Coming off two well-played seasons, this young superstar team of predominantly Juniors is ready to rock and roll! With this newfound confidence Coach BJ says, “the sky’s the limit,” and that “the goal for this year is an NCS title.” This year we have a “really deep group” with loads of “tenacity and scrappiness,” and a great team leader found in Imani Johnson who excels both on and off the court. And for what is bound to be an exciting season, it is only right that we start off with a “nail-biter” of a game against Campolindo. While we’ve lost to them the past two years, Coach BJ says, “we’re ready for ’em.”
Coach Danny Rynning has some very high hopes for the upcoming season and believes he has the team to make those dreams come true. Coach Rynning says “that a banner on the wall is our whole mindset this year,” and that he’s “got a good team to justify those expectations.” Some notable players to keep an eye on for any fans that will be attending games are: Caleb Allison who played varsity basketball his freshman year and was named a first-team all-league player, Jordan McKenzie who also played varsity as a freshman and is an “outstanding talent” that just so happens to be known nationally, and finally, we have Zion Willburn, a 6’6 transfer from Salesian. With all of these young studs being 10th and 11th grade the future truly is promising.
Pinole Valley’s wrestling program has gotten off to a strong start in its first three seasons and the future is looking promising. During the 2019-2020 season, Spartan wrestling placed third in the league, and in the short 2020-2021 season we placed second. If you have any interest in joining the wrestling team or just want to come support the school “we have 6-7 tournaments here” at Pinole.
But wrestling isn’t for the faint of heart, Coach Armando says, “20-25 kids try out, and hopefully by the end of the season I’ll have more than 5. It’s a tough sport and you get bruised up but you get to test yourself.” Pinole Valley football captain and wrestler Diego Pineda says, “wrestling practices are a lot harder conditioning-wise” when compared to football and that “you can’t just go in there expecting to beat everybody.” So it’s safe to say that wrestling is not easy. In fact, when you look at the numbers wrestling has produced the most number of UFC champions when compared to other fighting styles and Coach Armando says, “with 100 high school wrestling matches under your belt you will be able to go into any MMA studio or Dojo and hold your own with any rank.” So give wrestling a shot, you might like it
This team has faced a lot of adversity from not having their own field, star players not making grades, and not having a head coach for a minute, but PV soccer is not done yet! This is in big part due to our tenacious new head coach, Hassan Abdulawi, who seems like just the right guy to lead our team to victory. Coach Hassan’s number 1 priority as of right now is a team rebuild, he says, “I see that we have to rebuild the team to have better results.” And his first step in this process is to “pick the right crew” based on their understanding and their ability to “deliver and deal with the pressure of the game.” He plans on bringing a “new tactic” to Pinole Valley soccer by giving his players “guidance and a map of how to play the game.” He would also like to ask his team to “believe in each other and believe in the system I want to put in place.” “We have to trust the system to do well,” says Coach Hassan. This new system put in place will meet its first stone wall on November 24, at De Anza High School. So I would encourage all of us to be there and show some support to our fellow Spartans!