As the 2019 fall sports season at Novato High draws to a close, the Hornets have much to look back on.
Novato football opened up the season with a bang, winning four of the first five games played under new head coach Rich Torres. However, during Novato’s sixth football game against San Rafael, senior quarterback Kevin Hall tore his ACL, knocking him out for the remainder of the season.
“Losing Kevin after he was playing so well was definitely a set back, especially coming off a 4-1 start to the season. He was a good leader for the team,” said junior cornerback Jackson Gremmels.
In addition to Hall’s injury, the football team was missing receiver Malcolm Gibson for all but the last 2 games of the season due to a back injury. Novato finished the season 5-5, racking up two MCAL wins over Drake and Terra Linda.
Cross country battled through many unforeseen struggles and hopes to close out the season strong. Some runners, such as junior Joe Ducker have been excelling in getting times lowered, however, the team has been riddled with injuries. Multiple students have shin splints and a potential stress fractures.
Team captain Emilia Oblites is a junior who has been a part of cross country all three years, but she could not compete this season due to a hip and glute injury. In addition to injuries, returning runners had to adjust to new coaching at the start of the season.
“Mahoney is our fourth coach in three years, and we were hesitant to trust him and adjust to him at first, but we’ve gotten used to working with and alongside him as he learns how to coach a running team.” Said Oblites, “I will add however that he’s stepped up wonderfully to the role and we appreciate him taking on the position in our time of need.”
Girls Volleyball finished 1-8 in league play, yet found positives in overcoming the struggles they faced this season. One of this season’s most notable highlights was a 3-1 win against cross-town rival San Marin, after being down 7-19 in the first set. Much like other fall programs, volleyball welcomed a large number of new and young players, and were forced to work through the adjustment period and learn to play with a changing team.
“Our coach Elise was really good. We have had around three different coaches within the past four years and Elise really lifted the program,” said senior Alyssa Woolard.
Novato welcomed Elise Boutet as an integral part of Novato volleyball for years to come.
Boys water polo this year endured having a very young team. Along with having zero seniors and numerous freshman on varsity, transfer student from Turkey Kerem Barutcuoglu was unable to play for Novato due to standing league rules. Boys water polo finished the season with a 4-14 record.
Girls water polo came out winning 1-10 overall. Junior Susha Krayeva shared her thoughts on why this season’s outcome came to be.
“Our main struggle was not having a lot of girls so we didn’t have too many subs, but we pulled together and had two teams that we all got along well with,” said Krayeva.
In addition, multiple players had injuries throughout the season, such as Krayeva with a concussion and hip injury, as well as junior Sarita Parikh, who had a dislocated elbow.
Novato High’s girls tennis team finished the season 2-14 under new head coaches Gavin Leon and Chris Erickson. With a team consisting of just two upperclassmen and almost all underclassmen, Leon spoke of his time coaching a team of almost all new players to the sport.
“I had many players with zero tennis experience, it was a game of trying to manage teaching these girls the fundamentals such as scoring and where to stand without neglecting my experienced players,” said Leon.
Novato girls golf ended with a record of 2-11 for the 2019 season. This was yet another team with many new and inexperienced players. Senior Josie Shaw has been a part of the golf team all four years, and has seen the many ways in which the sport has changed for her and Novato.
“We went from being a three-time MCAL qualifying team and one-time NCS to having to completely rebuild the team,” said Shaw. “Although it was tough, I love my teammates and I’m so happy with our bond now.”