24 days ago East County Magazine

Story and photos by Liz Alper

Story and photos by Liz Alper


Photo, from left to right:  Emily Sample (sophomore guard), Kennedy Caires (junior guard), Amaya Tone (junior guard), Mikayla Williams (freshman guard), Sammy Willis (sophomore guard)


November 14, 2022 (Lakeside) - El Capitan boys basketball begins their season Thursday night, while the girls started over the weekend.  ECM Sports headed out to Lakeside for media day to get a feel for this new and exciting season.

The lady Vaqueros are returning five sophomores, two juniors and one senior, according to head coach Dylan Curtis.  


"The biggest thing we're looking at this year is making a deep run in DII," Curtis said. "Division II playoffs, I think, is definitely a number one goal.  One thing you'll see about us this year is that our IQ has grown so much and our skill level has developed.  We have a tough schedule, we have plenty of DI schools on our schedule this year...but it's definitely something that I think these kids can handle and I'm doing nothing but trying to make sure that we're ready for what our schedule's gonna face this year and we're super excited to get started this season and we can't wait to see all you Vaquero fans out there in the stands."


Since the girls' squad has such a young team this year, I asked the ladies what sets this team apart from any other team.  "I think that the fact that we have such a young team is really what sets us apart from everyone else in the league," said sophomore Lilly Williams, a power forward.


"I feel like we all really like playing together and we have really good chemistry and get along with each other really well," added Keira Heinricy, a freshman shooting guard.


The girls have a really tough schedule this year, featuring teams like Our Lady of Peace and Mt. Carmel, but the girls are really looking forward to their conference matchups against the Foothillers of Grossmont and Mt. Miguel.  "A opponent that we have a hard time with is Mt. Miguel," Lilly said. "another opponent is Grossmont, so we're really looking forward to Grossmont, I think the whole team is, actually."  That received a lot of agreement from the other girls.


Photo, right, from left to right:  Natalie Andrews (sophomore guard), Lilly Williams (sophomore guard), Madie Peet (senior center), Paige Wortham (sophomore center), Keira Heinricy (freshman guard)  


"I think that Grossmont's definitely one of our biggest rivals and I'm really excited for that game because I've been waiting to play them for a while since last year," said sophomore guard Sammy Willis.


"We definitely have a heavier schedule, added sophomore guard Emily Sample. "DI teams are mostly on there...we're challenging ourselves this year."


Lilly said that the team has been playing together for a long time, so there's not really a lot to teach the younger players.  "Pretty much the whole team has played together since we were in elementary school so it helps that we're not just teammates, we're literally like sisters."


"I think we kind of let them play their game," said junior guard Amaya Tone. "...once they're playing their game, we learn how to use both of ours and put it together."


I asked the girls how they feel about matching up with older opponents since they're such a young team.  "...I think that our confidence has really grown and also just trusting each other, " said Natalie Andrews, a sophomore guard.


"I also feel like we're very competitive, so if we play older opponents, we still try to match up and match their energy and the way they play," Heinricy added.


The girls all said they loved their coaches and called them "amazing."


"Not for the weak, that's for sure," Sample joked. "but I love it, it's good.  I'm not super sensitive so all this criticism...I think it helps."


"I think it definitely helps us push ourselves because he knows what we're capable of," added Willis.


"I think last year was a little bit rocky," said Sample when I asked the girls if being so young helps or hinders them. "but we learned to grow together."


"I agree, I think having a young team helps us grow as we all get older together," said Willis.



Tone added another good reason that having a young team helps. "I think also with a young team, you don't have to worry about losing too many people while you're in that growing process."


Tone talked about what it's like as a young team going up against DI powerhouses like Mt. Carmel, Mira Mesa and Grossmont that are mainly juniors and seniors. "Last year, it was kind of really hard because most of our team was just freshmen, like they were coming in and being on varsity for the first time and then playing teams that already have that much experience, it was really hard to match up with that or to try to bring the same energy as them because it was their first time playing on a varsity team...I definitely think it made it harder, but also, it's good competition for us."


Both the boys and the girls said that college recruiting is definitely on their minds. "I would say absolutely," said Sample. "...to me, it's a big deal, especially if you're playing travel ball...I'm definitely concerned about that and getting there."


"I think it's now or never at this point, there's no going back," said senior boys basketball forward Micah Odell. "...everything you do, leave it on the court...go 110 percent every time."



Photo, left, standing:  Noah Tate (senior guard), Kevin Acuna (senior guard).  Seated:  Micah Odell (senior forward), Chance LaChappa (junior guard), Jaylin Padilla (senior center), Marshal Mair (senior guard) 


Contrary to the girls, the male Vaqueros are mostly all upperclassmen.  Odell weighed in on how this helps. "For me, I've been playing varsity four years...just kind of growing, learning from your mistakes, being able to just keep coming every year...and just play hard every year and just being a senior, you just kind of know what you're doing at this point and you still make a lot of mistakes, but from being a freshman, I know I've grown a lot."


Micah and the guys said that the two toughest opponents this season are West Hills and Steele Canyon.


Odel also talked about head coach Scott Reed. "...he's really big into basketball culture so everyone knows him, so for guys like us, it's very important to be able to have a coach like that..."


The Vaqueros take the court for the first time in 2022 on Thursday against San Diego Jewish Academy at 7 p.m., while the lady Vaqueros' next game is tomorrow night against Santana at El Cap at 7 p.m.


Like our sports coverage?  Donate to help support ECM’s sports section! 


Follow @ECMagSports on Twitter for live sports coverage and stories!


Does Sant your child play a sport at a level other than varsity?  Comment on this story or tweet @ECMagSports to request coverage!


Continue reading...

Read On "East County Magazine"
More News On "East County Magazine"
33 minutes ago - World Cup trophy explained: Do the winners keep it and what is it made of? 33 minutes ago - Who is Brazil v Croatia referee Michael Oliver, the official who received death threats after 'destroying' World Cup winner's dreams 37 minutes ago - US Senator Kyrsten Sinema leaves Democratic Party, switches to independent 38 minutes ago - World Cup 2022 diary: A Messi-Modric fanboy, a reflective Pele, and why it's not called 'Dogar' 39 minutes ago - Tom Brady to return home for the second time in rare game vs. 49ers 39 minutes ago - Baker Mayfield leads Rams over Raiders with game-winning drive 45 minutes ago - Argentina vs Netherlands live: World Cup score, highlights, result from 2022 quarterfinal match 45 minutes ago - World Cup 2022 quarterfinals: Brazil seek semifinal spot against Croatia; Messi’s Argentina face strong Netherlands later 58 minutes ago - World Cup 2022: Portugal's Goncalo Ramos, Morocco's Sofyan Amrabat among 10 players to watch in quarterfinals 1 hour ago - Tucker Carlson: Biden sought Griner’s release over a pro-Trump US Marine because she’s a Black lesbian 1 hour ago - 'Argentina has some killers behind it' 1 hour ago - Asylum tribunal capacity extended in bid to tackle backlog of 25,000 cases 1 hour ago - Daily Kickoff: Not the time to talk to Iran, EU diplomat says + Adam Frisch’s future 1 hour ago - The three weeks that brought bad news for Donald Trump’s plans 1 hour ago - Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema switches to independent 1 hour ago - Baker Mayfield makes star turn as understudy in Rams debut | World Cup resumes with huge quarterfinal matches 1 hour ago - UFC Seoul event may be canceled after Chan Sung Jung shoulder injury 1 hour ago - Amazon employee who goes the extra mile for the Knottingley community nominated for Amazon Star Award 1 hour ago - 2022 World Cup, Argentina: Rodrigo de Paul, as annoying as he is essential 1 hour ago - Biden Sent Historic Bill Aimed At Protecting Same-Sex Marriage 1 hour ago - As Fans Demand More Feet Pics, Dustin Poirier Hints at “OnlyFans”: “About To Start Charging” 1 hour ago - FIFA World Cup Fantasy 2022: Best Fantasy XI for Matchday 5 1 hour ago - 2022 World Cup: An uncanny trend in the knock-out stages everyone must know - 2 hours ago - The Pulse: Baker Mayfield’s surprise drive, World Cup reset, Brittney Griner returns home 2 hours ago - "I'm so happy I'm crying": Death Stranding 2 is officially confirmed at The Game Awards 2022 2 hours ago - Inside Kyrsten Sinema’s controversial career as Arizona senator quits Democrat Party weeks after Tulsi Gabbard 2 hours ago - 2022 Army-Navy Game prediction, odds, line, spread: College football picks, best bets from expert on 6-0 roll 2 hours ago - Joe Scarborough Excoriates Republicans Criticizing Brittney Griner Swap: They’ll ‘Never Understand the Goodness of Americans’ 2 hours ago - The obliviousness of unfathomable wealth 2 hours ago - Everything announced for Xbox at The Game Awards 2022 2 hours ago - Kyrsten Sinema switches to Independent, diluting Democratic-led Senate 2 hours ago - Croatia vs Brazil: How to watch World Cup 2022 quarter final,, kick-off, team news, latest odds 2 hours ago - U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has registered as an independent 2 hours ago - Fauci slams ‘lowlife’ trolls harassing his wife, children over covid 2 hours ago - Raiders stunned by Rams: Here are six shocking facts from Baker Mayfield's improbable comeback win 2 hours ago - Kyrsten Sinema leaves Democratic Party, adding drama to tight U.S. Senate margin 2 hours ago - MMA Preview – Jan Blachowicz vs Magomed Ankalaev at UFC 282 2 hours ago - The Games Awards 2022: Publish and Nomination Winners 2 hours ago - World Cup Previews: Netherlands vs Argentina | Can Van Gaal stop Messi’s March of Destiny? 2 hours ago - Profitable Strategic Report on Single-Player Soccer Mobile Games Market With Included Analysis of New Trends, Updates, and Forecast to 2030 2 hours ago - ArcelorMittal launches $200m carbon capture project at Belgium steel plant 2 hours ago - LEPROUS – Announce “Aphelion (Tour Edition)” & “Live 2022” releases 2 hours ago - GOP lawmakers respond after Biden swaps Russian ‘death merchant’ for Brittney Griner, excluding Paul Whelan 2 hours ago - What happens now that Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema is no longer a Democrat 2 hours ago - Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema registers as an independent 2 hours ago - Cannabis prisoner Brittney Griner released in prisoner exchange 2 hours ago - Euro Paper Talk: Arsenal beat out Tottenham to signing of classy Bundesliga centre-back; Chelsea to move for £77m star after four years of scouting 2 hours ago - The Game Awards 2022: Full List of Winners is Here 2 hours ago - Free NBA Betting Picks - Today's Best Bets, Expert Predictions, Odds (12/9/22) 2 hours ago - Crawley Town v Hartlepool United: Pools in fight 'for the long-haul' as Keith Curle's side chase first away win while ex-Bristol Rovers striker is set to miss out 3 hours ago - Reddit Brittney Griner Released From Jail In Swap For Viktor Bout 3 hours ago - Sinema leaving the Democratic Party and registering as an independent – KION546 3 hours ago - Lots of good stuff announced at The Game Awards 2022 — roundup 3 hours ago - 5 things to know before the stock market opens Friday 3 hours ago - 4 winners and losers from Las Vegas Raiders’ one-point loss to Los Angeles Rams 3 hours ago - Sinema leaving the Democratic Party and registering as an independent 3 hours ago - NFL Betting Picks for Week 14 - Best Bets, Expert Odds and Predictions 3 hours ago - What to Know in Washington: Kyrsten Sinema Declares Independence 3 hours ago - NFL Week 14 Playoff-Clinching Scenarios, Best Games and Predictions 3 hours ago - Europe Roundup: Euro gains as dollar dips on recession fears , European shares rise, Gold gains, Oil set for 10% weekly drop as demand worries dominat-December 9th,2022
free geoip