By DAVE THOMAS | La Mesa Courier
With the winter sports season off and running at Grossmont High, a number of teams are looking to nab CIF crowns when it is all said and done.
In boys basketball action, the Foothillers under head coach Frank Foggiano went 12-14 a season ago.
According to Foggiano, key players this season look to include senior forward Mykol Rodriguez, senior forward Noah O’Clancy and junior guard Noah Velasco.
“The players are working hard,” Foggiano commented. “When we run our offense, we play well.”
Grossmont is in tourney play over the Christmas holiday season, with its first league contest Jan. 10 at Steele Canyon.
In girls soccer, the Lady Foothillers under head coach Fernando Ramos are back to defend their Division II CIF and league titles.
Grossmont went to the State Regional Semifinals last season, losing a tight 3-2 game. The Lady Foothillers also won the South Bay Classic Tournament a season ago.
With this year’s team, Ramos notes that the team aspect is always No. 1.
“It’s always tough to describe [key players] as we tend to implement the team spirit/team wins, not just one player,” Ramos remarked. “Here are some of the players that had a really great year [2018-19]: senior Mia Foster (midfielder) is a smart player and also is a captain in the team and tends to motivate her teammates in addition to performing and scoring; juniors Jennifer Giovengo and Alexa Gonzalez gave support in the midfield sections; seniors Victoria Ford and Kiera Smeenge, along with juniors Taylor Aguilera and Maddie Mayo, create a strong back line and minimized the goals against our team.”
Ramos also noted the efforts of sophomore Sarah Lopez, who scored 24 goals last season and started as a freshman on the varsity squad. “Great player and we look forward to a better scoring result this season as well.”
According to Ramos, the team has added a bigger roster with talented players that can push the program at a higher level. That is with the intentions of duplicating last season’s results and most importantly making their way to the State Regional Finals and taking that championship.
Ramos also mentioned the great staff he has around him to support the program to the max.
Grossmont girls soccer begins league action at home versus Helix High on Jan. 14.
On the wrestling mats, Grossmont under head coach Todd Bell is back following a 7-4 dual season and first place in the Grossmont League.
Grossmont placed fifth as a team at CIFs a season ago.
Top wrestlers include Sebastian Coats (sixth place at Masters), Daryn White (second at CIFs) and Hassan Bassam (fourth at CIFs).
“We should be strong; we have a lot of seniors,” Bell stated.
Grossmont wrestlers are in action Jan. 16 in a matchup at Granite Hills.
In boys soccer action, Grossmont went 2-11-7 a season ago.
Head coach Jeff Harns points to senior center midfielder Jackson Endres, junior goalie Caden McCulloch and senior center midfielder Fransisco Nava as some of the keys this season.
“As a new coach to the program, the players and I are very excited to get the season underway,” Harns remarked. “We hope to make our program more competitive and look forward to the season.”
Grossmont boys soccer opens league play at Mount Miguel on Jan. 14.
In girls water polo, the Lady Foothillers went 17-12 a season ago (2-6 in league play) and made it to the CIF Division II semifinals.
Head coach Danielle Cook noted she expects key contributions this season from the likes of Katie O’Laughlin (driver/utility), Raquel Berk (guard/utility), Isabella Nunez (whole set) and Haili Fellabaum (driver/utility).
“I have high hopes for this group of athletes,” Cook commented. “They are hardworking and determined to do better than last year. Our goals are to win league and make it to CIF finals for the first time.”
Grossmont girls water polo 2020 season opens at Valhalla on Jan. 8.
In girls basketball, the Lady Foothillers finished a strong 22-8 a season ago and CIF Division II runner-up.
Looking at this season, head coach Grace Campbell noted key players should include senior Sarah Henry and sophomore Shyann VanKirk.
“After finishing as runners-up in the Division II CIF Finals, we have some unfinished business,” Campbell commented. “With this year’s tough schedule, we are working hard to get back to that stage this year to win it all.”
—Dave Thomas is a San Diego-based freelance sports writer. If you have an idea for a sports article, reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.