Posts Tagged ‘Kylee Demauro’

Eight grader Kaylee Smith dribbles during a basketball camp in September. The girls basketball team hopes to defend its league title  when the new season begins in January.

Eight grader Kaylee Smith dribbles during a basketball camp in September. The girls basketball team hopes to defend its league title when the new season begins in January.

By Kylee Demauro
Cougar News Blog

     Cactus Canyons girls basketball team is the defending league champion and, as a new season begins, another title is the ultimate goal and expectation.
     Communication is a big part of the team. It helps athletes know their teammates have their backs and they don’t have to worry. It informs others on what to do and how to do certain things.
     “The communication helps by getting the team on the same page and informing others about the play and how things are supposed to go,” said seventh grader Kashmir Baillie. “If we didn’t have communication it would be a mess because no one would know what they are doing.”
     A portion of the girls are feeling pressure on how they do in tryouts, which will be Dec. 19-21. The seventh grade students are more frightened since it is their first time trying out.
     “There is always pressure in tryouts because you can get cut even if you made it the year before,” said eighth grader, Kaylee Smith. “I always worry that I won’t be what they want us to be but we/I try our best.”
     Coach Kimberly Grant has been preparing for the season by having open gym at least once a month. Open gym is when students go to the gym and play different basketball games and have competitions. Coach Grant has also been going to a coach’s clinic.
     “As far as preparing as a coach, I attended the Nike Coach’s Clinic this year and plan to implement some of the ideas I learned at the clinic,” explained Coach Grant.
     The team will have to work on multiple things, such as defense and making sure the opposing team works for every point. On offense, Grant will have players focus on taking care of the ball, and communication. Working together as a team is also very critical.
     “I think that our strengths are communicating with each other and letting our players know we have their backs,” said eighth grader Madonna Parker. “That way it’s more of a team effort and not just a one person effort.”
     The strengths of the team will be working together and getting to know each other, which will help others be more confident. Being stronger as a team will help the girls play better and build friendships.
     “The strengths of our team this year are hopefully going to be encouraging each other no matter what, to push our team forward, and to talk about the plays we run,“ said Smith. “When part of the team is on the bench, we should be cheering people on. Not saying ‘go here,’ ‘do this,’ ‘do that.’”

Members of the soccer team stretch before a practice on Oct. 24. Coach Art Helfgot is looking for players who will step up and be leaders this season. (Photo by Megan Ash)

Members of the soccer team stretch before a practice on Oct. 24. Coach Art Helfgot is looking for players who will step up and be leaders this season. (Photo by Megan Ash)

By Kylee Demauro
Cougar News Blog

     Boys Soccer is officially back at Cactus Canyon, and the team has high hopes for the season.
     The pressure hasn’t been bad on the players, except for the goalies Zane Baxter and Jose Nieto. That position is new to both athletes but it is critical for the team.
     “Since I’m goalie, there is pressure on blocking it and making sure the other team doesn’t win,” said Baxter.
     Coach Art Helfgot has been preparing for the season by the practicing skill drills, flow of the game, positioning, and conditioning. The team has been working very hard on finding out more about the game and each other.
     “I feel really good (about the season). I feel like we’re going to become better as a team,” said Efren Carlos Giron.
     The team has many goals, such as getting better every game, playing their best, and becoming better people in general. Coach Helfgot has never coached in Desert Middle School Athletic League before. Therefore, he has no idea what the competition will be like. In the past, boys soccer has won three championships.
     “My only goal is to see that we play better each game, learn the skills necessary, and understand that a team will beat a bunch of players every time,” said Coach Helfgot.
     The team and coach expect many student athletes to step up. They mostly expect eighth graders in general to step up. Such as, Leo Castenanda, who has considerable skills.
     “Who steps up individually to demonstrate leadership skills, I’m looking forward to seeing that,” said Coach Helfgot. “I’m not sure that’s easily expected at this age. I’m hoping to be pleasantly surprised.”
     The team has a lot of core players who show significant experience and skills. There are also players who want to work hard to get better. The athletes will continue working on communications and playing better as a team.
     “(The communication helps the team because) it shows them what to do and how to do it,” said Baxter.