Are you guys planning to get the volleyball team back?

Brenner: Yes, we are starting today, September 10.

Esquivel: What are some goals for the team?

Brenner: To improve individual skills, work as a team, have some fun and win some games.

Esquivel: Are you guys planning to have a new coach?

Brenner: Yes, we are planning to get a new coach.

Boys’ soccer kicks off season with improvement

Coach Isao Osuga encourages the boys' soccer team at the end of a recent game.

Coach Isao Osuga encourages the boys’ soccer team at the end of a recent game.

Andrea Figueroa, Conexión Azteca reporter

The boys’ soccer team is off to a good start this season.

“We have won two games and lost one,” said Coach Isao Osuga.

The team and coaches are excited about the tournament next week.

“I expect it to go well and us taking the win and playing state,” Osuga said.

Freshman Cristian Guzman shared his enthusiasm.

“I think we are doing pretty good we are winning. This year we have teamwork something that people said we didn’t have. We also as a team want to win the districts,” Guzman said.

Seniors Victor Andrade feels good about his last season with the Aztecs.

“So this is it,” Andrade said. “It’s my last year playing, and I’m going to give it my all and try and get a scholarship for soccer.”

Andrade added that the boys are showing a lot of teamwork and that the freshmen are really good.

“We are doing so much better this year,” he said. “I can already see that we are going to improve a lot and win a lot of games! We are also working as a team – something that we didn’t really have. We also have a lot of new soccer players that are great and know what they are doing and want!”

Boys’ Soccer Schedule – Fall 2015

Click for the Full Schedule: BSoccer15Schedule

*Home Field is at 9th Street and Van BruntBoys' Soccer Schedule August 2015

Boys' Soccer Schedule September 2015

Boys' Soccer Schedule September 2015

Aztecs take two!

Freshman Armando Ordaz finishes a game earlier this season.

Freshman Armando Ordaz finishes a game earlier this season.

Update from Coach Justin Hartmann

The Aztec Nine are flashing leather, pitching complete game gems and utilizing timely hitting to start the week as they improved their record to 7 and 7 on the season.

On Monday afternoon, Alta Vista fell behind Southwest High School 1 to 0 in the first inning and never trailed again for the remainder of the day. Sophomore pitcher Jesus Rodriguez (J-Rod) made his second start of the season on the bump and pitched the first complete game of the 2015 season for the AV Nine.

Rodriguez also fielded his position impressively as he contributed to two put-outs at home plate. Offensively, AV was led by catcher and third baseman, sophomore Damian Enriquez, who doubled driving in two, and junior shortstop Juan Hernandez, who added to the lead with an RBI single in the fourth inning. Hernandez also shone on the field, making the final out of the game on a short hop scoop and throw to first base.

On Tuesday night at Cleveland Park, the Aztecs picked up where they left off, getting back-to-back complete game wins with a 5 to 1 win against East High School. This time it was sophomore Jonathan Espericueta with the complete game gem. Espericueta struck out seven Bears and walked only two in the victory. He also fielded his position beautifully, making three assists.

Offensively, the Aztecs were led by sophomore Jahvoan Galbearth two for three, including a game-winning hit, and senior Hector Juarez one for three, with a single and an RBI. Rodriguez went two for three with a double, and junior Eric Rincon went one for two with a run scored.

The Aztecs play next on Friday night at Satchel Paige Stadium against the East High School Bears; the time has not yet been announced.

Walk-off win for the AV 9

The AV baseball team have a record of ______ so far this season.

The AV baseball team have a record of 2-4 so far this season.

Update from Coach Justin Hartmann

The Alta Vista baseball team trailed 9-7 going into the bottom of the seventh inning Friday night at Waterwell Park and needed some late game heroics to pull out the exciting come-from-behind walk-off 10-9 win over the Independence, Kan., Lions.

The game was close as the two teams traded runs most of the night. Sophomore Jonathan Espericueta and freshman Armando Ordaz did a stellar job of pitching. The Aztec defense was flashing the leather when it mattered most. Juniors Alex Ortega and Eric Rincon and sophomore Cristian Casillas all made nice plays in the field. Sophomore Aquiles Damien continues to develop as a catcher and team leader.

The real fireworks started in the bottom of the seventh as AV was down to its last strike when Casillas drew a key walk; sophomore Jahvoan Galbreath then beat out an infield hit to tie the game. Then AV top slugger Ordaz came through with the hit of year as he knocked a double over the left fielder’s head, driving in the winning run.

Many of the Aztecs were pleased their performances on Friday.

“I’m just happy to be here and help the club win a ball game,” Ordaz said after the game.

“I didn’t want to make the last out,” Casillas added. “I really battled hard my last at bat and feel like I’m seeing the ball better now.”

The Aztecs play the Kansas City Early College Academy tonight at 4 p.m. at Cleveland Field.

Aztecs tame the Pumas

The baseball team warms up before a game earlier this season.

The baseball team warms up before a game earlier this season.

Update from Coach Justin Hartmann

The Aztec baseball team split a doubleheader and picked up their first win of the spring in a nightcap game against Cristo Rey last evening at Cleveland Stadium, winning 10-8. AV fell into a 6 -0 hole after two innings and mounted an impressive comeback led by shortstop freshman Armando Ordaz, who blasted a solo home run to straight away center field. This seemed to energize the rest of the line and things started to heat up with timely hits and patient at-bats.

Some other Aztecs had nice offensive days at the plate, including sophomore catcher Jesus Rodriguez (2 for 3), sophomore first baseman Jonathan Espericueta (2-4) and junior second baseman Juan Hernandez (1-3). Junior Alex Ortega drew three walks and scored two runs, and sophomore Jahvoan Galbearth got hit by pitched twice and walked, scoring twice. Sophomore Aquiles Damian continued to show growth at the catcher position.

The Aztecs’ next game will be on Thursday at Mis-America Park against the Christ Prep Crusaders. The time has not yet been released.