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Viking athletics set to kick off the year

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Viking athletics set to kick off the year

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The school year has started a full two weeks earlier this year and fall sports teams have wasted no time preparing for their upcoming seasons.  Here’s an inside look at each team.

Girls

Swimming:

In recent years, the Niles North girls swim team has really taken off. A lot of this success is also attributed to the construction of the brand new swimming pool. “During construction, practicing at Niles West meant less pool time and crowded lanes that weren’t conducive to swimming well,” said senior captain Megan Crane. She added, “However, we were able to overcome these hardships and produced some of the fastest group of swimmers Niles North has ever seen.” Come support the team at their first event Saturday, September 13 at Niles West.

Cross country:

The fact that there aren’t many veterans on the girls cross country team is not a bad thing. Having a plethora of underclassmen sets up this team for future success. “This year we have a huge number of freshmen joining that we’re really excited about,” said senior Maddy Valente. Despite last season’s efforts, there is still room for improvement. Youth will most likely be a strong force that will ultimately affect the outcome of this season. This year, the girls are going to a new meet for the first time which is sure to bring more excitement.

Tennis:

After an 11-11 record a year ago, the girls tennis team is doing a lot better this year. Senior captain Noa Horberg expressed her excitement saying, “We are something to watch for this year. We’re a force to be reckoned with.” This year, the team has more matches than ever compared to previous years, which allows more opportunities for fans to support them. Something else to watch for is the strength of the underclassmen. Freshman Michelle Bacalla is said to be one of the best female tennis players Niles North has had in a long time. Check out what the team is made of at their first home match on August 26 against North Side College Prep.

Volleyball:

With an impressive conference record last year, the girls volleyball program seems to be heading in a positive direction. “Our defense is looking to be great this year, but our offense will need some work,” said senior Laura Moy. Players have expressed concern for the lack of height on the current roster which seems to be the main obstacle for them. There is a nice balance of veteran leadership and young talent on this team, so they will be exciting to watch.

Boys

Cross country:

Last year, the cross country team was exceptional. However, many of their top runners graduated. They placed second at the conference meet and at sectionals, they ran their best time for the season, which was also the fifth fastest in school history. “So far this year, our cross country program has been going great. We’ve got some really promising young guys and some great top runners. We’ve been practicing since the first week of summer break every morning at 6:30 a.m.,” said senior captain Dhruvil Patel. “If anyone wants to show support, regionals are going to be held at Harms Woods and sectionals at Niles West.” The boys are putting in a lot of work already as they are primed to clinch the conference title.

Football:

The football team has been putting in a lot of work under coach Mark Egofske. So far, they have been working out and practicing both before and after school. Last year, they finished with an overall record of 3-6 and that will fuel them to exceed expectations this year. Many of the younger guys have shown enormous potential. Football season kicks off August 29 with the first game against Shepard. The following week is the highly anticipated Skokie Skirmish hosted by Niles West, which will surely be a game to remember.

Golf:

Last season was not up to par for the golf squad, however, they are set to be better off this year. There are more younger players this year, 8 on varsity and 8 on the junior varsity team. Though there aren’t as many veteran players, it’s set to be a solid year. A returning senior, Matt Ginsburg, said, “I love these guys, and everyone is improving.” Look for the team to bounce back from their season last year, especially with the surplus of underclassmen.

Soccer:

The 2013 boys soccer season was definitely one to remember. For the first time in Niles North history, the boys won the conference title. Just a week later, they tied with the Evanston Wildkits in the CSL Crossover Championship. It was an amazing season overall and a historic one for Niles North, but don’t expect it to stop there. Players kept in shape by participating in summer leagues and undergoing rigorous conditioning so that they are now able to practice everyday and even on Saturdays. With an abundance of young talent on this varsity squad, the future of the team is bright. Senior Sean Riordan, the team’s new goalie, expects another amazing season. “We have to defend our conference title. We should be able to get that far and even farther. Keep an eye out for us.”

Co-ed cheerleading:

There is no off season for the cheer team. Since the first week of summer break, they have been working extra hard. “We had to get physically strong, but also mentally strong,” said senior Gabe Elizer. The team worked on a lot of conditioning and also worked with Kentucky cheerleaders to perfect their technique. This past year was said to be a rebuilding one, seeing as there were only seven returning members. However, they exceeded expectations by claiming a second straight conference title, placing second at sectionals and fifteenth at state due to technicalities. The bar has been set high for them this year.

1 Comment

One Response to “Viking athletics set to kick off the year”

  1. Mr. Silverberg on August 22nd, 2014 9:53 pm

    Great story, Troy. You maintain a good balance between sport-specific detail and overall breadth. I’m now pumped for this upcoming season!

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Viking athletics set to kick off the year