My name is Isabella Carlin and I am a sophomore at The Woodlands College Park High School. I am a member of National Charity League, DECA, and am a violinist in the CP Orchestra. I am also a staff writer for the CP Paladin Newspaper. I enjoy traveling, watching Astros baseball, and trying new restaurants. In the future, I hope to study journalism and media in college. My dream is to work for a major newspaper or magazine company. I enjoy the VYPE U program because I get the opportunity to cover all of the talented athletes at my school and get to build my journalism portfolio in the process. I also enjoy getting recognized for my writing and sharing College Park's stories with the Houston sports community. This year I am most excited to cover CP baseball, football, and track!
The College Park Boy's Soccer season filled with its challenges, changes, and successes came to a close on March 19th. Despite difficulties due to the pandemic, the team was able to compete in most of their games and tournaments with protocols in place to keep competitors and coaches safe.
This year also brought a new coach and many new players to the varsity team. Coach John Owens, the founding boy's soccer coach, stepped down in order to take a new position at Willis High School this year. The interim head coach, Chip Ehlert, took charge.
Overall, the team finished the season with a record of 8-16-1. They placed fourth in the district behind The Woodlands, Conroe, and Oak Ridge. One of the most prominent wins of the season was on March 12th when the team competed against Oak Ridge in a district game and won 3-1. The team advanced to the playoffs, but came up short against MacArthur and lost 3-1 in the first round.
This season was different compared to last year's abrupt halt in the middle of their schedule. The team was 9-6-3 when the UIL called the season off, and there is no indication as to how far the team would have made it in the playoffs. However, the 2021 season showcased how the boys' talent and drive against tough competitors have the potential to follow in the 2019 team's footsteps and compete in the state tournament again in the future.
Until next January, the team will be busy polishing their skills and developing the players in order to be ready for the competition ahead.
Clusters of fans and teammates filled the Conroe ISD Natatorium stands anxiously waiting for the sharp sound of the whistle to begin cheering on their team. It was finally the day that all competing swim teams had been rigorously preparing for throughout the season, Regionals.
The Region IV-6A competition was held last Friday and Saturday at the CISD Natatorium. Eight teams competed in College Park's division while there were 14 schools in attendance. After placing second at Districts a few weeks prior, the CP boy's team placed second and the girl's team placed fifth. The competition not only qualified many swimmers to compete at the state level but also provided an exciting opportunity for the last official meet of the season.
"Regionals was a great chance for CP Swim to go out and give it our all," junior Isabelle Irani said. "We had a great time swimming and had fun racing our fellow teammates and other schools."
In the midst of all the nerves and thrills, many swimmers were able to race their best times of the entire season at Regionals. All of the hours of late practices and diligent attitudes paid off as many were able to accomplish their goals from the beginning of the season. In addition, the Boy's 200 M Medley Relay team consisting of Ryan Sen, Ethan Yu, Brady Monson, and Max Oberg broke the current school record for that event and Ethan Yu was announced as the 100 M Breastroke Regional champion.
"The environment at Regionals is very exciting since everyone is pumped to swim fast and hopefully qualify for state," sophomore Abby Monson said. "My teammates and I were feeling excited but also a little nervous because we wanted to have good swims. Our main goal was to qualify for State, but we also just wanted to have fun and drop our times."
There were multiple individuals and relays that qualified to compete at the State competition on February 20th and 27th. The number of qualifiers decreased this year in response to current coronavirus conditions in the state. Typically there are 24 qualifiers for each race, but this year there were only 16. CP will send four individuals and relay teams to Austin in the coming weeks to compete for a state title. The qualifiers are Ethan Yu (100 M Breastroke), Max Obeg (100 M Freestyle), and the 400 M Free Relay/200 M Medley Relay team of Ryan Sen, Ethan Yu, Brady Monson, and Max Oberg. For many swimmers, the official end of the season allows them to reflect on the challenges they overcame throughout this unprecedented time.
"For me personally, this season was difficult finding a balance between swim and school because of how much more work there is junior year," junior Abram Allen said. "Overall as a team, I think adjusting to COVID restrictions really hurt the start of our season."
The team had to conquer many challenges this year including injuries and COVID restrictions that impacted how they practiced and competed with each other. However, in the end, the team was able to grow from the experience and display their hard work and dedication at the Regionals competition last weekend. Even though it was the end of their season for many, the hopes of next season keep the team eager."Next swim season will be different because of how many of our best swimmers are graduating," Allen said. "However, our team will be gaining a lot of new talented swimmers."