Lightning athletes officially finalize college decisions

Lightning athletes officially finalize college decisions



IMG_9417For most high school seniors Feb. 3 might just seem like an average, stressful Wednesday with a couple of quizzes and maybe some classwork assignments. For a certain bunch of Cypress Bay seniors, this day alters the next four years of their lives.

On National Signing Day, 25 student-athletes (a new Cypress Bay record) signed their official letters of intent to announce their commitment to the schools that they will be competing for at the collegiate level. The athletes ranging from 10 different sports (football, boys tennis, girls tennis, boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse, swimming, girls volleyball, softball, baseball and girls soccer) signed to a variety of programs ranging from Division 1 to Division 3.

“It’s the most signings we’ve ever had so that’s really cool and something we are very proud of,” Assistant principal Jeff Nelson said. “Any time you have a mechanism for the students to pursue a passion that they have and also pay for their education is a great thing.”

The athletes see the day as a reward for all of the determination and effort they have devoted to their respective sports over the years. Marquette University lacrosse commit Anthony Courcelle said he has always wanted to play lacrosse in college and was grateful to have received the opportunity to do so.

“There is no better feeling than seeing all of your hard work pay off,” Courcelle said. “It just shows that if you put your mind to something, and stick to it, nothing can stop you.”

Baker University football commit Gavin Green said the feeling of signing the commitment letter in front of his family, friends and coaches was unlike any other.

“I really appreciate everybody coming out to celebrate such an important day with me,” Green said. “Without all my teammates and coaches, I wouldn’t be anywhere, so it was special to me.”

IMG_9403Senior Tyler Clont signed with Wittenberg College to play football. Klont said the recruiting process can get to be long and stressful; however, receiving the letter makes the waiting process worth while.

“For a while, I wasn’t receiving any offers, but I was lucky to get in contact with a certain coach who saw something special in me,” Clont said. “It is honestly such a blessing to just be able to play the sport I love at the next level.”

Courcelle said because he received multiple offers, it was important to thoroughly evaluate each college and make a smart decision.

“I was previously committed to Bellarmine University, but after reevaluating my options carefully and visiting the campuses, I decided that Marquette would be a better fit for me,” Courcelle said.

Green said he felt the atmosphere and coaching staff at Baker University set it above other schools on his radar.

“I had a couple of other offers, but I was just getting a really good vibe from everything relating to Baker,” Green said.

Clont said he is not only proud of his fellow teammates on the football field, but he knows that every signee from the Bay will succeed at the next level.

“This class of athletes is amazing, and I know everybody will dominate on the field, on the court or in the pool,” Clont said.

Senior Kylie Loporto will continue her lacrosse career at the collegiate level at Lenoir-Rhyne University. Loporto said she has always wanted to play in college and immediately felt a sense of belonging when she visited the school.

“It felt amazing to represent my family and school,” Loporto said. “I loved the school when I visited, and being part of a family and playing a college sport has always been a dream of mine.”

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Seniors reflect on final season as high school athlete



Senior Brett Kaiser has dedicated the majority of his four years at the Bay to playing football. As his final semester of high school begins, the nostalgia has hit him, leading to the realization that his high school athletic career is officially over.IMG_3272

As graduation rapidly approaches, senior athletes across many sports have begun to compete in their last games.  These students feel the pain of having to say goodbye to their coaches and teammates and their individual beloved sports.

“Everyone on the team was emotional the whole day leading up to the last game,” Kaiser said. “It worked out in the end though because we used this as an incentive to win.”

Water polo coach and senior class adviser Tori Warenik said that seeing her seniors leave makes an impact on the team because it affects everyone.

“It’s a really bitter-sweet moment for athletes of all sports,” she said. “It’s really hard for them usually because when you’re in the game you don’t really think about it. You don’t spend your whole high school career playing a game to think about what you’re going to feel like during the last game or your last meet, but when you get there it’s a completely different feeling than most players think they’re going to feel.”

Senior Michael North has played basketball all four years of high school. He said he aims to take his team farther than any team from the Bay has ever gone.

“I’m not playing like each game is one less I have until it’s over. I’m playing like each game is one step closer to our goal,” North said.

Varsity football cheerleading captain Danielle Nicolay believes that this season was better than others because being a senior allowed her to participate in things such as senior night and choreographing the halftime routine.

“Being captain made my senior year so much more special because I feel that it was something I had worked four years for, but I know that captain or not, this season would have been amazing,” she said.

The day Nicolay realized it would be her final season cheerleading, was her last homecoming pep-rally just before the last varsity football game.

“It was so surreal to be the one wearing all black and in the center of the field instead of off to the side or on the opposite side of the field,” she said.

Kaiser said that football has taught him valuable lessons that he will take with him for the rest of his life.

“I learned to be self-dependent and be more responsible,” he said. “I also learned what it’s like to make sacrifices and work hard for something I really want.”

The basketball team spends three hours together every day, so North said some of his closest friendships were made just at practice. He still talks to his old teammates who have graduated as well.

“It’s hard not to think of these guys as brothers after spending basically everyday for four years with them,” North said.

Like North, Kaiser grew close with his teammates over the years. He said they really connected on and off the field, creating a special bond that only a cohesive team could have accomplished.

“I had a blast the whole season and I met a great group of guys who I will consider family for the rest of my life,” he said.

North believes that all the seniors are trying to do as much as they can to make this final season special. He said that this common drive has brought everyone closer as a team and it shows in their performance.

“We’re one big clique and I think this transitions to our play on the court,” North said. “We all try to put each other in the best situation to succeed and [we] care more about the team than the individual.”

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Varsity girls soccer wins district title


The girls varsity soccer team defeated Taravella 5-1 on Jan. 12 in the district semi-finals and West Broward 2-0 on Jan. 14 to win the 8A district title, ending the regular season with a record of 23-1-2, making this the best record they’ve had in three years.

Unfortunately on Jan.29 in regional finals, the team fell short against Lourdes Academy tying the game 1-1 going into double overtime and losing 4-1 in penalty kicks.

Senior forward, Mary Matamoros, said the team mainly focused on practicing defense before competing for the district title.A

“We incorporated what we worked on in practice that day before, such as creating opportunities for the forwards by hitting weak side balls and working on our defense,” Matamoros said.

Matamoros also said the team has been waiting to finally win back the district title and make it to states.

“We have been looking forward to winning district playoffs since the first time in about four years because St. Thomas is not in our district, so we had the chance to bring the district title back home and are ready to make it to states,” Matamoros said.

Senior right back, Marivi Daza, said the team was anticipating to winning districts because they put everything they’ve got into the game.

“Winning the district title was the most amazing feeling in the world because it shows how much we have put into this season by practicing everyday and making ourselves better and better,” Daza said.

Senior midfielder, Maria Munoz said this year has been the best year by far because the team really has improved from when she started freshman year to now senior year.

“Making it this far in this season has really showed the team and our fans that we have come so far from four years ago and intend to keep pushing ourselves and aspiring to do great,” Munoz said.

Coach Kate said the team competed well against Lourdes and wants them to strive for more in their careers.

“It was great for these girls to make it all the way up to regional finals because they have worked extremely hard in this past session and it is an experience they will never forget,” Coach said.

Coach Kate also said she will miss this team because they are special to her and mean so much more then a high school soccer team.

“These girls have worked so hard year round for their club teams that high school soccer becomes sort of relaxing time and more like a family than a job. All twenty-four girls have a special role in this team and that’s why they have had so much success,” Coach said.



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Rivalry games bring excitement to fans, players

The Cypress Bay Lightning defeated the Western Wildcats 50-38 on Wed. Jan 13, at Western. This rivalry game has brought many fans and players to social media to express their thoughts on the game.


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Girls varsity soccer keeps winning


The girls’ varsity soccer team defeated West Broward 3-2 on Nov. 19 and Western 4-1 on Nov. 30, bringing its record to 13-1-1.

Senior right back, Marivi Daza, said the team competed extremely well against West Broward, but needs to work together more.IMG_1536

“Going into this game we knew it was going to be good competition because they have a really strong defense, making our offense work harder,” Daza said.

Senior left back, Katie Slatts, said West Broward was a tough team to play against, because they knew how to execute plays effectively on the field.

“Once they tied the game 2-2, we started to freak out and stopped playing our way, but that made us more eager to overcome our fear and score one more goal,” Slatts said.

Slatts also said the team is continuing to practice harder and learning its mistakes when playing against good teams.

“We will continue to build as a team inside and outside of practice and make it our goal to win districts, regionals, and states,” Slatts said.

Scoring one of the three goals in the game against West Broward, Maria Munoz said the team needs to practice and take advantage of set plays to be able to score easy goals during the games.

“We definitely played with heart, and no one was able to out work us in both the West Broward and Western games,” Munoz said.

Munoz said the Western game was an easier game than West Broward because the team was more aggressive on offense and didn’t let its defense play down to Western’s level.

“We executed on every play; we ran the ball up and down the field, hardly letting Western touch the ball,” Munoz said.

The girls soccer team’s next game is home today against Piper High School at 5:00 p.m.

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Girls JV Volleyball finishes season with 17-1 record


The Junior Varsity volleyball team officially ended its season on Oct. 8 with a record of 17-1. Its only loss this year came when they fell short to St. Thomas Aquinas in a three set battle.

“The team overall played strong throughout this season and made improvements that were necessary along the way,” freshman and defensive specialist Arezu Fazelnia said.jvgirls

In their last match of the season, the team traveled to Archbishop McCarthy and played in front of a large audience.

The Lightning came off strong in the first set, winning by a score of 25-14. However, the team lost 11-25 in the second set.

Freshman and setter, Avery Reiser, said the team competed well during the first set but needed to minimize their errors during the second.

“We played smart in the first set but we failed to execute our offense and run the middle more in the second,” Reiser said.

With Archbishop McCarthy winning the second set, it forced a decisive third set to determine the winner.

The Lightning were neck and neck the entire time until they took the lead and served it out winning 15-11.

Sophomore and libero, Sammy Klopman, said the win against Archbishop McCarthy was a great end to a great season.

“We pushed through at the end, determined to win one last time before we ended our season,” Klopman said.

Head coach, Jen Meyer, said she was pleased with the outcome of the JV girls’ season.

“I’m so proud of having yet another great winning record but the loss against St. Thomas Aquinas proves that we still need to work harder for next year,” Coach Meyer said.

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Cypress Bay Football edges out South Plantation



The varsity football team went on the road to face off with the South Plantation Paladins, on a rainy Friday night. The Lightning (3-4, 2-2) earned its second district win of the season as they defeated the Paladins (1-4, 0-2) by a score of 39-32. The win propelled the Lightning to third place in the district 8A-12 standings.

gAfter a tough loss to Miramar, the Bay desperately needed this win against South Plantation to keep its playoff hopes alive. Quarterback Jake Nudelberg, made his first start in a month after suffering a concussion against St. Thomas, but he wasn’t the only player dealing with injury.

Injuries have plagued Cypress Bay all season long, but they have weathered the storm, as it’s been next man up for the Lightning.

“We have several guys that are banged up, but it shows our team’s character that we were able to fight through adversity and pull this off,” head coach, Mark Guandolo said.

The Lightning barely squeaked out a win as South Plantation came back from being down 11 going into halftime and held a lead going into the fourth quarter. Running back Justin Neismith scored two touchdowns and the defense held strong to get the Lightning the win.

“We were telling our team all week that they needed to focus, fight, and finish to win this game, and we were able to do all three,” Coach Guandolo said.

Andrew Parchment helped the team on both sides of the ball while dealing with a shoulder injury himself. The wide receiver/running back went in on defense on some crucial third downs plays to help seal the game.

“I did what the team needed me to do so that we could get the win,” Parchment said.

With the victory, Cypress Bay’s hopes of being in the playoffs live another week. The Lightning next go on the road to face another district rival, Flanagan, in another must-win game.

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Soccer players commit to future schools


Junior Samantha Bornstein has been dreaming of playing soccer for a Division 1 college ever since she first stepped on a soccer field.

Students athletes at the Bay have been playing sports for years in school and out of school to commit to a college and continue their passion for the game they play.

FullSizeRender(1)Senior Maria Munoz committed to Florida Tech during her junior year of high school. She said she wanted to play soccer in college, but her deciding factors for committing was distance, location, money and playing time.

“I traveled and sacrificed a lot to play soccer and I cannot imagine life without it,” Munoz said. “Some schools that gave me offers told me that I would not be starting and that is not ideal for me.”

During the recruiting process coaches come to showcases and games. If they are interested in a player they will reach out to them.

“For me, I went to visit schools when they were interested in me so I could practice with the team to get a feel of how they work there,” Munoz said. “It took three months to decide. I was waiting on offers form University of South Florida, Florida Atlantic University and University of Alabama.”

Athletes start committing during sophomore year. The earlier that a player commits, the more money he or she will be able to receive for scholarships because there’s a limited amount of money for each school. They must give a 24-hour notice to the school if they want to commit there or not.

“When I chose Florida Tech I knew that I would make a big impact on the team,” Munoz said. “It was a plus that I received a full scholarship.”

Soccer Coach Dwyer says she gets very excited when one of her girl’s commit to a college.

“The amount of hard work and travel these girls put in year round is very tough on them, so it’s rewarding when they do commit and are able to relax and enjoy their high school carreer,” Coach Dwyder said.

Coach Dwyer coached Divison 1 and is able to help them during their process of committing.

“I am able to help the girls with what they need to do early on in their high school career such as emailing college coaches starting their freshman year,” Coach Dwyer said.

Bornstein said she is currently dealing with the pressure of committing and finding the right school for her. The size of the school, coaches, the area, and mostly what she wants to study is the factors she is looking at.

“The hardest part about committing is seeing yourself at the school and making sure you made the right choice for yourself,” Bornstein said.

Bornstein said she has a passion for soccer and could not see herself dropping the sport after high school. Which is why she decided that she wanted to play for college.

“My goal schools are High Point University and North Carolina because they have D1 soccer teams and the schools themselves are beautiful,” Bornstein said.

Bornstein said that the process is really rough for committing, and that most of the time she has to be the one to contact the coaches.

“I’m constantly calling them on a regular basis so they remember me,” Bornstein said.

Bornstein continues to strive to be a better player even when she is at her best because committing is a very competitive thing.

“Committing is a long and rough process between contacting coaches and putting your heart into the game, but it’s all worth it at the end,” Bornstein said.

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National Football League is off to a solid start



The NFL season has finally arrived. After what was a long and controversial offseason for Tom Brady, he picked up right where he left off. The Patriots prepared to play without its superstar quarterback for four games, due to the deflate gate scandal, but were lucky enough to have him back for opening night. Brady and Rob Gronkowski once again proved why they are one of the deadliest tandems in the league, when healthy. Brady completed five passes to Gronkowski for 94 yards and three touchdowns en route to a 28-21 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

As the Patriots captured a victory, so did the rest of the AFC East. The Jets easily beat the Cleveland Browns, while the Dolphins struggled for a good sum of its game against the Redskins. The Dolphins ultimately came out victorious, thanks to a punt return for a touchdown by Jarvis “Juice” Landry. After a long offseason, full of prominent free agency acquisitions for the AFC East, there is a tie atop the division for first place.

Moving to the other side of the league, the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys provided some great entertainment. After putting together a great fourth quarter drive which resulted in a late touchdown, Eli Manning and his Giants fell short.  Tony Romo led the Cowboys to a victory after a game winning touchdown pass to Jason Witten in the two- minute drill. The St. Louis Rams also were victorious in overtime against the Seattle Seahawks. With a team led by newly acquired quarterback Nick Foles, the Rams came into this season with high expectations, and they performed well in week one.

Overall, it was an exciting week around the league, full of thrillers and competitive matchups.

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Girls JV Volleyball Stays Undefeated


The Junior Varsity volleyball team is off to a great start this season. On Friday, Sept. 11, the girls defeated Everglades High School in Miramar, earning yet another win to improve its undefeated record to 8-0.


“The team has been playing exceptionally well because we take what we learned in practice and use it in the game,” right side Maya Nadu said.

The Lightning were in control from the start. The first five points came in the form of service aces putting them ahead 5-0 before Everglades recorded its first point. The Bay allowed only five more points before claiming the first set 25-10.

Sophomore and middle hitter, Andrea Villanelle, said the team competed well against Everglades, but needs to work on some things during practice.

“We need to work more on serve receive and offense because that’s the most important part of volleyball,” Villanelle said.

The second set proved to be less challenging, as the girls capitalized on a barrage of Everglades’ errors and added multiple service aces and kills to deny them of reaching double digit points. Cypress Bay captured the second set by a score of 25-6 and won the game in straight sets.

Jen Meyer, second year head coach for both JV and varsity, is extremely proud of both teams strong start to the season.

“The JV girls have been a privilege to coach because they listen well and execute when they need to during practices and games,” Coach Meyer said.

Coach Meyer said she wants to push the team to improve on their skills even more by focusing on key aspects of their game.

“The girls need to strengthen their blocks and perfect their transitioning on the court,” Coach Meyer said. “We will continue to work hard at practice until we perfect it.”

The next home game is against Piper High School on Sept. 29 at 4:30.

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