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Winter Sports Preview

Athletes ready for action in winter sports seasons

Winter may not technically arrive for another two weeks, but for those high school athletes that play sports during the school year’s second season, it is already in full swing. Here’s what to look for at the courts, fields, pools, mats and rinks at La Jolla High School, La Jolla Country Day and The Bishop’s School between now and March:

Boys’ basketball

La Jolla Country Day finished with a 7-17 record last season and expects better results this year. Country Day lost star Jvonte Brooks to transfer, but has a strong group of players to build around. To improve, the Torreys will lean on junior Dennis Roth, a returning All-League selection, sophomore wing Ryan Watt, junior guard J.T. Kelley and senior guard Mitch Amelio.

The Bishop’s School had a 21-9 record last year and was 6-2 in league play, and the Knights hope to parlay that into a strong 2007-08 campaign.

La Jolla High School is hoping to make another run to the CIF State tournament after going 24-9 last season.

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Girls’ basketball

The Bishop’s School hopes to win a league title, capture a section title and go deep into the state playoffs. With a roster highlighted by future NCAA Division I players Inga Orekhova and Gizelle Studevent, the Knights appear well positioned to do so. Bishop’s will also lean on junior guard Elaina White and junior guard/forward Briana Martinez for significant contributions.

La Jolla Country Day could stand in the way, as the Torreys will seek to win the league and section titles for the ninth straight season. Having graduated three players who went on to play for Division I college programs, the Torreys will re-load, and have the players to do it.

Country Day went 27-6 last season and returns junior point guard Ariana Elegado – one of the top point guards in the state – and 6-foot-4 forward Gillian Howard, a dominant force inside. Chemayne Shipley, Kaylah Miller, Shayla Dinwiddie and Alexis Samuels should also be a big part of the Torreys’ success.

La Jolla High School struggled to a 9-18 record last year, and the Vikings are hoping to improve on that mark in 2008-09.

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Boys’ soccer

The Bishop’s School went 16-3-1 last season, but will field a team with only three seniors this season. The Knights will look to senior defender Zach Ostrup for leadership. Other key players this season include sophomores Tyler Evans, Tucker Hughes and Kyle Jesters, and juniors Stefano Vidali and Justin Peabody.

Girls’ soccer

La Jolla Country Day has a young team but hopes to do better than last season, when it advanced to the quarterfinals of the D-IV playoffs. The Torreys graduated three players who went on to play NCAA Division I soccer, but have a strong nucleus returning. Key players this season will include Sierra Ferreira, Aleena Young, Jodi Morris, Allie Hieb and Rachel Locke.

Girls’ water polo

La Jolla High School reached the CIF SDS D-II semifinals last season, and the Vikings believe they have a good shot to do so again this winter. Key players include goalie Sophia Gumina, center Jackie Waters and attacker Merry Yuen, all seniors. La Jolla will also look for big contributions from junior utility player Kate Woods and sophomore defender Victoria Frager.

Wrestling

La Jolla High School looks to win the Western League title this season, and has some individuals who could make noise in the postseason. Junior David Blazquez (215 pounds) and Joey Bruder (135) both placed at the CIF SDS championships last year, and big things are expected from seniors Jordan Dyer (152), Diego Alayza (171) and Charles Zuo (135). Transfer Todd Christy (103) should add depth to the Vikings’ lineup. Coach Ryan Lennard said he has 35 wrestlers in the program this year and that the team’s outlook is brighter than it has been in years.

Roller hockey

La Jolla Country Day is hoping to improve on its 10-9-1 record from last season. The Torreys will rely heavily on senior defenseman Ben Sweeney, a returning All-league selection, and sophomore forward/defenseman James Owisany, a second-team all-league player. They’ll also look for contributions from defenseman Joey Sowka and forwards Sam Brink and Cameron Eibl, as well as freshman Cameron Sowka, who can play goalie or forward.