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Slope Crushed It

At the end of the year last year I found out that I was going to be 2024 Viking Views sports editor and I was instantly ecstatic not only because I am an athlete here at Sunnyslope, but also because I was going to be able to cover more sports than ever.
The first few weeks of the year I ran into a couple obstacles.
First, the school newspaper was the smallest it had been in over 4 years.
Second,I wasn’t actually able to be in the class — I was taking Systos with the football team that conflicted with the class period of Newspaper Class.
So to say the least I was nervous about our ability to properly cover the sports here.
However, with the help of some sophomore writers, namely Ale Sanchez, Bode Pangborn, and Ryan Randall the love was spread around all the sports; of course, with the help of some incredible seasons this year.
Across the board, 13 Sunnyslope sports teams made the state playoffs or team Championships: Football, Girls and Boys Volleyball, Badminton, Boys and Girls Basketball, Boys Soccer, Girls and Boys Cross Country, Boys Baseball, Boys Golf, Beach Volleyball, and track.
On top of sending numerous teams and athletes to the postseason, the level of success in the once there was immaculate.
The most impressive feat from this year has to be the Badminton team winning continuing on a a dominate 13-1 season before getting revenge on their only loss and defeating #1-seeded Hamilton High School.
Going out of seasonal order now, lets look at Girls Basketball who have made the playoffs 2 of the last 3 years and lost in the first round both times, but this year they advanced to the Elite 8 of the Open Championship finishing with their highest seed in over 5 years.
Even more impressive was Boys Soccer who made their first playoff experience in the past 5 years and upset #5 seed Desert Vista High School en route to advancing to the Elite 8 while hosting their first home playoff game in quite some time as well.
To go along with those 2 winter sports, Boys Basketball finished as the #2 seed in the Open bracket before falling in the Elite 8 as well following breakout seasons from Freshmen Delton Prescott and Darrius Wabbington.
Fortunately there is no Elite 8 in wrestling as Senior Cilus Cabral won the state championship for his weight group and Senior Malachi Aispuro placed top 5 in his group, too.
Back on track now in the fall, both football and volleyball made it back to playoffs after going 6-4 and 13-4 respectively having numerous players named to all region and conference teams and Junior Jackson Pieratt represented boys golf at the state tournament finishing 50th.
Sunnyslope Swim also had a presence at State sending a whopping 16 athletes to state as part of multiple relays and several individual races improving from 9 athletes last year.
Similarly, the boys cross country team placed 5th at sectionals and teh girls sent Senior Hannah Funk and Freshman Eva Jacobs as individuals to the state meet who ended up finishing 27th and 31st.
Finally for spring sports, the Baseball team had one of its best seasons record wise in 5 years and were 14-3 at one point; although, they tragically lost to Highland High School in the second round of the playoffs.
Staying in the spring Boys Volleyball was led by a core of 6 seniors who helped bring the team to the 6A play-in before barely losing in 4 sets to Mountain Ridge High School.
Meanwhile Beach Volleyball would not only make the second round of the playoffs but also send 2 doubles teams to state with Senior Gianna Barry partnered with Junior Georgi Stein and Senior Andie Purdy partnered with Junior Kaia Pixler representing beach volleyball.
In addition Seniors Jeffrey Takeuchi and Langdon Krohnholm would play for the Vikings in the 6A boys state tennis tournament after both boys and girls teams won 8 games – the most wins in the past 4 years.
The last sport on the block is track and field who had 14 athletes sent to Division 1 state highlighted by star Sophomore Aniyah Martin who ran new school records in the 300 hurdles and 400 meter dash this year.
Clearly, something was in the water this year for the Vikings and as the sports editor of the Viking Views it has made my job very easy to not only find stories to write about, but it has been amazing being able to highlight as many athletes and teams as possible this year.
After all, seemingly every athlete has deserved a moment in the spotlight this year.

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