Spring Sports

Jessica Arellano and Monica Luna

As many athletes prepare to head into their spring season of 2022, there is much to hear about how athletes feel, how they have prepared, and what they expect. Many athletes are seniors whose last season will end in approximately four months while some are freshmen whose first season will also end in four months. Most sports are almost done with preseason meaning their season is just around the corner.  Sports such as track, swim, lacrosse, boys indoor volleyball, girls beach volleyball, softball, baseball, and boys tennis will begin their seasons after preparing all school year.


For seniors going into this season might feel bittersweet. Senior track and field jumper Gabriela Nuñez said, “I feel heartbroken in a way because this is my last season in track and field. I’ve made many great memories throughout my four years in Downey Track and I’m sad to leave it behind.” With this feeling, it also became a moment where she reflected on how much she has grown. 


Gabriela joined Downey Track and Field her freshman year of high school and has been a jumper ever since she joined. She has won awards such as most improved, student of the month for track, and has earned the title of being Captain of Downey High Track and Field Jump Section. With the help of track Gabriela acknowledges that it has taught her many important lessons by saying, “The most important lesson track has taught me to always push through any challenge I face. This is something that I apply to my life outside of track because without being able to push myself, I wouldn’t be able to accomplish goals I have.”


Spring season is the last sports season of the school year, meaning many of these athletes have been practicing and training for months. Terry Kim, 11, has spent these past months preparing for his junior season in lacrosse, “We’re making this season different by putting in more time outside of school to practice and also participate in tournaments and leagues.” Boys’ Lacrosse has participated in several tournaments during pre-season including those in Santa Barbara and Temecula. Kim has grown much as an athlete over these past months and is hopeful for a great season due to the success of preseason. “My goal and the goal for my whole team for this new season is to definitely make the playoffs and put Downey lacrosse back on the map by working hard and leaving everything out on the field.” 


Working towards this goal Kim and his team are putting in extra work to make this season the best they possibly can. Having not had a full in person season since 2020 Boys’ Lacrosse is eager to get back on the field. “I’m very excited that we’re able to have a full in person season this year. Since we weren’t able to have one last year, I feel more grateful to have one and it also makes me more motivated to play my best.” Kim is looking forward to playing his best against teams such as Damien High School. Boys’ Lacrosse has their first match against Lakewood at Lakewood High School on Thursday March 3rd. Their first home game will be on Tuesday March 8th against Damien High School. Kim and his team have been preparing for a successful 2021-22 season and wish to see many Downey Vikings supporting them


While Boys’ Lacrosse is currently wrapping up their preseason, Boys’ Tennis is starting their preseason matches this month. On February 22 the Vikings will take on Lakewood High School at Downey High School for their first preseason game. Their first league match of the season will be a home game against Dominguez on Tuesday March 8th. Excited for the start of the season, 4 year Varsity tennis player Thong Tia, 12, is preparing for his final high school season. Tia and his team have been getting back to basics and focusing on foundational techniques to maximize their skills as much as possible. Coming back from the pandemic Tia is anticipating a skill gap between players, but is still hopeful to fulfill his goals for the season. “My goals are probably to have fun and enjoy the sport while maintaining a good competitive atmosphere, so we can push our players to the best of their abilities”. Being a senior on any sports team at DHS comes with responsibilities and Tia is stepping into a leadership role this year, “I think leading by example would be a good way to start, and for sure remembering that our mistakes don’t define the match.” With this positive and competitive mindset, the Vikings are sure to have a successful tennis season. Tia is looking forward to competing in CIF and having matches against Warren and Gahr High School. Tia is a scholar athlete sitting at the top of the senior class, and because of this has a great legacy to leave behind, “I think the legacy I want to leave behind is being one of the best doubles team in the seed, as for impact I want to be a model of a scholar athlete that is well rounded in most aspects”. 


While seniors prepare for the last spring season, freshmen prepare for their first spring season. Freshman Aleaha Escobedo-Gonzalez expresses her nervousness going into her spring sport by saying, “I’m nervous because even though I have already played another sport in another season, softball is a land sport and I’m used to being in the water.” Aleaha is just finishing her water polo season, when she finishes CIF with her team she will begin her first season with the Downey High School Softball team. Although she hasn’t played softball in a couple of years she said, “Even though I am nervous I just want to have fun. I haven’t played in a while but I’m happy I get to play another sport at Downey and get to experience the sports Downey has to offer.”