Cougar Sports! Fall A Successful Cougar Season!


Diego Monge Gonzalez, Contributor

The Boys Badminton Varsity team had a great season coming in second in their division with a 9-1 record. Coach Hellman said the squad was young but dedicated. They showed they’re dedicated by putting in time to work on their game in the offseason as freshman. The team loved to compete with each other, and they prepared for the tough matchups that were to come. A challenge the team faced was playing in nail biting matches. In the last game of the season, it came down to the wire for first place in Brooklyn. Both teams were tied 2 to 2, and it came down to the 3rd singles match. Hamid Ali defeated his opponent under pressure in a close game in front of a packed John Dewey school, to get the Cougars the win. It was a great season overall making it to the playoffs and then losing to a very talented and experienced Bronx HS. Coach Hellman would like to give a shout out to Marcus Ko, who took the league by storm as a sophomore. He went undefeated easily in the division and did it all while staying humble. He took 3rd place in the City Individuals tournament. All the coaches and players from the other teams were watching his matches in amazement. The team also had two top level starters who are now graduating. Shu Han Chen and Tahasin Nasir, congratulations to them for a spectacular season! Coach Hellman says, “As a whole the entire team really impressed me, and I look forward to the future”.

The Boys Cougars Bowling team put in their best effort to have success this season, but in the end, they came up a bit short. Nonetheless, they still had a remarkable and memorable season. Coach Hans said that this year’s Boys Bowling team developed a closer relationship with the Girls Bowling team, unlike past years. Their practices were at the same time and place, so they were able to encourage each other and learn together. They were also there for each other when success was achieved. “We were proud of each other when success was achieved,” noted Coach Hans. This season many members of the team made tremendous progress; the only thing that needed to be improved on was consistency. For example, Junior Khriz Garcia improved his average from last year by 33 pins and his high game improved by 50 pins. Even though the team’s final record reads 2-7, there were many close matches that could have gone in their favor- making each match very fun to watch and exciting to participate in. Coach Hans when asked about what he found most memorable about the season he remarked, “Personally I really enjoyed playing along with my athletes during practice sessions. I have been bowling since I was about 4 years old, so getting the opportunity to play and model technique is always something I enjoy.” Great job guys!

The Girls Bowling team had a triumphant season going 5-3 and getting second place in their division. Coach Gomez says the girls were the real heroes behind this success story. They practiced, put in the time, and they were committed to the sport. They even made a group chat to keep in touch with each other to schedule their own practices and went so far as to practicing on holidays. A big challenge the team faced was almost 95% of the team was an inexperienced bowler. There was only one returning player; the rest of the girls had never had any bowling team experience. You can see how this would be a challenge, as inexperience sets you back a long way especially at the varsity level. However, these girls had no fear! They believed in themselves and trusted each other.  A big key to the team’s success was music.  Music calmed the teams’ nerves and kept them cool headed, so they could be able to focus on the task at hand- which was to win. To achieve more success in the future, an improvement that Coach Gomez thinks is needed is more confidence, along with consistency in performance. One of the highlights of the bowling season was just making it to the playoffs and playing against Tottenville. Getting to ride the team bus all the way to Tottenville was fun and exciting. It was a great experience for the team, and they even came out of the bowling alley with their own professional bowling balls gifted to them by the bowling alley!  Coach Gomez wants to shout out Xiomara Gonzalez the senior, Jasmine Romero who was the team captain, and Isabella Rodriguez who was the most improved player on the team. She did not have any experience bowling and still performed at a high level on the team. As the sights are set on the next season, Coach Gomez wants you to be a part of the winning team, our team. If you think you would like to play on the team, you should definitely talk to Ms. Gomez before you regret it!

The Varsity Football team had a profound season. The team had been moved up to the highest division in New York City football this season, and they were now playing the highest level of competition. The team played in many close games but came up short in many of those close games finishing with a 3-4 record. In the first game versus Fort Hamilton Rafael Pena Reyes broke his arm, and on top of that, the team lost the game creating a low morale on the team. Even so, the team picked their heads up and promised they would make it to the playoffs for Raphy. Even though the team’s record was 2-4 heading into their last game, they were able to come out with a win landing them a playoff berth. The team had an overperforming line, as each member of the line had not played a single snap of varsity football as a lineman. Despite that they still excelled on game day. Sadly, though in the playoffs, the team did suffer an unexpected blow from the Tottenville pirates. The highlight of the season was the insane Friday night game at Bayside High School, with an overtime win over the Bayside Commodores in their first home game of the season. After the win the team celebrated on the bus back to bBooklyn. I would like to give a shout out to the seniors on the team – Deon Ridore #1, Adelou Adeyemi # 2, Haoyu (The Chinese Lion) Ding # 53/57, Eric Carpenter  # 5 Rafael Pena Reyes  # 7, Elijah Moore # 8, Diego Monge # 11, Tony Li # 52, Bryant Lin # 5, and Andre Davis # 77. Good look to you all and thank you for always giving your best effort on the field!

The Girls Soccer team had an impressive season, as they managed to maintain a record of 4-4 while jumping up 2 divisions to play against the top ranked teams in the city. The team had to over prepare themselves for such an upgrade in competition. Along with playing against the highest competition in the city, the team also had to adjust their game plan in the second half of almost every game, because they had never played those teams before and had no prior experience to go off of. Another major challenge was Coach Gjonbalaj breaking his leg mid-season and having to adjust to practicing and coaching from the sideline for the rest of the season. After the season, the team successfully won their first match of the playoffs in such a competitive division, but many starters got injured in the process. This led to a defeat in the next game against the defending champs, Hunter College High School in the second round. Coach G said he’s proud of his team for playing through adversity and bouncing back after losing multiple games during the season. Coach also remembers fondly how the team won the first playoff game, despite everybody doubting them. Coach Gjonbalaj wants to congratulate Lindita, the team’s starting goalie for making the senior showcase and wishes her good look in college.  Shout out to Chelsea Gonzalez for being the MVP of the season and also being one of the team captains! Shout out to the other team captain Jennifer Alonso. Coach says that without those two captains, the team would not have gotten far, they were the reason for the team’s success with their leadership on and off the field. Big shout out to graduating seniors Alexandra Palmer, Abigail Walker, Sarah Evans, and Oliwia Powroznik!  Good luck to them in the future!