The Week in Sports

There is one thing near the top of each and every Cate student’s holiday wish list… a long and relaxing winter vacation. Fortunately for them, their wish will indeed come true and for all of the work, academically and athletically, it’s certainly well earned. Before the Rams head off to every corner of the globe, there are opportunities to hit the field, court, or pool.

The boys basketball team is off to a great start on the year, highlighted by a thrilling three days in the Ojai Valley Classic tournament held in Ojai. In the first game of the tournament, the Rams took down Santa Paula by a 52-46 score. The following day, Cate topped league foe Villanova 62-52, setting a championship game against host team and rival Thacher. As always, the Rams and Toads played in a back-and-forth contest. The Rams responded to every Thacher run and hit some big free throws late to capture the title with a 48-47 win. For their efforts on the weekend, Ethan Ng ’20 and Khadim Pouye ’20 were named to the all-tournament team, while Thomas Nettesheim ’20 was named tournament MVP. Nkemka Chukwumerije ’21 has had a great season for Cate, as has Mason Oetgen ’22 and Parker May ’21.

The girls soccer squad is off to a fine start, winning two of its last three games. Following their 0-0 tie with Carpinteria, the team picked up a nice 2-0 win over rival Thacher.  After dropping a frustrating game to Dunn, the Rams bounced back with a 3-0 win over Laguna Blanca. It’s especially exciting that of the last 5 goals scored by the Rams, three have been scored by freshmen. Rachael Ma ’22 found the back of the net against the Toads and Charlotte Weis ’22 scored twice against Laguna Blanca. Lily Riehl ’21 and Maddie Erickson ’19 each scored for the Rams as well. Taylor Kane ’21 has done a good job in net for Cate, turning away shot after shot so far this season.

The girls water polo team has struggled mightily with injury and illness so far this season. In fact, for most of the season, the team has only had two substitutes, which means a lot of swimming for many of the girls in the pool. The team continues to battle tough against stiff competition thanks to the steady leadership of Ella Hendriks ’19 and Celia Foster ’19.  Grace Johnson ’21, Ava Weinstein ’20, and Lucy Van der Reis ’21 have all stepped up big time for the team and the Rams will look to continue to improve as the season goes on.

The Cate squash team was one of nine schools or clubs to compete in the first round of the Southern California High School Squash league at the Arroyo Seco Racquet Club. There were two different teams of Rams competing on the weekend, an A team and a B team.  The A side battled hard against some very tough players, dropping four of their matches. Stefan Suh ’19 collected two wins on the day, while Brandon Man ’20 tallied one. The B team won four of five matches, with big performances from Mark Huerta ’20, Alex Elrington ’21, and Jinming Wang ’22. The Rams find some balances in their next tournament following Cate’s winter break.

The Cate girls basketball team has faced some of the best teams in the area so far this season, taking on the likes of San Marcos High School, Dos Pueblos High School, and Foothill Tech. The Rams fell short in all three of those contests, but have improved each game so far this season. The strong play of newcomer Meena Baher ’22 as well as the steady inside presence of Elle Smith ’19 and Maya Blattberg ’20 have helped this Rams team so far this season. Lily Zanze ’20, Sarah Polowczak ’19, and Piper Brooks ’20 have handled the rock nicely for Cate.

The boys soccer team has had quite the exciting start to their season. Recently, the Rams took part in the College Cup, a high school soccer showcase that ran in conjunction with the Men’s NCAA National Championship, which was played at UCSB this year. The College Cup consisted of about 60 schools from up and down Southern California (and even one from Arizona) playing at different sites all over the county. Cate concluded its portion of the College Cup with a 3-1 record, dropping a nailbiter to Rio Mesa and beating Fillmore and Granite Hills. The Rams rode that momentum into Ojai the following week and knocked off the Toads 6-2. For his four-goal-and-one-assist performance during the College Cup, Buba Fofanah ’20 was named the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table Player of the Week. Harry Corman ’20 and Bailor Jalloh ’19 have set their teammates up to score many times this season, while the both Jack Deardorff ’19 and William Deardorff ’21 have made plays up and down the field.