By Roxy Carr
As the lacrosse season is fast approaching, teammates and fans alike are preparing for the upcoming season. Sophomore Alejandro Mendiola said that the team is currently conditioning in order to get stronger and do well this season.
“This year, the team grew in size with all the freshmen that just joined,” Mendiola said. “We’re playing in tournaments and practicing together to get used to having these new players.”
Head coach, Emilio Loeza, said he believes conditioning is an important part of preparing his athletes for games. He said they sweat while building stamina and end up feeling amazing afterward.
“Conditioning might not be all that fun for the kids, but they do it anyway because they know how much it benefits them,” Loeza said. “Even my old coaches used to condition my team and me after practice.”
During the off-season, the team conditions for an hour and a half two to three times a week. Mendiola said he enjoys spending time with the new players because they remind him of when he first joined the team as a freshman. Mendiola said that the freshman players and the experienced players are training well together.
“All the freshmen have amazing potential, even though they’re new,” Mendiola said. “I’m looking forward to an excellent winning season.”
In addition to conditioning, Mendiola said he spends his free time working out at the YMCA. Mendiola said exercising on his own agenda along with conditioning at practice helps him get stronger and feel more prepared for lacrosse season.
“When I’m at the gym, I focus mainly on my upper body strength and cardio,” Mendiola said. “Running on the treadmill improves my speed and endurance for games, while strength training builds my muscle mass.”
Junior Drew Solomon said he joins Mendiola at the gym at least once a week. Solomon said they work out together in order to motivate one another and break a sweat. As friends and lacrosse players, he said they depend on each other.
“I’ve been on the lacrosse team for so long,” Solomon said. “I feel like I owe it to the new players to feel comfortable on the team.”
Solomon, like Mendiola, said he expects great results from the team this upcoming season. Solomon said one of his duties as a junior is to educate new players on the team’s pre-game rituals and traditions.
“My favorite pre-game ritual is when we put our hands in a circle and cheer before a game,” Solomon said. “The cheer unites us and brings us closer together, giving us the strength to play hard during the game.”
Loeza said he is also excited for the upcoming season. He said he is preparing by checking over the uniforms, conditioning his team and reviewing the new game schedule.
“For the new season, I have to communicate with other coaches to determine what this year’s game schedule will be,” Loeza said. “It’s still early, so we haven’t made any decisions about where the first game will be.”
Sophomore Paulie Salvaggio said he plans on playing lacrosse for Cypress until he graduates. Salvaggio said he hopes to eventually become a team captain and is considering playing lacrosse in college. He said that during lacrosse season, he finds it difficult to succeed in school and lacrosse simultaneously.
“My goal right now is to focus on school until the season starts,” Salvaggio said. “But when it begins, it’ll get harder to balance everything; but I think I’ll be alright.”
Salvaggio said his favorite part about lacrosse season is playing with his best friends. Even though he might dread staying after school for practice, he ends up having the best time.
“The best people I know are people that I met while playing lacrosse,” said Salvaggio. “Nothing beats working as a team, the energy is so raw that there’s nothing I can even compare it to.”