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The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

Looking back on a decorated 2023 fall sports season

Aya Takase-Songui
LEAF IT ALL ON THE FIELD: For fall athletes, sweater weather is rather a time to dawn their jerseys and cleats.

Kicking off the school year, each fall sport has navigated through their own challenges, eventually rising above and ending their seasons off with individual and team victories. Here’s a recap of the fall sports seasons:


Despite suffering from losses and injuries towards the beginning of the year, the football team had a strong second half of the season and finished third in league standings. Junior Cole Hidalgo placed fourth in the Pacific Coast League for receiving yards, senior Eddie Ma placed fifth for total yards and third in passing and junior Eddie Petrushin placed seventh for receiving.

“There have been amazing throws and receptions by our transfer quarterback and receivers,” junior Jonathan Gutierrez said. “A lot of our starters have been injured and we’ve had new guys step up to take their place, which helped us earn our victory against a huge rival of ours, Irvine.”

Flag football

In their inaugural year, Northwood’s flag football team placed second in league behind Woodbridge. Towards the end of the season, they maintained a winning streak of five games with an overall record of 11-4 overall and 9-3 in league.

“It’s cool to see a lot of us scoring points or playing great defense without having played the sport before,” sophomore Megan Liu said. “It really shows the girls’ athleticism and how well we are doing with such minimal experience.”

While no CIF postseason currently exists for flag football, Northwood participated in a final tournament between all Irvine teams where they placed second.

Girls cross country

With multiple individual records shattered during the PCL tournament, it was no surprise that several runners placed on the top ten list at each course. Senior Sharice Laygo ran the fourth fastest time at the PCL cluster and finished first with the fifth fastest time at the Laguna Hills Invitational. The team’s outstanding performance in the PCL cluster gives them a higher probability of making it to CIF.

“Everyone was mentally prepared to work their hardest,” Laygo said. “Lots of energy and preparation was put into that meet so we’re glad we saw the results we wanted.”

Boys cross country

Many boys cross country runners also beat their personal records with junior Logan Shaw and senior Josue Olague placing top five at the PCL meet and junior Santino Diaz running the ninth fastest time at the Woodbridge Invitational. In one of their first scrimmages against Segerstorm and Woodbridge, the team placed first, starting a strong run towards CIF, which will be decided in early November.

“During our Mammoth altitude training over the summer, we made it our team goal to make CIF and are currently pursuing it,” captain senior Michael Ramos said. “We continue to push each other during practice and races”

Boys water polo

Qualifying for CIF after their game on Oct. 14, boys water polo has maintained a 19-9 record. Wins against higher ranked teams such as Burbank and Chino Hills High Schools were the team’s highlights this season, as well as sending senior Micheal Abshier to California Baptist University to play Division 1 water polo next year.

“In general, the team is a very young team consisting mainly of sophomores and juniors,” junior Shervin Shahriary said. “I feel the team has a lot of room for growth and so far, we can see we are improving as a team, especially in skills such as faster swimming.”

Girls volleyball

With a strong defense and notable team chemistry, girls volleyball had an overall record of 27-6 and ended league with a record of 5-2, beating higher ranked Division 3 teams such as Crean Lutheran High School. Their main focus has been building team strength through bonding, leading them to win two of their CIF matches before a difficult third round loss to Centennial.

“We’ve developed special friendships with one another that has helped us work together and become a more fluent team on and off the court,” sophomore Kianna De Lapaz said. “Even though we lost our pink out game against Beckman, we played with passion and stayed scrappy throughout and everybody was still smiling after.”

Girls tennis

Girls tennis has continued growing into a stronger team after making it to CIF last season, with a 5-9 record in PCL. They maintained a singles record of 28-11 placing in top five in league and juniors Kelly Au and Yu Chen placed top 10 in doubles for league. In their match against Laguna Hills, every team member played and won their sets.

“We no longer go into games thinking ‘Wow this team is known to be good, we’re probably going to lose’ and instead go in with a clear mind and play our best” girls tennis player senior Esha Iyer said. “After low scores or bad weather, we analyze our technique, try to improve our game strategy and gaslight ourselves into thinking it’s not hot outside.”

Girls golf

Girls golf won the Pacific Coast league championship and maintained an undefeated season record. See for the full story.

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About the Contributors
Megha Kishore, Staff Writer
Megha is a Northwood sophomore and staff writer for the Howler. Her favorite drink is a matcha latte which she thinks will cure her headaches that last 24/7. Some of her hobbies include reading if she ever finds the time for it or online shopping at 1 AM with no intent of actually buying anything.
Aya Takase-Songui, Photo Editor
Aya Takase is the Photo Editor for The Howler, who claims to like horror films but as of now has only watched 3. Despite coming from a long line of professional gardeners, she lacks a green thumb and has killed every household plant she touches.

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