Oh the Places We Go
Carly Beard, Sierra Canyon Sports Media Student
For the first time in Sierra Canyon history, four teams (Football, Girls’ Soccer, Boys’ Basketball, and Girls’ Basketball) will travel outside of California to compete in interscholastic competition. All told, the Trailblazers will travel to eight different states including Utah, Alaska, Oregon, Nevada, Indiana, Missouri, Texas, and Massachusetts and travel over 26,000 miles.
This coming Friday, for the first time ever, the Football team will play in Utah. They will face the Orem Tigers at 7 pm (MST).
In January, the Girls’ Soccer team will travel to Fort Worth, Texas to play in a elite tournament. The Basketball programs will also continue their adventures out of state this year. The girls are headed to Alaska and Oregon while the boys hit up Indiana, Nevada, Oregon, Missouri, and Massachusetts.
Each team travels for a slightly different reason. According to Rock Pillsbury, Athletic Director, “Girls Basketball and Girls Soccer are taking their trips to Texas and Alaska not only to compete but to have good team bonding. On the other hand, Football is travelling to Utah because local schools are afraid to play them. This makes scheduling games difficult.”
The Football team will drive 674 miles and over 9 hours to play a Friday Night game. The players and coaches will load buses and will travel from Wednesday through Friday to get into their final destination in Orem. Saturday morning the JV team will play at 10am (MST). Immediately after the game, the team will load back into the buses and reach Sierra Canyon by 11 PM Saturday evening.
“Yes, I’m excited for Utah, not only for football, but to bond with the team.” Chris Torres (‘18) said.
The team travelled to Bishop, CA in 2012 for an overnight trip but this is the first time that the program will leave the Golden State. With 11 coaches and the 55 players the team will end up in Mesquite, NV by nightfall. Tomorrow they will practice at Southern Utah University for their final game day preparations.
“It will be different because the drive is twice as long and we will be playing out of state in a different environment. I know our guys are ready for this game and excited to play. I’m sure there are some people that would like to play at home, but I know that no matter where we play we are ready.” Niko Harris (‘17) said.
For girls’ soccer their trip will be a little harder to train for, when they go to Fort Worth, Texas in early January, the weather will be in the 20-30s.
“Soccer is going because I think it is beneficial to take a trip, its great team bonding, and this tournament really wants us. Soccer usually goes to Bakersfield but the way exams are this year they weren’t allowed to so we thought why not lets try it in Texas. It’s over a holiday so they won’t miss any school. It all just lined up.” Pillsbury said.
Considering that many of the girls play club soccer they will be ready for the traveling aspect and even looking at colleges in other states. Brooke Golik (‘18) is familiar with Texas because she is committed to Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
“There is defiantly a good group of girls who have travelled outside of California to play soccer…the only difference is having to deal with weather change, it might be hard the first day to get use to it but during the rest of the tournament we should be fine,” Golik said.
When Sierra Canyon athletics travel, they do it in the most organized way possible to avoid any complications. The teams keep to a strict itinerary to keep everybody on the same page. The basketball programs have been traveling for years now due to its high profile status on the national circuit.
“The hardest part is planning so far in advance. From buying airplane tickets, to hotel rooms, to getting all the equipment there is the hard part.” Pillsbury said.
In the past years the Boys’ Basketball teams have travelled from Hawaii and to the east coast with stops everywhere in between. Time change is a factor for all the teams going out of state. Whether it is three hours ahead on the east coast or three hours behind in Hawaii teams need to say rested on their journey’s and fan need to make sure they double check the times.
Along with staying well rested, athletes focus on keeping their bodies healthy. Ice baths in hotel rooms are common among the basketball players and coaches train them to stretch and use foam rollers on a regular basis.
Not only do athletes focus on keeping their health up, they also strive to achieve excellence in the classroom. Maintaining a good GPA can be difficult while missing school for so much travel. Luckily for the Football team, their big trip is before school starts, and Girls soccer is going during winter break, but for the winter sports their travelling can interfere with finals and the beginning of the second semester.
Coaches create time during the trip to ensure the students have study sessions and some students choose to study on the planes or bus rides.
When a Sierra Canyon team is traveling they always do it in style, with matching backpacks and Sierra shirts on. Athletes are taught to represent themselves and Sierra in the best way possible.
“When the teams are travelling, I want them to represent themselves and their families in the best way possible” Pillsbury said.