Sports and COVID

With COVID continuing to persist, is it worth it – or safe – to play sports?

Céspedes gets on-deck as cardboard fans look on

“Of all the unimportant things, football (soccer) is the most important” – St. John Paul II

Sports are a key factor in many people’s lives that affects both their mood and their enjoyment of life. Watching sports is entertaining and the organizations that sponsor these sports make tons of revenue. However, the coronavirus has thrown a kink into 2020’s sports plans. 

The NBA has arguably done the best job at managing the coronavirus. They’ve created a ‘bubble’ in which all teams, with their players and staff, are going to be playing in Orlando together. It has worked incredibly well so far in limiting the cases of coronavirus in the NBA to 0. The organization has successfully managed to organize games with 22 teams of players and around 1400 staff members without instigating any threats to public health and wellbeing. Clearly, the work that Adam Silver put into learning about the virology and logistics of containing the virus has paid off. 

However, less can be said about the MLB. The New York Times reported on the Marlins, Phillies, and Cardinals, all with coronavirus cases that caused delays. It was clear to Zac Shomler from Strong Opinion Sports that Rob Manfred, the commissioner of the MLB, has done a far worse job at setting an example for the type of conduct that was to be followed in order to prevent coronavirus cases. Although a bubble like the NBA would be more difficult to maintain for larger leagues such as the MLB, it was still poorly managed as to how seriously players and staff should be concerned with maintaining their safety. These delays make it harder for teams to go through with playoffs, as regular season games become more staggered. 

The NFL season has yet to start, but training camps have already seen cases of coronavirus pop up. Now, if a bubble with the MLB would be hard, an NFL bubble would be downright impossible. NFL teams would have 32 teams, with a roster of around 40-50 players each, and their own staff of around 3800 people each on average. It would be a logistical nightmare, and there is not even a facility to house that many people in order to have a bubble. However, teams have begun to check into hotels, so that there is less contact with outsiders. Teams and staff are living in their own hotels and going from training camp to the hotel everyday. According to the Washington Post, there were “56 players [that] had tested positive for the novel coronavirus since the opening of training camps,” but Allen Sills, the chief medical officer of the NFL, says that they expect more cases to arise, and that their goal is to quickly identify and prevent the spread of these cases. Even so, some players have begun to opt out of practice and likely of the season completely, given that it would even start. 

These struggles are universal as coronavirus takes an ever larger toll on the world. Professional sports, although entertaining, should be considered as a luxury of a time before the pandemic. The leagues outside of the NBA get larger and deal with more staff and players, making any solution that is reminiscent of the NBA’s a logistical nightmare. It is far more important that the health and safety of the players is considered, especially in the US where the handling of coronavirus has been far less consistent. 

– Sean Choe ‘21

Featured Image: Al Bello/Getty Images

Fall Sports and Why Sports are Important

The start of November marks another closure to a season of sports.

Starting from the first week of school, fall sports tryouts were well on their way to select the best athletes for KIS’s fall sports: tennis, volleyball, and cross country. Athletes went through a grueling first week, working to outcompete others to make the final cut. Once the team rosters were finalized, athletes committed to daily after-school practices except for Mondays. Practices for volleyball and cross country started as soon as school to end just a bit past 5 PM. Unfortunately for tennis, because the “home” courts were located off campus, practices usually ended much earlier – around 4:45.

Once all three sports were 2 weeks into their practices, athletes attended their first game which continues until the KAIAC tournament in which all teams compete with each other in their respective league. For the varsity teams, selected members are given the opportunity to participate in additional tournaments that are usually held overseas.  Varsity cross country and volleyball athletes alternate years hosting the AISA tournament or competing in Japan. For tennis, athletes travel abroad to the International School of Beijing (ISB) to participate in the Dragon Tournament.

With fall sports having their final week of practice just over a week ago, here’s how they have finished their seasons:

  • The junior varsity volleyball teams placed 5th place
  • The varsity girls volleyball team placed 5th in the KAIAC conference, 4th in the KAIAC tournament, and 4th in the AISA tournament
  • The varsity boys volleyball team placed 1st in the KAIAC conference, 5th in the KAIAC tournament, and 1st in the AISA tournament
  • The varsity girls cross country team placed 1st in the KAIAC conference, 1st in the KAIAC tournament, and 1st in the AISA tournament
  • The boys cross country team placed 2nd in the KAIAC conference, 2nd in the KAIAC tournament, and 1st in the AISA tournament
  • The varsity boys tennis team placed 3rd in the KAIAC conference, 3rd in the KAIAC tournament, and 3rd in the Dragon Tournament
  • The varsity girls tennis team placed 3rd in the KAIAC conference, 3rd in the KAIAC tournament, and 4th in the Dragon Tournament

The final event on the list for all sports was the banquet in which coaches present accolades for each team: the Most Valuable Player award, Most Improved Player award, and the Coach’s Award. The cross country held their own banquet separately, as they usually do, due to the large number of cross-country athletes. The banquet for the tennis and volleyball teams was held the next day. As each sports team was called up, the coaches recognized the athletes and presented the awards to the most exceptional athletes. The banquet was emotional for coaches and athletes especially when senior athletes were recognized for their final year. Following the tradition, the managers for each team presented a video of the highlights of the season in which the athletes were able to celebrate their final moments of the season.

Sports have been an imperative constituent of the numerous extracurricular activities that are offered in KIS. KIS highly values sports and the profound benefits of sports, and for good reason.

Having been involved in the tennis team since my freshman year, I cherish the memories I’ve made through the team over the past few years. I was able to bond with student-athletes and sports managers I most likely wouldn’t have even talked to if it were not for my involvement on the tennis team. Luckily this year, as members of each grade level was on the members of the tennis team, I was able to meet various freshmen and sophomores. I’ve also befriended students from other schools whom I have met during various games or the Dragon tournament. From traveling abroad and eating amazing food to simply cheering on our teammates, all of the experiences have been a joy. All the team dinners, always followed by noraebangs sessions, were always fun too. Even if we didn’t come out victorious, sport teams are great because they act as a great stress-reliever and an amazing way of sharing memories with fellow teammates.

Here some students’ responses when I asked them what they like being on their sports team:

Playing tennis on the team for the past years have helped me let off stress in the times that I needed most. More importantly, the team has helped me bond and be a part of a new family.
-Diane Kim (Captain of Varsity Girls Tennis) (’19)

After injuring myself playing basketball, I gave a volleyball a try. After playing for a while, I began to love the sport and be good at it which allowed me to participate on the volleyball team for the 4th year. I also love the friends I have made while being on the team; overall, I just love the sport so, so much.
-Richard Chung (’19)

– Andy Kim (’20)

Featured Image: Eliot Yun (’19)

Varsity Tennis Teams are Back, Quarreling With the Weather

Join the Tennis Varsity Team on a flashback through try-outs and the first few weeks of practice!

The tennis team is often overlooked because the game itself doesn’t hold the “thrill” of scoring goals or the spirit of the crowd’s roaring cheers, but could YOU play with a ball that’s smaller than your palm that cannot come into contact with your body, all while battling against the weather everyday?

August in South Korea is notorious not only for the unmanageably hot and humid weather but also for the constant downpours of rain.  The tennis team’s quarrel against the fluctuating weather can be seen throughout tryouts and the first few weeks of practice.  

Let’s hear about the tryouts from the boy’s captain Sihun Choi (’19):

“Try-outs were an extremely hard choice as we saw so many talented players with promising potential and skill.  There were many new faces, and as the captain, I’m happy that more and more people are gaining interest for tennis and continuing for days under the intense heat.”

The team faced many mini adventures together because of the weather.  Practices got cancelled and the team headed to the fitness gym to work out, but then piled on the bus and rushed to the tennis courts once the rain had stopped.  The rain began to fall right upon arrival at the courts, and the 23 players, managers, and coach scrambled to huddle under a tree to find shelter from the raindrops.  From spending half of practice cleaning and scraping rain water off the tennis courts to dealing with water-soaked tennis balls that would not bounce, the tennis team truly is determined to fight against the rain.  

When the team isn’t battling the rain, they are busy keeping themselves hydrated in the sweltering heat.  As the rays of sun beating down on the heads of players, they give it their best to exert all their strength upon the ball to serve and swing.  This season, Coach Shanishetti is putting more emphasis on fitness training, and as a result, players display true dedication through running suicides in 34 degree weather.  Not only is there only one coach for both the girl’s and boy’s team, but overall both teams are very young.  This means the four captains hold a bigger responsibility than ever to lead the Varsity Team to success.   

Let’s hear what the players are looking forward to this season!

“I’m looking forward to the team bonding this year. Although the team is overall on the young side, there are a mix of unique personalities and talents that I’m super excited to get to know and see in action during our games!”

– Lauren Kim (‘18), Girl’s Captain

“In contrast to my previous year of being detached to the somewhat intimidating upperclassmen, I hope to utilize this year to create lasting bonds with both underclassmen and upperclassmen on the girls’ and boys’ tennis team.”

– Andy Kim (‘20), second season

“I’m looking forward to getting closer with every member of the team!”

– Vicky Lee (‘21), first season

All the members seem to be eager to get closer with each other through practices, games, and team bonding sessions.  Even through occasional disorganized practices, taking the bus to and from the courts everyday, and dealing with unpredictable weather, this year’s team shows an overload of positive energy and passion that will surely achieve their goals.

– Michelle Shin (’21)

Featured Images: Claire Yoon (’18)

 

Varsity Volleyball Teams ‘17-’18 are Back

New members, new warmups, new teams. The KIS Varsity Volleyball teams are ready to start another stunning season!

Anxiety. Anticipation. Ambition.

As the 3 o’clock bell rang on a Tuesday afternoon, the air immediately filled with avidity. 56 hopeful high school students marched into the court to try out for the Varsity Volleyball teams. Four enervating days flew by as coaches hustled back and forth the sweaty court to finalize two teams of 12, while athletes performed fatiguing exercise routines and nonstop running.

Having lost a big part of the team, the girls varsity team in particular is striving towards growing stronger bonds and communication on and off the court packed with tension in order to come together as a more concrete group. The boys team, on the other hand, is targeting for a more successful season with remarkable results. Both teams, however, are planning to participates in both KAIAC and AISA (Association of International Schools in Asia) tournaments this fall. Speaking of which, the KIS teams played remarkably and kicked off the season with a positive note on the Korean Classics Tournament:
Boys Varsity Volleyball Team

Win vs TCIS (2-1: 25-15, 22-25, 15-11)
Loss vs YISS (1-2: 22-25, 25-18, 13-15)
Win vs SIS (2-1: 25-20, 15-25, 15-11)

Let’s see several team members’ outlooks for the team and this season!
Q. As a veteran member, what are some advice you would like to give to underclassmen teammates?

A.  “I understand that there will be ups and downs in the season, and at some point the underclassman might lose hope completely, but with hard work and consistent effort I know they can pull themselves out of slumps and continue to strive to be the best they can be.” – Hyunwoo Kang (’19)
“My advice would be to be confident at all times. When a player is not confident or has doubt with one’s skills, they would not be able to perform as well. Though being humble is always good a bit of cockiness can follow along. Also relax and enjoy the game, then you will able to focus on the game and perform better as an athlete.” – Kai Kim (’18)
Q. As the captain for the varsity volleyball team, what do you look forward to this season?

A. “I look forward to working with my team because we are a new and young team this year, and although we do have some things to work on, after our Korean Classics Tournament that we just had, I think that we will be able to keep our legacy (sounds cheesy but it’s true)! Also, I’m looking forward to the weird team bondings we are going to have.” – Yerina Kim (’18)
Q. What are some aspects you are excited about and worried about towards this season?

A. “I am excited that there are many new players so there is lots of potential for the future, but I am also worried for defense of our game since many of the graduates who played last year were strong passers.”  – Gyuri Hwang (’19)
Q. What are some things the team is aiming for this season?

A. “We definitely believe that improving our physical capabilities on the court is crucial to success, but it is our mental game that is truly valuable for beating other teams.” – Muchang Bahng (’19)
Q. How do you think the team will pull through the season with such a young team?

A. “A lot of people think it’s a concern to have such a young team. However, I personally think that with new spirits and bright minds, we can pull through this year pretty well. Also, even though there are a lot of new people, we are pretty strong so I don’t think we can handle this year pretty well” – Stella Yun (’18)

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PC: Ellen Kim (’18)

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PC: Ellen Kim (’18)

Our next KIS home game is on Saturday, September 9th, with girls in the Phoenix Gym and boys in the Upper Gym. Come support both teams by cheering them on to bring home welcoming results. See you all there, Phoenix!

– Jennie Yeom (’20)

Featured Image: Ellen Kim (’18)

Insight Into Varsity Soccer

A look into the varsity girls and boys soccer tryouts and the upcoming season.

While many lucky couples went on romantic dates on Valentine’s Day, some 60 hopeful high school boys and girls stepped out on the field in sub-zero temperatures to try out for the varsity soccer teams. Anticipation and anxiety were a few of the emotions present amongst the athletes as they trudged along the frozen field. Eventually on Friday, after 4 days of gruelling trials, both coaches dwindled down the players to make two teams of 22. The new teams lack the experience that had been present in previous years. Only 5 or so seniors were present on the boy’s side with a mere one of them, Danny Lee, having played all three years. However, the teams are both aiming to make the season successful. To get a better perspective of what’s going through the minds of some of the players, Blueprint got some exclusive interviews.

Blueprint: With such a young team, how do you think the season will unfold?

Hannah Mac ‘18: I think there are many advantages to having a young team. We have a ton of hard workers and players who are willing to push themselves to become better. This season may be scrappy, but I think we will come through and and have a winning season.

Blueprint: As a veteran player, what is one piece of advice you would want to give to the newcomers of the team?

Juliet Miinalainen ’17: I guess one piece of advice I would give to new players, especially if they’re underclassmen, is to not be afraid. When we’re on the field it doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman or a senior, because we’re all after the same thing – which is to win by being a great team with good communication between players. So talk, be loud, and always go to the ball. Be aggressive, since it’s better to make a few mistakes along the way than to not try at all.

Blueprint: What is one thing you are looking forward to most with the season and something that concerns you?

Coach Jacobsen: Our team is very young this year, which means we have a ton of room for growth. As a coach, I’m really looking forward to watching our team learn and improve every practice and game. With only have six returning varsity players, our young team is also the thing that most concerns me. The success of our season is completely up in the air, which is both exciting and nerve wracking. The one thing I know for sure is that we have a great group of guys and it’s going to be interesting season!

Blueprint: How do you see the team this year?

John Gee ’18: I think that although we have a young team, there certainly is enough potential for the team to prosper. Our core veteran members such as Danny Lee ’17, Ryan Choi ’18, Kyoon Hwang ’18, and Duke Moon ’19 are taking initiative and leading the team well.

Blueprint: As the captain, what do you believe is the most important thing the team keeps in mind as they approach the season?

Danny Lee ‘17: I believe that, especially since many of the members in the team are new, it is important that we remember to play together as a team. We have fantastic individual players, but that all means nothing in a team sport like soccer, so I think that our understanding of each other and cooperation are what will make us truly successful this year.

Both teams kicked off their season on a positive note as they won their recent games. The boys defeated APIS 1-0 with a stellar goal from Kyoon Hwang ’18 while the girls also won with a score of 6-1. Additionally Phoenix faced a Division One Team – YISS- and came out with amazing results: 6-2 for boys and 6-0 for girls. Come out and support these young teams who have proven that they can be successful throughout their season. Next home game is on Friday March 3rd with girls playing first. See you there!

Written by John Gee

Photo by JD Choi

KIS Cross Country 16-17 Takes API Guam

KIS XC team sets unprecedented records in KIStory.

With a tincture of cold in the air signaling the arrival of a new season, the 2016-2017 fall sports season is already nearing its end. Yet before the end, the KIS Varsity Cross Country team has returned from the 13th Asia Pacific Invitational (API) Cross Country Championships held at Guam, bringing back special news to KIS. Over 300 runners from 23 international schools participated in this year’s API meet, nevertheless our runners have done us proud, placing overall 4th. The team has claimed several individual titles, set personal records, and exhibited astonishing performance.

This year’s Varsity Cross Country Team comprised of 14 runners, 7 boys, Roger Han (’17), Doohwan Kim (’17), Jake Lee (’17), Jeremy Ryu (’18), Alex Han (’18), Daewon Hong (’18), Patrick Seong (’19), and 7 girls, Michelle Kwon (’18), Jenny Lee (’19), Alice Jo (’19), Amy Purdon (’19), Beth Purdon (’19), Aris Huang (’19), Gina Lee (’20).

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PC: St. Mary’s International School

Despite the worries of the team being the youngest ever, the KIS Varsity Cross Country Team outperformed all schools from Korea as well as those from other countries in Asia. The Girls team placed overall 4th, and the Boys team placed 5th. It was an extremely close race—a total score standoff with JFK—with the relay being the tiebreaker, putting us to 4th. However, individual runners set blistering paces as well. For the first time in KIS history, three runners claimed individual titles. Jenny Lee (’19) received 8th place, setting a season best time of 21:48. Michelle Kwon (’18), again led her way to Top 15, received 10th place. From the Boys race, Patrick Seong (’19) received 6th place, clocking in at 18:02, his personal best time.

To take a closer look at the team’s accomplishments and personal outlooks, Blueprint has interviewed the team captains and head coach, Mr. Reschke.

  1. How do you feel about the API race and the team’s performance?

“This year’s API Guam was a mark in KIS XC history. The team did better than ever before, which, in all honesty, was not something that any of us had been expecting to achieve. I have to say, though, I would never forget missing out on a chance to win the first ever API trophy. We only lost out to the third placed team by the tie-breaking system. But considering that we were without two of the captains, our overall performance was remarkable, and I’m happy with the fact that everyone performed at the expected level or above. I would like to give special credits to Patrick, Jenny, and Michelle, who were in the top 15 of the entire API, making it three KIS runners with the individual API award and another improvement on the already-exceptional result of last year.” —Roger Han (’17)

“I’m proud that we made a new KIS record at API and surprised that we just get better as the years go on. We definitely surprised other schools by telling them that we’re still in the game.”—Doohwan Kim (’17)

“ The API Race is a unique and special part of cross country where we are able to race against talented runners and it’s really cool to be able to meet teams not just from Japan but from China and Guam as well. I’m just really proud of how well we did and how much stronger our team has gotten! Every year we do better than the year before and it’s amazing to be able to be a competitor to these great teams. —Michelle Kwon (’18)

  1. How do you feel about this year’s XC team?

“We lost three senior varsity members and some of the underclassmen were naturally expected to step-up, which they did. Also, we have an unusually small number of upperclassmen runners this year, including just two of the boys captains, so the burden of leadership was bound to trickle down. Thankfully, the expected underclassmen have shown great progress in not just their times, but in their leadership skills as well. From a long-term vision, I feel that this season is a transitionary one, as the team will undoubtedly get better on the oncoming seasons. But so far, our team atmosphere and race results have been nothing short of great.” —Roger Han (’17)

“Probably the team with the most potential so far. We always say we are tired but end up pushing each other to the absolute limits.”—Doohwan Kim (’17)

“I LOVE THEM!” —Michelle Kwon (’18)

“I’m very proud of this team. I can see the growth of the team over the year of how we started the season and how we are now towards the end; we’ve seen improvement out of every single member of the team. We’ve had less injuries this year as well. I think the students who have stuck with it year after year have definitely seen their improvement, getting stronger and faster as well. Dynamics among and within the team have definitely changed, but that’s going to happen every year. Each year brings a different set of students, but it’s still been a very productive and good year so far. ”—Coach Reschke

  1. What do you wish to accomplish before the season ends?

“Last year, the boys’ team was second place in KAIAC Conference and KAIAC Tournament, and I’m sure we can achieve similar results this year. We have found consistency as the season progressed, and we are only getting better. As for the girls, this year’s girls team is the best ever in KIS history, evidenced by their performance in Guam. With the way they are going, I expect them to sweep all the rewards.” —Roger Han (’17)

“Before the season ends, I would like to see this last week some more team bonding. As far as the races go, the students know what they’re doing. But I think what makes cross country so special is towards the end, there’s more team bonding, creating the family unit, a sense of community among the team. I’m not going to be concerned of any scores or championships, as the students are going to run, and they’re prepared. I’m not going to be looking for best times, but rather to finish the season on a high note. And I want to make sure students run the best they possibly can.”—Coach Reschke

  1. Last words for the team?

“Whether it’s the race or the season, we don’t stop until the very end. Let’s fight through it.”—Roger Han (’17)

“Remember that we are a family! Always take care of each other. Cross Country may be an individual sport, but we win as a team.”—Doohwan Kim (’17)

Coach Reschke shared a note to the departing seniors:

“Those of you who’ve been with the team for only a few years or all four years, congratulations for sticking it through. You’ve improved yourselves to really have the stamina to be able to finish and finish strong with a very tough and demanding year. I’ve asked a lot out of you this year, but you’ve came through, followed through. And it’s been an impressive year. Thank you.”

Altogether, this year’s cross country team has shown spectacular growth and is ready to claim another great season at the upcoming KAIAC race. Although cross country may lack the spirited supporters and spectators, the Cross Country team has achieved and accomplished. Although cross country may seem like an individual sport, let me reiterate captain Doohwan’s words, “Cross Country may be an individual sport, but we win as a team.”

– Yoo Bin Shin (’18)

Featured Image: Mr. Reschke

API Cross Country Meet in Guam

Get an inside look at KIS’s Cross Country both on and off the course.

“The Guam race was undoubtedly the largest sporting event I have ever participated in and arguably one of the most noteworthy points in KIS Cross Country history.”

– Roger Han

As the fall sports season comes to an end, the Varsity Cross Country runners return from an international meet at Guam highly decorated, and very tan. Two cross country runners, Michelle Kwon (‘18) and Patrick Seong (‘19), received 14th place for girls and 15th place for boys respectively, came back with individual medals. Out of the dozens of teams that participated in this international meet, KIS came in 5th place overall making a mark in the international community.

As these athletes get ready for the season’s end, Blueprint interviewed them on their running accomplishments and their final thoughts on the 2015-16 cross country season.

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KIS in 5th?!

  1. How is this year’s cross country different from other seasons?

“I think the main difference between this season’s the past seasons’ Cross Country is that the team is much younger now. For example, this year’s Guam team included runners of all classes, from freshman to senior. In contrast, last year’s team consisted of three seniors, four juniors, and no underclassmen.

“In the past seasons, age hierarchies were strong, but this season, I have been noticing leaderships from all grade levels, whether that involves cheering teammates during races or being unafraid to voice their opinions.”

– Roger Han (’17)

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Captain Jerry Kim

“I think we are much more bonded as a team compared to other previous seasons. As the biggest team by far in KIS, we always faced difficulty having a solid bond in a team. I’ve faced challenges myself as a freshman and a sophomore trying to communicate with older members. Although I can’t really say we are perfectly unified, I can definitely say that we are much better than previous seasons so far. I really do hope that it gets better each year even after I leave. “

– Jerry Kim (’16)

“We as coaches sat down before the season started and mapped out every practice for the entire year. We had a vision going into the season of what we wanted to accomplish and because of it we’ve been a lot more organized and it’s shown in how well we’ve done so far.” – Coach Yanuszeski

  1. How does it feel to get 5th place at Guam, an international cross country race?

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“It’s a fantastic achievement for us and a surprising one, too, because we never expected to fully “compete” in Guam. We truly made history this year, with two of KIS runners earning the Guam award, something that has never happened before. It shows that KIS is now a serious contender among the Pacific schools. Personally, I feel privileged to be a part of the team at this notable moment.”

– Roger Han

“It truly feels awesome. For the first time in KIS history, we have placed 5th place overall out of 26 schools in API. Most of the schools competing there have a yearlong season with runners that run in both cross country and track and field. However, KIS runners have only 2-3 months of season. That just shows how hard and effectively we train during the short time we have compared to those other teams competing at Guam. Just last year, we were happy with placing in top 10 at Guam. Now, we aim higher to be at top 5. We are improving each season. Can’t wait until the next season to see how much better they improve.”

– Jerry Kim

“Finishing 5th overall and beating teams like SAS and HKIS prove that our team has been growing and getting better each year. It also proves we can hang with the big schools.”

– Coach Yanuszeski

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The 2015 XC Team at Guam

  1. Because the cross country team has 60+ members, many say it doesn’t have the same “team” feel, do you agree/disagree?

“I personally disagree, because I don’t think there’s a limit to the size of a team. Cross Country requires lots of motivation and dedication, and I think the runners need those 60+ members to help each other out along the way. During practices, we usually run more than 5k, which means that runners may get isolated and run by themselves. Thankfully, we have such a large team, which allows different groups of people to run together and push each other.”

– Roger Han

“I totally disagree. We are just a big team. It’s easy to think of this team as a huge family with tons of relatives. Although some relatives are closer than others, everyone in the family is special to us. It’s same for the cross country team. Volleyball and Tennis team have small family with just 12 relatives. Cross country just has 60 relatives who are all equally special. Although I do admit that some are closer than others, we have the bond that unites us all because we are a family.”

– Jerry Kim

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“Yeah, the larger a team gets, the harder it is to feel like a family. That’s why we’ve tried to do some team building throughout the year. But at the end of the day everyone goes through the same tough workout and you kind of bond in those hard practices and see the reward in the race.”

– Coach Yanuszeski

“I disagree because I think that when I run, I am running for my team.”

– Beth Purdon

  1. Any tips for future xc runners/those aspiring to make it to Guam next year?

“The trip to Guam is treated as the highlight of many participants, and with such big event comes responsibility and dedication. Runners at Guam represent KIS at an international level, so the participants must be ready to give it their all during races. There is a year of time until next year’s Guam trip, so with enough commitment to running, anyone could make it next year. The ones who have been to Guam multiple times during their Cross Country careers are the ones who love Cross Country and are ready to sacrifice other things for running.”

– Roger Han

“First, train in the off season. Nothing improves your time more than training in the off season. You might be the slowest runner in the team, but you can become a varsity runner just for running in the off season. It can totally change your season. Second, make use of every single practices. We have a very short season. If you start making excuses and skip practices, you will never be able to improve. You should put everything you have in all the practices we have in the season. Third and last, prevent injuries. Injuries can be devastating as it can ruin your season as a whole. Therefore, it is your duty as an athlete to take care of your own body. If you have an inevitable injury, then you should do anything you can to quickly shake it off. Time is the most important factor that coaches consider to choose athletes to go to Guam. Therefore, using these tips can definitely help you to drop your time and enjoy your time at Guam.”

– Jerry Kim

“TRAIN OVER THE SUMMER! That’s the difference. If they are serious about Guam, or making varsity then they have to train over the off-season and show up in shape. People who don’t train tend to break down and we’ve seen that every year.”

– Coach Yanuszeski

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  1. Things you’ll miss most as the season comes to an end?

“I’ll definitely miss running with my teammates the most. I still see my friends and coaches after the season, but I cannot meet with tens of people and experience the pain and joy of running everyday. This is also the reason why I think runners should cherish every single moment of the season, because they’ll never experience anything like a high school Cross Country team after graduation.”

– Roger Han

“I will really miss my team members. I can guarantee that this team has the nicest and the best members out of all teams in KIS. No matter how hard the practices were hard or races were tough, I was able to continue my cross country career because of my team members. I don’t think I’ll able to find a group of people as awesome as the group in this team.”

– Jerry Kim

“The team spirit.”

– Beth Purdon

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The infamous XC bananas.

“All the team bonding Fridays, the bananas after a hard practice, the ice cold Powerades after races, I don’t know… Everything!”

– Anonymous Cross Country Runner

“This is a loaded question…That moment when you see someone accomplish something they never thought they could do, when they rise to the challenge and meet it head on. That feeling everyone gets when they knew they gave it their all and earned that reward and being able to share in those moments with each person on the team… That’s what I will miss most.”

To summarize: “XC members reading this, thank you all.” – Jerry Kim

 

– Juyon Lee (’18)

(Picture credits to Jinny Lee (’16))

The Biggest Cross-Country Team in KIStory

“Run like you stole something!” –Mr. Y

Cross-country is known for its 10 kilometer sessions every practice and countless cases of shin splints throughout the season. During every practice, Captain Jerry Kim (12) witnesses his runners complaining: “I’m so quitting this tomorrow,” until the very last day of season (what an irony!). Despite the daily adversities, KIS currently has the biggest team in KIStory.

 

So let’s see why some students are crazy enough to join this team:

  1. Free Karaoke Experience

Running (for some, sprinting) 10~13K everyday means not only increasing your cardiovascular abilities, but also expanding your lung capacities. You can even hear it! Everyday after practice, all runners gather at the fitness center and sing out their sore muscles while taking an icy shower. It’s hard to imagine how you won’t grow close after an intimate session of karaoke. Quite an interesting experience to jump into don’t you think?

“Imagine ten high schoolers singing “I Miss You” by Bum Soo Kim. That’s us in the fitness center shower room everyday.” – Jerry Kim (12)

  1. Join the Biggest Fam-Bam

While SFS has 40, YISS has 40 and SIS has 30, KIS has an astounding number of 65 runners this year! More people means more support, right? All cross-country runners share post-practice stretches, “cool-down” jogs, and the overall experience all together. Though many athletes have been injured lately, the whole team still endures one another’s pains together in the fitness center. Also, there’s a rumor that H505 has ice treatments to enjoy during your newly embedded autonomous blocks.

“By running in cross-country, we don’t get to know our limits. We get to know that there is no limit.” – Terry Lee (12)

  1. Going Bananas for Bananas

“If you’re not a fan of water and bananas, join cross-country. The two will be your lifesavers.” – Joy Youn (11)

Every cross-country member knows that they run for bananas. KIS is the only KAIAC team that provides potassium-packed bananas to every single player, after every single practice. The feeling of achievement these bananas bring exceeds the daily pain, encouraging the runners to push their limits a little further.

  1. Crazy Coaches

“Run like you stole something!” – Mr. Yanuszeski

KIS cross-country team is known for its crazy coaches – Mr. Yanuszeski, Mr. Bunting, Mr. Reschke and Ms. Yousey. Most of them ran in high school and in college, and they sprint through the entire training session. On top of their above-and-beyond physical abilities, they are “laid back” and great partners to talk to before and after practice. Talk about having excellent examples!

“Mr. Bunting wears shoes that look like socks and has a water bottle that looks like a bag…” – Yoo Bin Shin (10)

  1. Potential Guam Trip

If you are the lucky top 7 of either gender of cross-country, you get to compete in the Guam race! Running alongside international runners, making new friends, enjoying delicious meals, all while enjoying the beautiful scenery of Guam – who wouldn’t miss that?

 

– Lina Oh (’16)

Team “Hope & Punishment”

Is it volleyball season or captain Harry’s hunting season? Click to find out more about this year’s Varsity Boys Volleyball team!

Any Facebook addict would know the love this year’s varsity boys volleyball team has for each other. From visits to Coach Callahan’s house, to intimate team photos taken by managers Jiyoung Choi (‘16) and Cindy Kim (‘16), this team has shown (maybe a little too much) love for this year’s team on and off the social media platforms.

(Harry Song, '16)
Smiles all around. (Harry Song, ’16)

In light of such an indiscreet affection for one another, Blueprint decided to take a deeper look at this year’s varsity boys volleyball team:

1. How is VBV 2015 different from other seasons?

Harry Song (‘16): This year’s volleyball team is vastly different from the years past since we lost a lot of players who both excelled in and enjoyed volleyball, like David Chin (‘14), Jaemin Shin (‘14), Philip An (‘15), Jeff Kim (‘15), and more. This year, we truly believe in “Hard work beats talent” (kudos for the aphorism, Mr. Evans!). So, we will work harder than we ever did to achieve our dream: undefeated season.

Kevin Han (‘15): The “hogu-ness” is at its peak.

Jason Kwon (‘15): Volleyball itself is a hard sport because we have to come back after a long summer of relaxation and get adjusted right away to an intense season ahead of us. But by the look of our undefeated season so far, I’m sure that we are fully capable of keeping this up and finishing with no “L” in our records.

2. How is the season so far?

Kevin Han (‘15): We are undefeated for the season with 4:0!
Harry Song (‘16): Although we lost to YISS and SFS in the pre-season tournament, our team is improving day by day. We’ll take them down in AISA!

3. Any fun facts?

Kevin Han (‘15): Watch out ladies… Harry Song (‘16) is hunting for freshmen girls for prom…

Harry Song (‘16): We’re the team “Hope & Torture” (희망고문)!

Jason Kwon (‘16): What does “Hope & Torture” mean? We give “hope” to the other team when we make mistakes, but we take it right back and “torture” them with our success. It’s hard to explain, and I’m not even sure who first came up with this name… Also, another fun fact: Harry Song (‘16) is a scary man!

4. Any tips for current and future volleyball players?

Harry Song (‘16): PLEASE talk! PLEASE communicate! PLEASE respect each other!

Jason Kwon (‘16): Have fun when playing, but know when to focus and be serious. If we don’t enjoy the game, there is no point of playing for the team or playing this sport. However, we shouldn’t be having fun simply by fooling around, but by playing as a team to achieve our goals together.

– Lina Oh (’16)

Featured Image: Yunji Chung (’16)

Varsity Girl’s Volleyball Back Strong for Another Season

Introducing the dynamic VGV team.

This year’s Varsity Girls’ Volleyball team welcomes back 5 returning members, Sarah Chin (12), Faith Choi (12), Gina Lee (12), Hyun Jung Choi (12), and Yumi Kim (11). With 7 seniors having graduated and left the team, 8 new spots are filled by Lynn Baik (11), Hannah Lee (11), Lisa Han (11), Yu Jeong Lee (11), Amy Jung (10), Hannah McCullough (10), Yerina Kim (10), as well as newcomer Se Eun Park (12).

Having lost a big part of the team, the fairly new VGV team is working towards growing strong bonds and communication on and off the court. And having built up more experience and ‘teamness’ through the past few friendly games with SFS and YISS, the VGV team, led by Coach Kelly (Papa Kelly) and Coach Selbo (Mama Selbo), is back strong and ready for the 2015 season. Speaking of which, our girls beat SIS on Saturday at their first away game by 3 to 1 sets! What a comeback!

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(Yun Ji Chung)

As our girls continue their season covered in bruises, dreading climbing up the stairs block after block with sore muscles, and getting through the conditioning and practices as a team, the VGV team aims to win the KAIAC and AISA tournaments and continue on the KAIAC streak of all-round first place. So be there cheering for your fellow phoenix!

We can’t help but jump out of our seats when captains Sarah Chin (12) and Faith Choi (12) get their hits and blocks on point, when liberos Hannah Lee (11) and Lisa Han (11) get down low to dig them volleyballs, when hitters Gina Lee (12) and Se Eun Park (12) kill their cross shots, when setter Yumi Kim (11) sets and dives for every ball, and so on. Every member of the team has proven themselves as serious varsity players! So don’t miss out on the action at the home games on Wed Sept 16,  Sat Sept 19, Wed Oct 14 and Wed Oct 21! Let’s bring some school spirit and encourage our both the girls and boys teams to bring the trophies home!

 

Hyun Jung Choi (’16)