Boys cross-country team competes in states


The boys cross-country team won the title of district champions and then went to the state competition in Tallahassee Nov. 11-15 where they placed 22nd in the state.

The team went to Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee during the weekend of Nov. 11-15 to participate in states after waiting for this spot for eight years. Coach Joe Monks said that the team’s drought was finally over. Senior Cullen Harper agreed.

“It’s really cool to break a streak like that,” Harper said.

Harper said there were three runners with a time in the 16’s, including him, and four team members close behind them in the 18’s. Junior Thomas Morin was please with the outcome.

“It feels good knowing my training paid off but it feels even better knowing I have a great team that has my back,” Morin said.

Morin said that the cross-country team has a very tight bond and that’s important.

“It wouldn’t have been done without the whole team working together at regionals and getting us the spot,” Morin said.


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Girls varsity soccer team still undefeated

Girls varsity soccer team still undefeated


The girls varsity soccer team won its last two games, at Cooper City on Dec. 3 and at Nova High on Dec. 4. This brings their record to 12-0.

Against the Cowboys the Lightning had a 3-0 shutout, with Nova also being a shutout with a 6-0 score.

“We have a good chance of making it to the district finals because we have beaten the two teams we needed to beat in order to advance,” said center back Katie Slattery.

Defender Marivi Daza said the team has been playing exceptionally well.

“I’m pretty confident we are able to make it to district finals because we have a lot of talented players. Our goal in the season is to go 14-0,” she said, including wanting to beat their toughest opponent, St. Thomas.

Daza spoke about the Cooper City game.

“We made several mistakes on connecting passes and keeping the ball, but by halftime we were able to settle the ball and control the game,” said the junior.

Slattery, also a junior, said even though she played well, she still wants to work on specific areas to benefit her and the team.

Daza said the team has different strategies preparing for the game, mentally and physically. Listening to music is a way the team gets mentally ready for the game.

“In the locker room before the game, mostly everyone has headphones in their ears or one person brings a speaker and we all listen to it,” she said.

Slattery said the team talks about what they need to work on in practice, so they can apply it in games and tournaments.

“Physically, we practice hard and compete with one another in practice. And mentally, we listen to the coach and our teammates talk about the plays we’re running and how to help one another,” Slattery said.

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Girls cross country nears end of season

Girls cross country nears end of season



The girls cross country team placed second at the district competition on Oct. 29 after they lost to Cooper City High by two points. On Nov. 5, the team competed in regionals at Larry &Penny Thompson Park and got eighth place overall.

“I am proud of our results, though we wanted to win the title of district champions,” said Shivani Dalal, co-captain of the team. “We did amazing considering that we lost majority of our varsity runners from last year and have many new runners on the team this year.”

At districts, Cypress Bay had the most girls representing the top 15 district runners. Senior Carolina Garcia got a new personal record of 22:53, almost a whole minute improvement from her previous record of 23:49. Garcia got seventh place overall.

“I am very proud of the results,” Garcia said. “Even though we lost the first place title by a couple of points, the girls definitely gave it their all and that’s all I could ask for.”

At the regional competition, the girls team got eighth place, but only the top six schools qualified for states. However, individual runners may qualify for states, and Dalal qualified by getting 12th place.

“Words cannot explain how proud I am of our achievements,” she said. “I’m going to continue to work hard so that I can do my very best at states.”

Garcia also had comments about Dalal’s achievements.

“Shivani did absolutely amazing,” she said. “She really knows how to push herself and how to get to where she wants to be. I’m so proud of her.”




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Varsity volleyball advances to next round of playoffs

Varsity volleyball advances to next round of playoffs


The varsity girls volleyball team won the class 8A district 12 title against Western on Oct. 22 for the second year in a row. In the next appearance, on Oct. 28, the Lightning (24-3) faced off against the Coral Springs Lady Colts in their round of 16 matchup. This time, they won in straight sets.

Despite a rough start in the game against Western, losing the first set, 25-15, the girls came back strong winning three out of the five sets.

Middle hitter Marcelle Zaccour was thrilled to have won her second championship in as many years. She had six blocks and kills in the match.

“In the beginning they were scoring a lot of points but we pulled through the next two sets,” said Zaccour, a sophomore. “We beat Western twice before and we knew we could do it again.”

Western won the fourth set by a score of 25-23, after they held off the Lightning’s comeback, sending the match to a winner-takes-all fifth set.

“It feels really good to win the championship for the second time in a row,” sophomore Brooke Wierda said. “We are now a well-known team in the district and we are continuing our good reputation.”

In the game against Coral Springs, the girls won in straight sets by the scores of 25-7, 25-15, and 25-10.

“We haven’t peaked yet, but we’re getting there,” Coach Jennifer Meyer said. “We still need to work on our coverage when our opponents block us.”



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JV Football snaps three-game losing streak with first win of season


The JV football team finally got its first win of the season against district rivals Western High on Oct. 15 after a three-game losing streak and a 21-7 loss to the Flanagan Falcons on Oct. 8.

In the first win, the boys defeatied the Wildcats 14-13. The defense controlled the game, which was decided in the fourth quarter when freshman MLB Jonathan Tariche blocked an extra point attempt, which would have tied the game and forced the Lighting to quickly score again in order to win.

Defensive coordinator Craig Forgatsch said that he was happy with the team’s effort but they could have been a lot better.USE 1

“We played a great first half defensively but we were unable to finish in the second half. The game came down to about two plays on which we blew our coverage and it almost cost us but luckily our middle linebacker blocked the PAT and got us the win,” Coach Forgatsch said. “It was a good win but there is a lot of room for improvement.”

At the Flanagan game the previous week, the Falcons were in charge for the first half, scoring two touchdowns and converting on two extra points. But after halftime, the Lightning quickly turned the game around.

“I think we played really well,” sophomore wide receiver Amadeo Ibarra said. “It’s all about attitude, and we all have to get a winning one.”

In the second half, the Falcons went three-and-out, which forced them to punt. The Lightning took advantage of this opportunity and blocked the punt. Two plays later the Lightning capped off the drive with a touchdown and converted on an extra point.

“We played okay during the first half but in the second half we played better,” sophomore MLB Justin Shannon said. “We just need to work on reading plays better and working together as a team.”

The first Lightning touchdown was just the first of good things to come for the Lightning. On the kickoff, the Lightning kicked an onside kick and recovered. They tried to reach the end zone on that drive but failed and were forced to punt the ball away.

After that the Lightning couldn’t get anything going until late in the fourth. With two minutes left the Lightning tried to go for the tie game. On third down the Lightning tried a QB sneak which was stripped by the Falcons and taken back for a Flanagan TD making the score 21-7 with under 30 seconds remaining.

Sophomore Eric Schultz said that even though the team lost that one, he thinks they played pretty well. He said the team started off slow but they made a good comeback in the second half but it wasn’t good enough to win the game.

The JV team will take the field again on Wednesday, Oct. 22 away against Cooper City. After that, there will be one more game this season.

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Varsity girls volleyball continue winning streak

Varsity girls volleyball continue winning streak


The undefeated varsity girls volleyball team placed first at a two-day tournament on Sept. 26 and 27 at Monarch High. They ended up winning all three games on the first day. The team is currently 18-0.

On the second day, the girls beat Coral Springs High School 25-9 and 25-16 in the semi-finals and beat Monarch High School 25-3 and 25-14 in the championship match.

Head Coach Jen Meyer said she is proud of the way her team played.

“They were very strong offensively and their speed really threw everyone off,” Coach Meyer said.

Coach Meyer said the first few teams were pretty weak so they were able to try a new lineup and the girls handled it well.

“We prepared the same we would for any of our games,” Meyer said. “We really work on serve-receive execution and free-ball execution as much as we can.”

Sophomore defender Brooke Wierda said the team was the strongest in attacking and putting away balls.

“We went into the game with the mentality that we need to play our best no matter who our opponent is,” Wierda said.

The team needs to improve on serving because they had a lot of errors in the net and out of bounds, Weirda said.

“We did a lot of fast paced intense drills during practice that helped us focus to get ready for the tournament,” she said.

Setter Priscila Errty said the championship match was the best game the team has ever played.

“We played at a high level,” the senior said. “Everyone worked together to finish the game and we had good communication.”

Errty said the final pumped the team up to play their rival Cardinal Gibbons High School.

“We made sure we did what we had to do to be successful,” she said.

Defensive specialist Valeria Estrada said the team had great execution and thinks the team played to their full potential.

“Our serve-receive has gotten better throughout the year,” said Estrada, a junior. “Our defense was on point along with our offense.”

Their next game is Oct. 16 at Archbishop McCarthy High School.

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JV football falls short to Miramar 34-7

JV football falls short to Miramar 34-7


The boys junior varsity football team lost their first home game to Miramar, 34-7 on Oct. 1 falling to 0-2 on the season.

The boys had a long drive down field to start the game and freshman Jordan Nesmith capped it off with a touchdown. The touchdown gave Cypress Bay a 7-0 lead, making it the first of the year for the team after getting shut out by St. Thomas on Sept. 10.

Miramar responded with a score of its own and a two-point conversion putting it up 8-7, early in the second quarter.

The Lightning boys struggled to get their offense going, and their defense sputtered for the rest of the half. At halftime the score was a 20-7, Miramar.

“We have to keep working to improve the play of the team,” Coach Allen Held said.

In the second half, the Lightning offense again struggled to get anything going but the defense held strong. Sophomore linebacker Patrick Casey finished the game with a strip-sack, a forced fumble, and three tackles.

“I still have a lot to improve and my coaches will help me to become the best I can be,” Casey said.

The coaching staff was optimistic.

“I was really proud of the team,” Coach Held said. “We played the second best team in the county behind St. Thomas, but we played hard all night. Miramar is a lot more talented than us, but we came out and we played hard and we played whistle to whistle.”

After the game Coach Held gave his players some words of encouragement, saying that the team needs to keep getting better every week.

The boys play their next game against Flanagan High School at home on Oct. 8.

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Girls cross country seeks to uphold winning tradition


The girls cross-country team has experienced a change with the loss of its senior runners, one of which was star Katherine MacNeal, now competing for University of Mississippi. Coach Joseph Monks said MacNeal was a big part of the team’s qualifying for states, and current co-captain Shivani Dalal agrees that she has left a lasting legacy on the team.

“Without Kat our team will have to work harder knowing we don’t have someone as an anchor to get us those points to qualify for states,” said Dalal, a senior. “I think it will make us stronger and more motivated to work as a team instead of individually.”

Coach Monks said that even though MacNeal has left, the team is recruiting and training new players who seem to have a lot of promise and potential.

“Every program must move forward and develop new talent,” he said. “Shivani Dalal will help keep the tradition alive, along with newcomer freshman Olivia Childless.”

Dalal said that MacNeal served as a mascot of sorts for the team, and that the team will not be the same without her, but that she has left a great impact on the team by serving as a role model.

“She was our anchor in cross country, always placing Top 5 and for track always placing first in the mile,” Dalal said. “Cypress isn’t the same without her, but we will develop into great teams within the upcoming years.”

Co-captain Juliet Santiago, also a senior, agrees with Coach Monks and Dalal.

“Kat not being here anymore changes things when it comes to motivation,” Santiago said. “Everyone aspired to be as good of a runner as Kat, so not having her running alongside us is hard but we are training hard to be successful as well.”

Dalal and Santiago both said that they have been working very hard to become great runners and to lead the team.

“We have a lot of new and promising runners on our team which I’m very excited for,” Dalal said. “I would like to expose them to qualities of teamwork, dedication, self-discipline, but mostly passion for the sport.”

Along with MacNeal, runners Lauren Reynolds and Katherine Harris also graduated and left an impact on the team. But the current team remains optimistic about new freshman runners who will someday be able to lead.

“Both the cross-country and track season of course will greatly miss Kat and her successes, but it’s simply motivation to work even harder to someday obtain accomplishments like hers,” Santiago said.

Coach Monks says the team must move on from the loss and keep working hard since they are in one of the hardest regions of the state.

“We are moving forward developing some new freshmen talent as the senior girls will strive to keep the cross-country state qualifying tradition alive,” he said.

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Boys golf team prepares for upcoming season


Last season the boys golf team made an appearance at the state championship at Mission Inn Resort & Club in Orlando, and this year they expect to have another chance at the title.

The boys placed third in their first match behind American Heritage and Benjamin High in at Lago Mar Country Club on Aug. 26 in a field that also included University School, Cardinal Gibbons, and Saint Thomas.

“Although most of our team played pretty well, we’re going to need to work hard this year if we want to compete with the top teams in the county like Heritage,” sophomore Jonathan Cachon said.

Junior Spencer Rheingold said over the course of the last off-season, the starters for the team have changed significantly, adding many new freshmen to the lineup.

“The new freshmen, such as brothers Tyler and Koby Pham, have improved the amount of talent on the team overall,” Rheingold said. “They are good players and benefit the team a lot.”

Sophomore Kyle Anders said the boys got off to a strong start, and they have been practicing as much as they can to improve their performance for the next match.

“We have been practicing every day, weather permitting, and trying very hard to focus and prepare for our next big match,” Anders said. “It’s important that we practice as much as possible if we want to win the majority of our games.”

Coach Vincent Grossi said that if the team wants to have another shot at the State Championship this year, they are going to have to play well together and stay focused.

Anders said he expects big things from the team this year.

“If we continue to improve throughout the season, we will have an opportunity to make a run for the State Championship again,” he said.

This year’s starting five is Jonathan Cachon, Manuel Kent, Juan Pablo Arazola, Howard Ki, and Tyler Pham.

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JV volleyball team improves record to 3-0

JV volleyball team improves record to 3-0


The junior varsity girls volleyball team won in straight sets 25-8 and 25-9 on Sept. 2 at Flanagan High.

Sophomore Rebecca Schultz said the team is getting better every day.

“Everyone played well but there is always room for improvement,” Schultz said.

Schultz said she wants to work on her court awareness during games.

“I want to get better by staying focused during practices and during the games,” Schultz said.

Defensive specialist junior Courtney Carlton said the team needs to work on being a team on and outside the court.

“We can improve our chemistry on the court by playing like a team and becoming a family,” Carlton said.

Carlton said the team needs to work a lot on defense during practices by passing to the setter.

“During the game we struggled with passing to the target but towards the end we overcame our struggle and finished strong,” Carlton said.

Outside and right side hitter freshman Andrea Vallenilla enjoyed her first experience playing on a high school volleyball team.

“I had a lot of fun playing with the team because we had a lot of energy and played very well,” Vallenilla said.

Middle hitter sophomore Tara Tamone said the team played great by serving strong, but still needs to improve.

“We controlled our side of the court very well because we played a higher level than Flanagan did,” Tamone said.

Tamone said the team showed a lot of energy throughout the game.

“The team stood up most of the time and cheered for the players on the court and it boosted the teams confidence,” she said.  

Head coach Corey Marks was overall pleased with the result.

“In the beginning the team was nervous but we settled down and ended up playing a great game,” Coach Marks said.

Coach Marks said he wants the team to improve more on serve receive and hitting during practices by dedicating an hour of just doing drills.

The next home game will be held on Sept. 15.

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